Pooch Poo to Power San Francisco

Jennifer Viegas reports that San Francisco is working to use dog excrement to power the city.

San Francisco is hoping to convert its dog dung into energy that may be able to power everything from an electricity-generating turbine to a home stove, according to Norcal Waste Systems Inc., which oversees garbage collection, recycling and disposal for San Francisco and several other Northern California cities.

San Francisco is believed to be the first U.S. city to explore the energy potential of dog feces. A pilot test program may begin within the next few months. “The city of San Francisco has a goal of 75-percent landfill diversion by 2010 and zero waste to landfill by 2020,” said Robert Reed, Norcal’s spokesman. “According to a recent waste characterization study, 3.8 percent of garbage from residential collections was animal feces — mostly from dogs and cats, although other animals could have been represented.”

Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but the city’s estimated 240,000 cats and dogs leave calling cards of their own. Norcal has decided to focus on dog doo because it is easier to collect, since dog owners frequent certain parks and could dispose of their pets’ waste in controlled receptacles.

Somehow, it just seems fitting.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    Somehow, it just seems fitting.

    That is almost British in the elegance of its understatement.

  2. Bithead says:

    Well, perhaps it’ll help if you understod what such operations are risking.

    Are you REALLY SURE it’s not safer to just drill in ANWR?

  3. G A Phillips says:

    What about Donkeypoo?

  4. Herb says:

    San Francisco is full of crap anyway, so they should have enough to provide power for centuries to come.

  5. yetanotherjohn says:

    They don’t want an old battleship but they do want your dog poo because it might be useful to them. I think that pretty much sums up the whole democratic party.