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letting poop sit for two years

 
Chris Kott
pollinator
Posts: 3769
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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I have been thinking about this a bit, and I think I don't like the part about sealing the buckets and letting them sit for two years. It shouldn't be necessary.

I think that any biological need required by detrivore bacteria or macrobiota can be optimised to speed the complete biological processing of said waste. I think this applies to anaerobic setups, even those designed to produce biogas, where a temperature range must be maintained as well as keeping out oxygen. In aerobic decomposition environments, likewise regulating temperature and feeding in extra oxygen can maximize bacterial action and speed processing.

If you want to go a different route, how about buckets that serve a dual function in that the full ones might act as closed pyrolysis chambers in conjunction with a RMH? Just feed the fumes from the smouldering bucket contents back into the fire, and you will be left with humanure biochar. The only contaminant will be persistent medicine and other chemical residues.

Are there any issues I have omitted? Do any of these approaches sound like Wheaton permaculture?

-CK
 
Chris Kott
pollinator
Posts: 3769
Location: Toronto, Ontario
535
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As an addendum, I also think that it puts you two years behind any bioremediation that could be started on breaking down or sequestering whatever nasty toxic gick that passes into our systems, be they the cause of pesticides and insecticides, preservatives, medications for us or our meat, whatever, if, for some reason, a contained, anaerobic pyrolysis is a bad idea, which would get it done in bucket batches as they appear and do it in one burn, leaving us with biochar.

I think what is necessary whatever system we're discussing is a way to test everything for pathogens and the toxic gick stuff: The poop in a finished bucket; the ground around the mobile structure; the ground around stationary dry and wet outhouses; the poop after a couple of years in a sealed bucket; buckets after being processed for biogas; the ultimate compost product of a multiple detrivore system starting with BDSF; the produce, including all parts of all plants grown out of the fertilizer, everything. Just because we can't identify every possible thing doesn't mean we can't take the most recognizable examples we know we want to eliminate from the nutrient cycle and use them as markers to gauge relative toxicity and its progress, to test our hypotheses about what we think is going on, to ensure we get to where we want to be.

You could still have systems that are added to in batches that cycle those batches for two years before they come back into contact with the food system, but I think a properly designed closed-vessel biological approach would cycle in months, and a poop kiln would do it in hours or less. leaving the remainder of the two-year exile from human touch to be used in plant growth for repeated chop and drop paddocks where animal access could be controlled.

Also, the only good things about plastic buckets and barrels are the cost, durability (except in sunlight and when you're actually using them), and their sealability, which is moot if they fracture in freeze/thaw cycles or with accidental impacts.

Sump transfer hardware, hoses, threaded ports, and valves, all properly durable metal, can eliminate human contact and accidental bucket fracture and subsequent catastrophic full bucket failure fallout (messy poo all over you).

Lastly, although, I'm obviously suggesting a pyrolysis kickstart followed by isolated systems that optimise conditions for nature to do it's work for us, I was also thinking that if a bucket were used for holding it, wouldn't a metal that is a natural anti-microbial be useful? Brass was popular for a long time for hand grips and doorknobs for just this reason.

-CK
 
Rose Lee
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I agree. Two years is definitely NOT long enough for pure poop. For several summers I've used a bin outhouse in a remote area in AK and 1. its vile, 2. it doesn't seem to break down at all after a year. I think it has partly to do with winter freezing but it was only USDA zone 6 so it would be similar or worse in most areas of the U.S. This one is unsealed and open to bacteria, organisms, etc so it must take longer in a sealed bin...I should mail up some bacteria testing kits this year...

I still think Jenkins is onto something though. Lets not make this so complicated! That's what got us in the unsustainable situation we are in now. As far as the groundwater thing goes - in the SOIL program in haiti (composting toilets in Port-au-Prince = food for the people) they compost on a cement pad and anything that drains off (if anything drains off) is put back on the pile. I'm not a big fan of cement but I guess its better than collecting poo in countless plastic bins and waiting for it to be usable.

Speaking of which - in another area in Haiti they compost human excrement in a former sewage field. Wouldn't it be cool if we could just convert those big cement pools at the sewage treatment plants into big compost bins that don't drain into the groundwater? They already have the equipment to test things and pump stuff. (I think - the last time I visited a STP was in third grade or something).
 
If you were a tree, what sort of tree would you be? This tiny ad is a poop beast.
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