Dog poop has bright side: Powering US park lamp

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ABC News

CAMBRIDGE, Md. – It stinks and it’s a hazard to walkers everywhere, but it turns out dog poop has a bright side.

Dog poop is lighting a lantern at a Cambridge dog park as part of a monthslong project that its creator, artist Matthew Mazzotta, hopes will get people thinking about not wasting waste.

The “Park Spark” poop converter is actually two steel, 500-gallon (1,900-liter) oil tanks painted a golden yellow, connected by diagonal black piping and attached to an old gaslight-style street lantern at the Pacific Street Park.

After the dogs do their business, signs on the tanks instruct owners to use biodegradable bags supplied on site to pick up the poop and deposit it into the left tank. People then turn a wheel to stir its insides, which contain waste and water. Microbes in the waste give off methane, an odorless gas that is fed through the tanks to the lamp and burned off. The park is small but has proven busy enough to ensure a steady supply of fuel.

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