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Man's best friend provides alternative energy

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0922000754 Man's best friend provides alternative energy

"Park spark" photo: WBZ's Mark Katic

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 dog park in Cambridge, as part of a monthlong project to get people thinking about not wasting waste.

poop Man's best friend provides alternative energy

Boston artist Matthew Mazzotta poses with a teapot at a Cambridge, Mass., dog park next to a gas light powered by the "Park Spark" poop converter he devised. AP Photo

After dogs do their business, signs on two steel tanks instruct owners to use biodegradable bags 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.

A similar idea to use dog poop for power was floated in San Francisco about four years ago but fizzled before it could be implemented.

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