I really want to set up a composting bucket toilet system but I am seeing some pushback about having a compost pile with humanure on our land. I was watching Rob Greenfields house tour and he says that he just shuts his humanure up in a barrel and leaves it to age for a year, then spreads it out on the fruittrees. Can this work? I have seen a similar thing in India where public toilets have dual chambers. One is used for a year then covered and the other is used. At the end of the year the aged humanure is emptied to be used as fertilizer and the filled chamber is sealed. Would this cause any issues with anaerobic bacteria? I could even leave it closed up for two or three years, but this seems the simplest, cleanest way to do things if it actually works. Does anyone know of any issues?
I have seen the dual chamber toilet work quite well, I helped empty the year old pile one time and it had no offensive odor and looked like nice compost. Those folks spread it out in the woodlot out of an abundance of caution.
The one major difference between that system and what you are describing is that the pile wasn't sealed up in a barrel for a year, it was sitting in a pile in a concrete chamber that had vents near the top between the poo chamber and the wooden bathroom structure on top. Not sure what difference the totally anaerobic situation would make but you could innoculate with beneficial bacteria that can work anaerobically, like bokashi, before sealing
My experience is very small scale - I'm not living full-time yet on my land, and it's just me, for the most part. I store inside in 5 gallon buckets with a soft flexible seal lid, and then transfer to a trash barrel with a tight lid. Not sure I'd call it anaerobic. It doesn't slime, give off methane or produce liquid leachate. The tight lid is mostly to prevent spills if knocked over, and to keep nosey neighbors ignorant. It grows normal fungi inside the barrel.
The material starts out pretty dry, most urine diverted to another bucket, and enough sawdust to eliminate any odor.
I've emptied the barrel several times. First time into a compost pile, but several more times directly into garden beds or start holes for trees.
At the end of a year, it's pretty much just cooked compost.
A local friend placed his barrel inside a transparent box, which acts as a solaroven of sorts, and cooks it down faster.
Greetings from Brambly Ridge
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