Contaminated Sandbox Sand - Knowledgebase Question

Elk Grove, IL
Avatar for scrail
Question by scrail
February 27, 1998
I have a sandbox that was recently contaminated by a new neigbors cat (prefers it to the litter box).I have decided to get rid of the sandbox and was wondering if I can recycle the sand into my vegetable garden. It could also be recycled into my compostpile.

Answer from NGA
February 27, 1998
There are a lot of if's...... Generally we recommend that cat, dog, pig, and human feces be kept out of gardens because of the pathogens they may contain. If the sandbox is large and the cat has only used it a few times, it should be easy enough to scoop out the feces and remove the source of contamination. If the sand is "littered" with cat feces, it would be best to use the sand in places that won't be growing anything edible. If you choose to put the sand in the vegetable garden spot, be sure to mix it well with the soil, and try not to grow anything that might come into direct contact with the soil. (Don't grow carrots or lettuce this year.) By next year all of the contaminates will be gone and you can plant whatever you'd like.

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