warning TMI !!
I live with my parents and I am trying to not use their resources and turn my bedroom into a studio apartment (so I annoy them less, but also to practice and prepare for if I have my own tiny home/live off grid, etc). I have the kitchen/food storage part down mostly but the waste situation needs work. In the past I peed into a medium sized glass jar and then poured that into juice jugs to be poured on my large outdoor, hot compost pile or watered down to pour on fruittrees. I would then put the jugs in the recycle bin for the city to pick up (not 100% sustainable). I used compostable napkins to wipe or a rags made from cut t shirts that I would throw with my towels in the wash (romans used to wash their clothes in pee.lol). Yes I'd re use the rags a few times...
Now my slightly improved set up is I pee into a 5 gallon bucket. I use a hot water bottle/enema to spray myself clean then use the rag to wipe (this gets more use out of the rag, less odor from the rag, utilizing clean water that would have been used to water down the pee for the garden and I feel cleaner) I like the bucket vs the jar because I don't have to worry about accuracy... but I miss being able to squat (since it is just pee I can cope. for going #2 I use my parent's regular toilet and I often stand on there to squat, I have tried humanure with saw dust in a 5 gallon bucket. I was too scared to add it to my compost because of the smell and my neighbors or family might smell it... so i kept it sealed in the bucket... after checking it nearly a year later it was moldy, the worst smell in my life.. and was not broken down... I decided to ditch the humanure idea until I have my own farm that I can just throw it in my hot compost pile ( I dream of that day... i hate flushing away my valuable "wastes", especially as I am investing in and improving my diet to organic, vegan, etc. ) Maybe I can set up a worm humanure composting system in the future where I currently live. but for now I want to focus on utilizing urine.
I don't like 5 gallon buckets because they are prone to cracking/short lifespan and that just isn't sustainable
I am on the hunt for a heavy duty bucket with a strong handle and some type of odor sealing top
Plastics hold on to odors, I would prefer another material. Porcelain coated metal.. hm what did they use in the old days? I would like to use hot water and may rinse with oxygenated bleach(safer.. garden safe?) I was trying to research something I could put into the bucket to get rid of the urine smell while it is full (I dump it every day but sometimes forget) It seemed when I peed into orange jugs the left over orange juice would combine with and mask the urine scent.. if I could add something to mask it or neutralize it that wouldn't harm or even be beneficial to my garden that would be great. Any ideas to improve my set up? Thanks!
Also I searched on ebay and they have vintage pee buckets with spatter guards (idk if that's what they're called), to mask sounds, my neighbors or family hearing me is a concern.. I was thinking of add a fountain feature to my room since it was recommend when I was researching feng shui, it would be relaxing and mask sounds.
Part 2: which I never touched on is how to use this waste in the garden... I need to research nitrogen loving plants, I think I need more loam/sand for better filtration, currently I have clay soil with a half a foot more or less or composted topsoil. I avoid dumping the bucket when people /neighbors are up, I try to do it in the early morning. I wish i could dump it at any time and not worry about smells.... I think I need some really fragrant plants!
Hi Sarah, have you read the humanure handbook? I will say that I can vouch for the majority of the user facts in the book with a bit over one years experience with sawdust toilets.
Forget the problem with the year old sealed bucket, that was not something you would normally experience with a sawdust toilet. If your buckets aren't lasting then they are either thin to begin with or old to begin with.
I had the same reservations about the compost pile so I started somewhere remote. When I had confirmed how odourless it actually was I started a more convenient pile in my 35 foot wide lot. I am not far from either of my neighbours yards but there is no smell if you are standing beside the pile when it is covered properly. There is some smell when dumping the buckets so a bit of discretion is needed for that but any clear 15 minute period every week will take care of that.
For my time and conscience the sawdust toilet is the best way to go but I recognize that it is not always the best for everyone. I applaud your initiative and think that your experimentation to find something that works for you is a great example for anyone.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which.
That's awesome commitment and thoughtfulness, I'm impressed.
I pee into a 20L (5gal) bucket that is half filled with sawdust. I cover the pee with more sawdust as I go. When it's 'full' (i.e. when the sawdust is approaching saturation, the bucket isn't actually full), I put a tight lid on and leave until I am ready to empty all the buckets (I have four). I empty into a humanure bin system. But, I think you could do this pee/sawdust system in your compost without the poo. You'd have to experiment to get the ratios right with other materials, there's probably a thread on this already. There is no smell in my toilet room. If I leave the buckets with lids on to sit, there is a smell when I open them, but no smell in the compost so long as there is plenty of cover material (smell usually comes down to insufficient cover material with humanure, or too much liquid).
The advantage of that over what you are doing? More compost for gardening, less smell. Possibly less work too, or the work distributed differently. Your system is less visible to others I think, which can be an advantage.
Plastic can hold onto smells. I scrub the empty buckets with straw and a bit of water and then rinse and leave in the sun and air until I need them. There's probably a way you can do that so they're camouflaged. If smell was a problem I'd leave the bucket to soak with water and vinegar in it.
I've also used a 20L closed container with water in it to pee into (via a tube). But I find that more smelly and less easy to empty, and I don't have enough places to empty that need that amount of urine.
The squatting issue I get. I prefer to pee outside, but am currently living somewhere where that's not usually possible. I'm on the lookout for a 10L (2.5gal) bucket that fits my clip on toilet seat, as there is more squat involved in that. Ultimately I need to design a squat stool for the toilet room.
Your experience with the closed bucket humanure is that it's not set up to compost (it's moldered instead, probably because there is no aeration, and possibly because you don't have enough carbon materials). Google wheely bin humanure, there are perfectly adequate ways of producing compost in a smaller, close container than the Joe Jenkins humanure bins. If you are in a suburban situation I think being careful of the neighbours etc is a good idea.
Besides all that, the easiest way to deal with pee is to pee into a container, dilute it immediately, and then pour it into the garden immediately. No smell. Urine smells strongly when it's left to sit around. This is more work of course, and it depends on how many times you pee in a day, how close you are to the garden, and whether you can do this discretely. If people ask, you could say you are emptying the bean soak water or such, to feed the garden.
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