Manhattan —

Growing up in Ethiopia, Melody Kelemu always had dogs, a lawn where they could walk around by themselves and gardeners who took care of any mess man’s best friend left behind.

When she moved to the city to start college at New York University, the Neuroscience and Environmental Studies major watched as residents cleaned up after their dogs every day, and began to wonder how the waste could be put to better use.

Now the 21-year-old junior is applying for an NYU grant to put machines into dog parks that would turn waste into energy to power lamps — including in Washington Square Park.