Composting humanure from a restaurant

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Composting humanure from a restaurant
Author: Sue
Saturday, June 15, 2002 - 8:41 pm
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A local business man has a problem, he bought the "Black Horse Inn" a long
dead establishment and then maybe found out what may have been a part of
it's demise... the expense of having all the liquid was from the
establishment trucked away. The land is lower than the flood plane of the
Mississippi River and there is no way a septic system can be installed,
apparently the former owner paid to have it hauled away and spread on a
farmer's filed... to my way of thinking not a great thing for the
environment with the risk of polluting. Anyway the new owner has contacted
us about the liquid being pumped into our compost pile. My fear is the
risk of run off ending in the our ponds, the creek and eventually the
river. Also we have well water, if this somehow gets into our ground water
it would obviously not be a good thing.

I feel the main problem is putting the human waste into water with such a
system, if it was only gray water it would be very useful on our compost
pile as it can get a little too dry and we need to add water. So I feel
that they should invest is some type of composting toilets and we could
accept the resultant composted or partially composted materials, added to
our compost pile in this manner I don't see the risk for polluting that
adding basically raw sewerage in water would pose... Any thoughts, comments
or suggestions?

Author: joe jenkins
Sunday, June 16, 2002 - 11:26 am
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Raw sewerage added to a composting system would kill it (too wet). The best approach is source separation - separation of humanure and food scraps from the water at the source (before it goes into the water) so that the establishment is only producing gray water.

By the way, such source separated gray water has a similar water quality to the water discharged from waste water treatment plants after treatment, but with less nitrogen. So by separating the solids and urine out of the waste water stream, the resultant waste water is already cleaner than it would be after official "treatment."

A compost toilet system plus an outdoor (or indoor) compost system for food materials would do the trick, leaving a graywater effluent that could be used for underground outdoor irrigation of a tree lot, flower garden, or something like that.

Alternatively, the non-source separated sewage could possibly be added to a large container of sawdust and/or other carbon material(s), in a vessel like a garbage dumpster, and have air pumped through it to create a thermophilic compost system. This would require some planning, money, and trial and error.

Author: Sue
Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 10:07 am
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I don't think it would make our compost pile too wet to add the gray water that they produce. Our composting pile is over 100 ft long, from 20 to 40 feet wide and from 10 to 15 feet high. We need more moisture and that is why I think the gray water would be very useful for us.

What would be the best onsite composting toilet system for the restaurant... I don't think the bucket system would be appropriate, any suggestions for a large scale system that doesn't rely on each user to cover their bodily wastes?

We will be collecting the food waste from this restaurant, it will be composted along with the other 500+ tons of food waste we get each year. Once we get our cooking method off the ground we will be feeding a lot of the food waste to pigs. Before feeding it to animals it must be boiled for 30 minutes... which brings up another topic which someone may know about: generating live steam with a wood burning furnace??

Sue

Author: Andrew Dixon
Thursday, May 06, 2004 - 7:34 am
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Well Howdy there,
Andrew from New Zealand here - proprietor of The Mussel Inn - a cafe bar with brewery.
We are now fully doing the compost toilet thing and so far it has been 100% succesful. I havn't quite delt to the gray water issue as yet (still going to the existing septic system) but I'm working on it. If you want to see what we're doing check out www.musselinn.co.nz and go to 'Kakapo composting toilets'.

Author: admin
Thursday, May 06, 2004 - 8:16 pm
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Keep up the good work!

Joe Jenkins

Author: TCLynx
Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 11:41 am
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They do make centralized comercial composting toilet systems. Kinda pricy and most of em would only handle perhaps 2-3 toilets. They are meant for homes not businesses I think. They would require management. This is one option but I kinda like the idea of the sawdust dumpster. Perhaps there is a way to plumb low flow toilets that are usually used with composting toilet systems to it. Then it could be hauled to a place for further composting (would likely require two such dumpsters.)
Good luck

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