OK, I'd like to build a composting toilet system. My idea is to use a white bucket under a toilet seat that comes with a sealable lid. Everybody uses the facility as they normally would, and when the bucket is full, I snap on the lid and let it sit out of the way for a year or two. Initially I wanted to separate the urine and feces to avoid filling the bucket so fast, and to use the urine sooner, but after reading multiple posts describing the difficulty therein I'd like to just skip that. I do not have room for a two hole system, and my wife doesn't want the added hassle. Any thoughts are appreciated.
What you describe isn't composting, it's what I would call mouldering. The contents in the bucket will just sit and not do very much because of the lack of aeration and the lack of heat build up. I let my 20L buckets sit sometimes for several months before I empty them into the compost bin and it's a completely different process going on in the bucket than the bin.
I've known people who empty their 20L buckets into a larger, sealed, unaerated container, that is also not a compost system. I think those systems either use urine separation or heat to remove fluids. I think it breaks down into something after a year, but it's not the safe compost that can be used anywhere that you get from a Humanure system (maybe tree planting?). What were you wanting to do with the bucket contents after the year or two?
Maybe you could design a hybrid? I've seen bucket systems online that are in RVs and have an aeration pipe in them. Maybe holes drilled in around underneath the top edge as well? A handful of tiger worms and some kitchen scraps before putting the lid on? Leaving the bins somewhere where they will heat up in the summer. All things designed to get as close to composting as possible.
I'd also go for a cover material that had loft eg dried leaves, rather than sawdust which compacts. You will fill the bin faster that way though.
It's a huge number of buckets after a year (52?). Is there a reason you want to do this rather than empty into a bin? The other option is to use a wheelie bin as the first catchment, which can be set up to be a composter (see Milkwood's system for a great description). But you need height to do that.
Thanks for the thoughts. We are currently in an RV, and its just the two of us. The idea is to use the compost to amend the garden or to plant trees into. We are in Texas, so keeping the buckets won't be difficult for at least eight months of the year. I guess I need to do some more research before starting this process.
Sounds like a lot of buckets. My wife and I typically collect at least two 5 gallon buckets worth of waste per week. That would add up pretty quickly over a couple years.
"There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible." - Samuel Johnson
The normal route would be to compost as you produce 1 to however many buckets you are comfortable having around, unless there is some reason you can store buckets but not have a compost pile? No odour to a properly maintained compost pile except while opening and dumping buckets, generally about 15 minutes of time.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which.
With out cover material which can be leaves or any (carbon) plus (air) plus (separation) of liquid and solid you will have stench very fast so bad that you won't open the lid with out being knocked down.
what you described you won't use but once.
try it you will see what I mean.
separation is not mandatory but needs a lot of carbon to compensate,and is really not that hard .
try one out side for awhile you will learn quick and not turn your wife against it.
always use carbon,keep it open to breath empty regular some place that drains worms can get to and is covered,not sealed from air circulation.
we don't have a problem with lack of water we have a problem with mismanagement
beavers the original permies farmers
If there is no one around to smell you ,do you really stink!
Michael Kalbow wrote:Thanks for the thoughts. We are currently in an RV, and its just the two of us. The idea is to use the compost to amend the garden or to plant trees into. We are in Texas, so keeping the buckets won't be difficult for at least eight months of the year. I guess I need to do some more research before starting this process.
Can you say why you don't want to use a bin compost?
If it's an issue of not wanting to put a permanent bin on the land you are on, or you have storage for buckets elsewhere, then a wheelie bin system might work. I've used this, you can set it up with proper aeration so that it composts. And if needs be you can move it, or empty it on another site that has a bin if that opportunity arises. In terms of work to benefit ratio I think it's way better than having so many buckets (and probably cheaper too). You'll end up with a better composted product at the end too.
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