composting toilet? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 07-21-2010, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I was reading some stuff online about "humanure" and composting toilets. I was wondering if anyone here has one, and if so, could you explain how you do it? I'd like to get some real-life perspective on how this works before I tell my fiancee I want one...hee hee
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#2 of 7 Old 07-27-2010, 02:03 AM
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We did a simple 5 gallon bucket where you would put sawdust in after you used it. When full, we put it through a series of compost tumblers and then in a large compost bin lined with strawbales. We planted reeds and willows around it to catch any drainage. After a year or so we used the finished compost for mulch around flowers and fruit trees. We never had any issue with odor.
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#3 of 7 Old 07-27-2010, 12:03 PM
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Get The Humanure Handbook, an outstanding read.

He talks a bit about composting toilets but he has convinced me the humanure composting way is better.

Honestly I don't have experience yet. I have decided to do it and even have 5 gallon buckets, but we might move in the next year. If we do, I'd rather not start the process (a huge compost pile with humanure in our yard might be problematic to sale ).

But that book is awesome. I was actually able to request it at my library. Read it before buying a commercial composting toilet - you might still decide to go that direction, but read it first to make an informed choice.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#4 of 7 Old 07-27-2010, 02:05 PM
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I agree it is a very good book! I have heard nothing but negative about manufactured composting toilets. We have been using the humanure bucket toilet system for the past year. It has worked really well for us, of course you need to do it all properly and build a compost pile that is away fro water sources, and that animals and kids can't get into. We have had no problems with smell at all, we monitor ours for temperature to make sure it stays at a high enough temperature. We are building a cob home that will be done in about 4 months, yahoo!! We planned on doing a humanure toilet system with a engineered greywater system BUT we went ahead and installed a septic. The main reason being the cost was less to do a type one septic and when you have a large family like ours it is ALOT of bucket hauling.. I think it is a very good option but if you have a large family I would say think about the time energy involved in the hauling. I am actually excited to have a flush toilet again! We will be collecting rainwater off our 1800 square foot metal roof so that will help supplement our water use.. We area also still doing a greywater system..

Mama to SDD (12), DD (8), DD (6), DD, (4), DS (3) and new little babe arriving Dec. We are in the process of building our cob home and homestead
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#5 of 7 Old 07-27-2010, 02:39 PM
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i use the same system as farmer mama, except that we are a community of about 70 people that all use the system. just buckets, sawdust, and compost heaps.
we don't have any flush toilets in the community.
i love our composting toilet. it is easy and much better for the environment
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#6 of 7 Old 08-04-2010, 01:13 AM
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I second the Humanure Handbook! It's such an awesome book!
I live on a teeny tiny mobile home lot in a small city w/neighbors VERY close, and a compost pile in my postage stamp sized backyard, and I tried out the 5 gallon bucket system after reading the book and it was great! I was worried about the heat of the summer making bad stinks and having complaining neighbors, but never had a problem. I want to take the toilet out of my house and just use buckets

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#7 of 7 Old 08-07-2010, 08:19 PM
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We tried a composting toilet - 2 different ones, in fact. Did not work well at all for our family of 5 in Louisiana and we were very disappointed. The moisture was never able to evaporate, even with the boys "visiting" the trees. If we were to go back to that type of system, we would just use the buckets and sawdust. It does not sound as nice as using a toilet but it would actually be a much cleaner system.

We will serve the Lord.
Married 19 yrs, DD 16, DS 10, DS 7, and two babies in heaven (1998) and (2010). Praying for peace and healing from our loss.
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