Poop power: Effort scoops up pet waste for energy

By Anna Bisaro, Gannett Writer
From the Newark Advocate


Jendell Duffner, owner of Green Scoop, specializes in pet waste removal and composting. The waste she collects is turned into energy through composting.

Using pet waste to create fuel probably seems like an unusual idea. That’s because it is.

Green Scoop is among the first organizations in the nation to recycle pet waste to create biofuels.

“Composting is not the solution to get rid of the waste we have,” Jendell Duffner, owner of Green Scoop, said. “So I had to think of a plan B, and that’s when I thought of energy generation.”

Green Scoop collects an average of three tons of animal and food waster per month. It is then taken to a Licking County compost farm and broken down and then brought to an energy generation facility. Once that happens, the turnaround to get methane gas from animal waste is about 30 days. That methane is turned into electricity or natural gas to power vehicles.

The biofuel created from Green Scoop’s customers’ waste powers the van Duffner drives to collect the animal and food waste from her customers. A green slogan on the side of the big yellow van reads, “It’s Poop With Potential.”

The solid leftover after the methane is harvested is turned into fertilizer for farmers.

“The first question people ask me is, ‘How is that possible?’ ” Duffner said. “A lot of this is about education.”

Duffner said she has always been green-minded and has always been disgusted with landfills. So when it came time to starting her own business, that is where she focused. She approached the Environmental Protection Agency with her idea in 2013, and it all came together quickly after that, with the launching of the business on Earth Day that year.

She started collecting food and animal waste first in Franklin County, but it was only a matter of months before she had moved her business into Licking and Knox counties as well.

Green Scoop offers bucket services to customers who will have their waste picked up and even yard cleaning services. Some customers live in condominium complexes as well. And visitors to dog parks at Infirmary Mound Park in Granville and Bark Park in Knox County can find her compostable bags and drop bins as well.

Duffner said she also provides natural cat litter, mulch and topsoil delivery to customers. Green Scoop serves about 200 households right now.

“Picking up after pets is a must ... so this helps you keep on top of your yards,” Duffner said. “But you don’t want to stop there.”

“The more people do this, the more it will get attention,” she said. “The more attention it gets, maybe someday we’ll be able to fuel our homes.”