We are building a separating dry toilet, and while I'm so excited about building it and using it, I haven't decided on the compost method yet (the pee part is obviously super easy). The nearest town to our land has an industrial lumber mill, so we anticipate one way or another being able to get abundant sawdust for our purposes. Because it is so cold for so long in zone 3, I'm not sure what that will mean for the pathogen processing time. I was estimating 1-2 years, depending on the time of year the "contribution" is created. I have seen (via the interwebs) the sealed container method produce viable, pathogen free soil in relatively short times in hot places, and I have seen others using aerobic composting in hay, with constantly monitored temperature and tending with a pitchfork, etc. in colder climates. Call me lazy, but what I'd like to do is put the well-mixed bucket in a storage area (unheated-uninsulated) for a year or so, and then rotate it out of storage and empty it when it's "done", into a regular compost pile. Is that totally unrealistic and naive? Am I going to be sitting on (no pun intended) a billion buckets in a couple of years and regret even trying? Should I just go with the hay (or more likely leaves in my area) and constant tending and skip the storage phase? If the container method is recommended, is there anything I should be adding before I close it up for the storage phase?
I've seen videos about the container method in Texas, but I'm certain there's no comparison to the temperature extremes here. So what I'm really looking for here is advice for cold climate humanure composting, because most of the advice seems to be for places where things break down fairly quickly as they aren't frozen for half the year. I see so many videos where they're talking about "winter" and it looks like fall here. We'll get -40C, and be sitting at -25C for extended periods, as well as seeing 35C in summer, around 25C for extended periods, daytime temps. Is anyone in Northern Ontario (or other zone 3) having success with the outcome of their dry toilet, with urine separation?
Thinking I should just knuckle down and buy the humanure handbook too
It sounds like you only have 3months where plants and microbes can really do there stuff.
So I would add at least 2lbs composting worms to the system once the plants leaf out.
Add some kefir inoculatant once the plants leave out too so as to have the good bacteria/microbe outcompete the bad (e-coli) bacteria.
I few needs of the system and how to improve it
Increase Carbon - Sawdust
Increase Temp - Earth Sheltered/Basement/Heater
Increase Oxygen - Solar Ventilation, Stirring the mush,
Increase Decomposition - add worms, bacteria
Reduce Water - Increase Airflow and water input in the system
Iterations are fine, we don't have to be perfect
You showed up just in time for the waffles! And this tiny ad:
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while