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What to do with urine additional questions  RSS feed

 
Karen Crane
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Yes, I read about using urine for fertilizer, however, I still wonder...
doesn't it smell? Read that you dilute it 6-1 and still wonder about the smell.
Can you use newspaper instead of sawdust for the bucket?
What else could you use. People in high desert don't have trees for sawdust.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Karen - where in the "high desert" are you? Are there no arborists, lumber yards or other people who might be creating woodchips, like crafters, near you? you would have to research this a bit and make some kind of "deal" with a local outfit.

Note a group I work with, Watershed Management Group (Tucson) is pioneering affordable, legal composting toilets in the Tucson area. You can see a model with a urine diverter here.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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If all else fails, you can buy sawdust pellets--either pine pellets sold as horse or rabbit bedding, or hardwood pellets sold as stove fuel. They take up MUCH less space as pellets, but expand when wet. One bag will last quite a while for a bucket toilet used just for urine.
 
Su Ba
pollinator
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Do you perchance burn wood? Charcoal works great in the pee bucket. The finer you break up the charcoal, the better. The urine soaked charcoal can go rights tithe garden or compost.

If you don't have wood, just about any dry organic material can be made into biochar style charcoal in a homemade TLUD burner. Twigs, dried brush, leaves, etc.
 
ananth nagarajan
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I think charcoal would be a great option but also diluting it with grey water from the shower/large particle free kitchen sink water is also a great option as explained by Carol Steinfield.

for further reference The Composting Toilet System by Carol Steinfield has some other simple options.
 
David Williams
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I know this isn't what your asking but it might be an answer for another reader ,
Using a small electric source like a solar cell , Urine is easily split into hydrogen gas and oxygen , you can use it in Oxy welding/ cutting , or cooking
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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Actually in my experience, if you dilute urine well and put it on the soil (with living plants and, ideally, mulch) it doesn't actually smell. The soil deals with it quickly.
 
Dawn Hoff
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Location: Andalucía, Spain
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If you just cover it with a bit if soil it doesn't smell at all.

Or kids pee on our trees, in the holes we dig be fore we plant trees - all over the place. The biggest problem with the smell of urine is if it is in large concentrations or if it is mixed with poo. The bacteria from the poo and the urine breaks the urine down to ammonia and makes it smell.
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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food preservation greening the desert solar trees
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Right. Undiluted pee once in a while on soil won't smell, but if you pee directly at the same spot frequently the area will smell. Diluted pee on soil, or in a new spot each time, doesn't smell at all. Soil with plenty of humus or carbonaceous material or mulch will let it smell even less than not at all.
 
Ruby Gray
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Location: Taswegia
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Don't need to mix it with anything. Store it in sealed recycled plastic containers if not using it straight away. How you get it into the containers is your business.

When you do use it, dilute it 1:10 or even weaker, depending on how dehydrated you are, and how dry the soil is. Pour on the soil around plants and watch the miraculous response! Even on my hungry nasty soil. Sickly pale green purchased seedlings bounce away in green glory after a couple of days. A lilac tree that had sulked for 15 years, never getting more than a foot high, has become a gorgeous tall dark green bush covered in flowers in 3 years after a few doses per year. Fruit trees that never fruited, are loaded with pears for the first time in 18 years after being treated generously last year. I call it The Wonder of Gazunder Juice (as in the receptacle that Gazunder the bed.)

In summer, stale urine in plastic milk bottles with 3/8" holes drilled in the sides above the level, suspended in the sun & breeze away from people traffic, is an effective fly trap. Add a little meat scraps for extra appeal, and a bit of soap added seems to increase the volatility of the aromas wafting through the vents, and decreases surface tension so they drown faster. Once they land on the golden surface, they're going nowhere. What a valuable natural resource that is being wasted by billions!
 
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