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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Composting you know what
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Gary O
Member
# Posted: 11 Mar 2016 23:02
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This is what I learned today from a guy down the path that had been composting his family of five's 'stuff' for six years.

Build a bin

Approx four feet cubed

Posts in the corners and 3-4 inch wide by half inch thick boards

2-3 inch spacing

Initially leave one side open with one or two boards at the bottom.

Start with a generous layer of pine needles or the like.
A layer of straw on top of that does not hurt.

Empty your pail of you know what, including TP, and well...P.
(no wipes, won't break down)
Pine needles and straw on top of that, about 2-3 inches.

Add boards as needed.

If you experience an odor, add more straw and needles.
(if you experience an odor after saaay a foot of pine needles and straw, change your dining habits or see a doctor)

Once the bin is full, proceed to the next bin and start the process anew.

Let the first bin 'rest' for 12 months.

Happy birthday, you now have compost.

Julie2Oregon
Member
# Posted: 12 Mar 2016 00:02
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If you want to speed up the process right in your bucket, there's a recipe for composting "starter" in the manual of the compost toilet I'm buying. I was going to start a new thread to share it but maybe this is a good place.

You put 2 inches at the bottom of your bucket and it starts breaking down the waste right away. You can add more when you want. When the bucket is near full, put some more on top, put a lid on the bucket and a clean bucket in your loo. In 2-3 months, the waste in your bucket is composted and ready to use!

You could simply use it in your compost bin, too!

Here's the recipe:

Homemade mulch
If you desire to make your own mulch you can use the following recipe for 10 gallons of starter mulch:
6 gal Blond high fibrous, Canadian sphagnum peat moss (ALL PEAT MOSS IS NOT THE SAME)
3 gal - Pine wood shavings (obtainable from nearly any livestock feed store as livestock bedding) DO NOT USE SAWDUST OR CHAINSAW CHIPS
2 cups Good rich garden soil from first 6" layer of soil (ENSURE FROM AN AREA WHERE PESTICIDES ARE NOT USED)
1 pound Dry molasses.
1 pound Hulls of buckwheat, wheat, peanuts or cocoa. (You can use coffee bean hulls, too. Apparently, coffee roasteries just throw these away so they're available free of charge.)
1 pound Coarse Perlite
Keep your mixture dry and allow it to breathe.

turkeyhunter
Member
# Posted: 12 Mar 2016 15:08 - Edited by: turkeyhunter
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...I think this new TV commercial is funny


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTRJBpNTcHA


this could apply to a composting toilet .... a regular toilet or a 5 gallon bucket

old243
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2016 11:05
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Farmers are using , your bin method on a much larger scale, but the same process, to dispose of dead stock. The red tape and expense, to have a dead stock company pick up cattle ,pigs etc. Has made this method work. For dead cattle , build a bin with large straw or hay bales , place a deep bed of straw , shavings , sawdust etc place the animal or animals in . Cover with a bed of straw. to retain heat , and discourage predators. I don't think they disturb it for a while . after a length of time , all that remains is compost and the large bones. This can then be spread on the fields like manure. Renderers used to pay a farmer for the dead stock, for the hide and the meat meal they manufacture. This might be a bit off topic , but I found it interesting, old 243

tverga
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2016 13:03 - Edited by: tverga
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My wife once told me I better be careful all the stuff I am throwing on the compost pile, I asked her why?

She said "you will get worms"...

Not exactly the outdoor type...

Gary O
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2016 20:44
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Quoting: old243
This might be a bit off topic

nada
very on point
simple
efficient
practical

ChuckDynasty
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2016 21:47
Reply 


The man who wrote the book.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMzrDTLJNSw

ChuckDynasty
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2016 22:05
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I like this system...Bucket to barrel system

"This system is designed as a zero discharge system, meaning that all liquid (leachate) remains in the barrel, where it eventually evaporates. There are no holes drilled in the bottom of the barrels. The leachate includes the small amount of urine excreted during defecation as well as the small amount of water used in bucket cleaning. Because of this, a urine management system is an integral part of the design."

http://www.omick.net/composting_toilets/bucket_barrel_toilet.htm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOOUxa4_K1g

Gary O
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2016 22:45
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Quoting: ChuckDynasty
I like this system...Bucket to barrel system

WOW!!!!
I'm now so very glad I started this thread

Thank you, Chuck!

BillMac
Member
# Posted: 22 Mar 2016 22:12
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Do not mix Urine with Poop. <- Very important. Sphagnum moss or coconut fiber = good and the down fall is you spent money. Layers are important. Dump into outside bin add in leaf and grass (hay) what have you. Humanure. Free and works just like any store bought less the chemicals and you made it all yourself. FREE! I use saw dust ( 2 inch layer at the bottom and a little ash and dirt then human part and repeat process. Fill bucket 3/4 full dump in bin rinse repeat. No smell. Again DO NOT MIX IN URINE or you'll learn the hard way. Mmm Humanure sounds great! Pass the gravy!

Gary O
Member
# Posted: 8 Apr 2016 07:13 - Edited by: Gary O
Reply 


Quoting: BillMac
DO NOT MIX IN URINE or you'll learn the hard way

Well, dang it, I missed this post.

About the urine;
Looks like I need to back up a bit to clarify my intent.
This 'compost' will not go into our garden.
Bushes, shrubs, maybe trees, if anything.
My intent is to just break down the 'stuff'.
So, the explanation of 'learning the hard way' prolly doesn't apply in our case.

I'm just getting somewhat weary of spending a goodly portion of whatever is left of my precious time here on irth boiling poopoo.
At first it was fascinating.
The lighting ceremony.
Stirring the caldron.
Tossing on more...and more.....and more fuel.
Not sure when tedium recognition took place, but, by end of winter the allure had transmuted to some kinda sordid monotony.

This led me to the quick and easy aspect of composting.

But

to extract urine from the other stuff, or to somehow divert the stream 'tween urges?
Not bloody likely.

Then again, if we were to be so bold as to use our loo-made urineized compost in our veggie garden after a year of resting, well, those fine neighbors down the path have been doing it for years now and they seem normal.....good color, no hair loss, good muscle tone....minimal itching....

manny
Member
# Posted: 8 Apr 2016 07:57
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minimal itching!!!!!HaHaHa

Julie2Oregon
Member
# Posted: 9 Apr 2016 05:42
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ROFLMAO! Gary, you are a wordsmith first class!

Well, I certainly won't admit this in polite company in Texas (Oh, what the hay, maybe I will before I leave, just to see the horrified looks on the faces of the very proper "Bless Your Heart" Club, tee-hee!) but I've decided to join the ranks of the Humanure brigade. Not the obsessive branch of it, but I'm overcoming my squeamishness and ordering the C-Head composting toilet for the cabin rather than the fancy-shmancy solar-wind incinerating jobby I was originally going to get.

And I'll have a raised bin filled with straw ready to accept the, um, offerings. The C-Head does have a urine diverter that separates out the urine and collects it for you in a jug. Apparently, diluted urine makes a perfect fertilizer for plants and if you spread it around the boundaries of your property and cabin foundation, it keeps pests like raccoons and gophers away.

As for the humanure itself, I don't think I'm comfortable with spreading it around my veggies after it's sufficiently "cooked." However, I have no qualms about using it to fertilize trees or shrubs. We'll see what happens.

Gary O
Member
# Posted: 9 Apr 2016 08:37 - Edited by: Gary O
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Quoting: Julie2Oregon
wordsmith first class

Well, I can't argue that it's some sorta art form to maintain a certain class when delving in to this topic.
I wouldn't go so far as to say 'first' class...

But, like most aspects of living off grid, the very real things, procedures of day to day life, get rather nitty gritty.
None of it can be diverted or in some cases postponed.
This ain't Disney out here.
Even the simple task of bathing can be an adventure, especially in winter.

Back on topic;
I've never been a member of the white toilet bowl society, nor a proponent of the decorative hand towel display.
The one so ornate one is given to wiping their hands on their pants or flapping them dry to avert messing up the obvious feng shui of accoutremental aura.
Thing is, most of us, when on city water, never give where things go a second thought.
The only concern is when the water keeps running after flushing, causing your water bill to compete with your electric.
It's either accepting the fact that you must train all family members how to successfully jiggle the handle, busying yourself by looking at your face in the mirror until the water does in fact quit running, or just standing there, staring at the swirling eddy in the bowl, daring it to keep running,
or,
eventually lifting the tank lid, reaching into that mystical area and fixing the darn thing, feeling a bit heroic, showing everyone that you, you are the master of the house, you got this.

But,

When the outhouse becomes the facility, whatever you ingested just hours ago eventually becomes an ever present, heaping menace.
And the question looms, what on earth do we do with this, this festering mound of blind eels?

Having mastered cleansing these aging vessels of ours, and maintaining a controlled command of the laundry, especially thru the winter months (another thread), we are on task to turn these flourishing keester cakes into a form of harmless humus, of which we can merrily cast forth, back to muther irth...where it belongs.

Updates will be forthcoming.

manny
Member
# Posted: 9 Apr 2016 16:02
Reply 


HHHAAAAA Blind eels !!God man !!! are u from this earth?

Gary O
Member
# Posted: 10 Apr 2016 10:26
Reply 


Well, no...but I try to be kind to you humans

manny
Member
# Posted: 12 Apr 2016 10:52
Reply 


keep it up my friend.U make my day

paulz
Member
# Posted: 20 Apr 2016 19:52
Reply 


Wow, that is some funny... well you know what.

So I am a member of the white bowl society at my cabin, though I haven't got it fully functional yet, but I'm about to. Right now I have it piped to a 50 gallon barrel 10 ft. below on the side of the hill. Couple gallons of water a flush, I figure should last us (wife and I) a couple months based on our cabin usage before I have to load the barrel in my truck, drive home and dump it down my cleanout.

From my basic understanding there is no composting that can be done on a mostly water based drum of crap. Is there?

Gary O
Member
# Posted: 20 Apr 2016 22:32
Reply 


Well sir, THAT is a lot of predispositioned compost....
I suggest a sea container.
I think I read somewhere that 160 55 gal drums fit in a 40 footer.
That (according to your drum/poop/time estimate) is 26 years' worth.
After 26 years, you could of course just ship it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Lines are open for the next question.

creeky
Member
# Posted: 21 Apr 2016 09:07
Reply 


I've run three systems. The holding tank / RV style. The "clivus muldrum" style. And bucket/composting. Rated by 5 stars.

Holding tank style with flush. Ouch that's a lot of work hauling out waste. 1 liter flush. Nope. Abandoned after 2 years. **

The "expensive but gov't approved off grid toilet". 1 liter /.25g water flush. Yikes there were some tricks to installation. But it works better than I hoped. 4 years now of easy to maintain service. ****

Composting bucket toilet. Meh. Works better than one would think. Pretty easy to use. "Visitor" approved. As I use "bokashi"^ inoculate no smell. Cricky, this stuff is predigested in days. Composts a treat (I dump in a forest composting area. Material disappears in days.). ****

Conclusion. Go clivus muldrum. Option 2. With bokashi inoculate. Easy to build your own. No hauling or mgt of waste. Easy to install. Easy to maintain.

^ Paulz, you could use bokashi inoculate to digest the waste for you. I've done it for very wet material. It works real nice. But I would just build a basic clivus muldrum. And forget the towing/hauling. A 50 gallon barrel with water/waste weighs 4-500 lbs. For me, that got old real fast. And I have a tractor that did all the lifting / moving. Do miss the comradeship of talking to the RVers while waiting to dump.

Btw. The bokashi inoculate not just predigests the waste. But it kills the bad stuff. Its basically turning your #2 into black yogurt. I've got a post somewhere on the joy and "how to" of bokashi. Probably on my blog.

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 21 Apr 2016 09:14
Reply 


Quoting: creeky
turning your #2 into black yogurt

you just ruined yogurt for me I think.

Gary O
Member
# Posted: 22 Apr 2016 09:27
Reply 


Quoting: creeky
I've run three systems

Creeky, yer wunna those earth guys, aren'tcha?
A sorta mad scientist that dives into a project head first and stays there until only the soles of yer feet are visible.

Been reading yer blog.

Great stuff in there.

In regard to this subject, my lady is of the firm conviction I'm a bit too pre-occupied.

I get it honestly.

From the ripe ol' age of four (coulda been three) I been fighting the poop war.
Y'see, mom was a staunch maven of the giant syringe apparatus.
I think it was in all the home remedy volumes back in the fifties.
If I so much as 'looked peaked', or hadn't had an event on recent record, next thing I knew I'd be astride the green ducky seat, gripping it's head, trying desperately to hold in the five gallons of water up my hind end.

Been conscious of habits and trends ever since.

Anyway, I do believe my pine needle/straw theory is a raw form of that bokashi stuff.
I'll put together a full report in late fall on how the bin is doing (it'll be at the far end of the meadow).

Smawgunner
Member
# Posted: 22 Apr 2016 09:43
Reply 


Here is the one I built. We love this thing!
http://www.small-cabin.com/forum/3_6192_0.html#msg90879

Gary O
Member
# Posted: 22 Apr 2016 10:18
Reply 


Quoting: Smawgunner
Here is the one I built.

Great link!
One day...one day.

Thank you

creeky
Member
# Posted: 22 Apr 2016 10:57
Reply 


Quoting: FishHog
just ruined yogurt


yer welcome.

ChuckDynasty
Member
# Posted: 3 Jun 2016 20:52 - Edited by: ChuckDynasty
Reply 


Quoting: Gary O
WOW!!!!
I'm now so very glad I started this thread

Thank you, Chuck!


I've been using this system and I think it's great. I'll post my experience with it here soon, with pictures!

ChuckDynasty
Member
# Posted: 6 Jun 2016 00:27 - Edited by: ChuckDynasty
Reply 


I had used the bucket in the past for camping but now i'm using it for an 18 month test I'm doing to see if it will extend the cleaning of my septic system. My septic is used by a family of 4 and needs to be pumped every 18 months and for whatever reason if I could not have it cleaned, or it failed this would be the system I would use until I could repair or to use this system at an off grid location. I'm the only one using this system and the solids and liquids are separated, tp is disposed of in the trash and urine is disposed of in a mulch pit.

The inside part of the system consists of a $6 Home D toilet seat, a dozen or so free five gallon buckets (one shown with about 3 weeks of contents), gamma lid seal (7 or 8 bucks), reused laundry detergent bottle for urine, recycled zip-loc baggy for tp and coffee can with saw dust. I considerer this part a portable system.

I use the gamma lid to seal the bucket because I'm using a minimal amount of sawdust to cover the deposit. I use one handful of sawdust, probably about a third or forth of what you would need without the gamma lid so there is some odor when uncovered but not that bad at least not to me. Sawdust takes up a lot of storage and is not always available to me and I like to see how small I can go with something or how little I can use while still being comfortable. Water use, solar the smaller the better to me.

I line the bucket with a plastic bag so I don't have to wash the bucket after emptying i just give it a quick rinse with water and a couple of drops of bleach and let it sit in the sun for the day. I start the bucket off with 3 or 4 handfuls of sawdust to cover the bottom.

I removed the hinges from the seat and repositioned the bumpers so it fits nicely on the bucket with no movement.

When done I lift the bag up from the sides and twist it up and place it just inside tot top of the bucket and twist on the cover.
My inside system
My inside system
Gamma seal lig
Gamma seal lig
Seat bumpers repositioned
Seat bumpers repositioned
nice fit ready for use
nice fit ready for use


ChuckDynasty
Member
# Posted: 6 Jun 2016 00:32 - Edited by: ChuckDynasty
Reply 


I started this test in Sept but disposed of the contents in the trash until December when I decided to use a composting method instead. The first two buckets were used for 2 wks each then I started going to three wks. So thats 7wks shown in the three buckets. Covered with about 4 inches of sawdust and absolutely no odor. I had 6 buckets or about 30 gallons of material when It went outside into the 55 gal barrel April 1. The temperature in the boiler room where buckets were stored in cold weather was always 60-70 degrees and the temp of the contents never exceeded room temp which surprised me.

This part I found on youtube and had previously posted the link above in an earlier post.

The outside composting consists of a two free 55 gal barrels (one not used yet) that does NOT have any holes in it. This is a self contained closed system and nothing leaches out of it (I have a regular compost pile about 15' away), window screen picked up at a garage sale, old telephone wire attached to a spring, an 18" composting thermometer ($30), compost crank aerator ($55) and a heavy metal cover from an outside fire pit that I had that sits on a couple of 2x2's for air and ventilation. The cover is a perfect fit extending an inch or so beyond the barrel. Very important to keep it covered to keep rain out. Contents should be damp, never wet.
cold weather storage
cold weather storage
Covered outside 55 gal barrel
Covered outside 55 gal barrel
Screen covered
Screen covered
Contents June 1, before aerating
Contents June 1, before aerating


ChuckDynasty
Member
# Posted: 6 Jun 2016 00:36 - Edited by: ChuckDynasty
Reply 


after being thoroughly aerated a depression is made in the center with the crank aerator and the new bucket dumped in

covered with 6 or so inches of new shredded leaf material. I shredded last falls leaves and will last me to this fall. Inside I use sawdust outside I use leaves for the carbon ingredients.

The hand crank is shown as well as the shredded leave pile. Takes about 15 minutes start to finish once every three weeks. I don't share this crank with my regular compost pile.

No odor at all. Several weeks ago I noticed an ammonia smell when I was aerating...this will happen if there is not enough carbon (leaves and sawdust), if its too wet, or not enough oxygen. It wasn't wet just damp so I added more leaves and aerated it well and covered with more leaves. When I added the latest bucket it was a nice earthy smell, no ammonia when I aerated.

The temperature has not exceeded 100 degrees...I was hoping for 120-130 degrees. The barrel sits in a wooded shaded area...next I'll cover the barrel in black plastic and move it to a sunny location to see if it'll heat up more. It's breaking down but not getting as hot as I'd like. If that doesn't happen that means not enough nitrogen, I believe.
after being thoroughly aerated
after being thoroughly aerated
New addition
New addition
Newly covered with leaves
Newly covered with leaves
The hand crank
The hand crank


Gary O
Member
# Posted: 6 Jun 2016 09:13
Reply 


Well now.
THIS
is above and beyond.
THIS
is the sh...., well, you know what.
The coup de grace of the end result.

Chuck, sir, I'm going to unashamedly take what you've presented here and run with it. Not today, prolly not tomorrow. Too much to do before another winter. Today, for me, the compost crib will have to suffice, of which the no burning season is now in effect, so I introduced our first offering yesterday.
But, in the very near future, it'll happen, along with solar stuff (soon after that technology settles down a bit and the prices become more reasonable).

The reason I say 'above and beyond' is (let's face it) our society has taken the unglamorous facets of living and, for the most part, hidden them. I mean how many of us (sans septic tanks) know where sewage goes? Oh sure, we see the treatment plants, and have read about how everything gets converted to biodegradable glop, but what about the really horrible stuff?
I do believe it's good...'xcuse me, necessary to git yer hands in it, see it, learn how to give it back to muther irth in a relative form of whence it came.
Same with garbage, another topic, but the same thing.
Some societies have no garbage, yet we (most of us) feel just fine about putting anything undesirable in a can because once a week a large noisy truck makes it all disappear.

I have too simple (lazy) of a mind to get into all this, but even us simple guys can take heed and comply with the nature...natural process of things.


Thank you, Chuck.
Putting this in a PDF titled POOP.

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