Catlow Shipek

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since Nov 08, 2013
Tucson and Phoenix, AZ
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Recent posts by Catlow Shipek

Wyatt - Have you considered a double chamber system? Modifications would need to happen for your cold climate. I have attached some schematics we have developed for Arizona. This is probably the least intensive for management once setup.
- Catlow
3 years ago
Wyatt - Yes, I have seen designs for using a wheeled bin as a direct receptical. Typically the toilet is in an elevated room. A vertical chute under the toilet goes to the wheeled garbage style bin underneath with easy access to switch out the bins as needed.

Here is one link to such a system. There are dozens of variations: http://www.milkwood.net/2011/04/18/compost-toilet-specifics-the-bins/
3 years ago
Not knowing what your environmental context is you may consider investigating a Watson wick. I prefer dry composting toilets since we live in an arid environment.

Also - I have noticed in my actively used chamber I get great colonies of mushrooms at times.
3 years ago
The biggest challenge in moving through the pilot process here in Arizona was meeting the concerns of public health officials. A number of meetings, presentations, and even a few system tweaks were needed to keep the process moving forward positively. We were very thankful for the insight of our technical advisory committee that helped to provide direction.

There is a group in Oregon called ReCode Oregon also moving through a number of sustainable code issues including composting toilets.

Also, David Omick (omick.net) a technical advisory member for us is also helping to revise national standards regarding composting toilets.

Overall the movement seems to be picking up momentum as the issue is popularized and the hidden away systems that have been used for years are finally feeling confident to be more forward about their use.
3 years ago
Hi Greg - I am not familiar with composting humanure in a small 5gal bucket and how to best manage it. I think the bigger issue is to ensure there is a meso to thermaphilic composting process that happens without the significant mass as a 55gal container or a larger humanure composting pile has.

With regards to lifting and moving a larger (55gal) batch system - we have experimented with some success on either sliding or putting the barrel on a coaster wheel base to switch it out of position and insert a new barrel.

- Catlow
3 years ago
Hi Greg - I like your line of thought. However, coming from a watershed health perspective and having worked with regulators I do not recommend taking your composted humanure off of your own property. Other potential issues you will face with such a system is 1) amassing a substantial number of buckets, 2) maintaining an aerobic composting process in a closed bucket, and 3) over-saturation of the sawdust bucket quickly by the urine and then being gassed out by the resulting ammonia.

If you do not have space for composting in a larger "batch" system I would recommend looking at a commercial-based composting toilet system that can evaporate the urine and speed up the composting process.
3 years ago
Hi Jen - These should probably be taken on a case by case basis. The interesting thing about composting toilets and using humanure is it typically contains the risk to only those living and eating the produce from the site. And, as mentioned before the humanure composting process + a healthy soil is extremely robust in handling most issues. However, precautions should be taken especially when there is the potential to put others at risk. Again, most research out there is with regards to residual medications from composting farm animal wastes and not specific to humans. Time for more humanure research!
3 years ago
Dog poo composts very nicely. I have seen several humanure style composting piles specifically for dog poo heat up, compost, and turn into a rich resource. Following the similar aging, heating guides to humanure the composting process is robust in taking care of potential pathogens. Plus it keeps those plastic bag methane bombs out of the landfills.

I have not seen anything definitive regarding composting cat feces. There are more direct pathogen risks to humans. Time for some good 'ol hands on research...
3 years ago
Thanks everyone! We look forward to sharing with you all this week. Best! - Catlow
3 years ago
Thanks Jen for posting!

Come learn how to turn a hostile urban landscape into endless opportunities for planting stormwater to achieve myriad benefits. The course will focus around smaller sub-watersheds in a lower income area experiencing severe flooding and heat island effects. You will learn how to assess and design potential solutions to turn this around!
4 years ago