Urban humanurers

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Urban humanurers
Author: Test2 (Test2)
Monday, January 10, 2011 - 11:32 pm
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I strongly suspect that planting a tree on top of a such a heap is not realy good for the tree -as the compost continues to decay and shrink, the tree will begin to move and shift.

As far as the pit idea:

PLEASE DONT DO IT. A terrible idea.

When it rains the water will drench your pit. This will turn your aerobic system to anaerobic, cooling it down and turning it into a stinking polluting mess.

The water will cause the pile to overflow and thus pollute the surrounding area.

The polluting mess may now also come in contact with soil causing potential ground water contamination.

As if thats not enough consider:

The wire mesh now being in contact with soil will rust out very fast - very likely in less than 2 years.

Determined rats have ben known to get thru wire mesh.

Buried pile will be harder to monitor, harder to empty.

PLEASE DON'T DO IT.

Author: Mighk (Mighk)
Saturday, January 08, 2011 - 7:41 pm
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I live in the city, and my roomates and i would like to use a simple bucket toilet to collect our manure, but instead of composting it in a three bin compost, why not dig a hole in our backyard and let the humanure compost underground? When the hole fills, we plan to plant a fruit tree on top. Would composting the humanure below ground not work just as well?

Having read the Humanure Handbook, I can think of a couple of concerns here. One is leaching of manure into the ground water, and the other being rodents and flies. However, I think that if we add large layers of an organic sponge such as straw, this will help to prevent leaching just as it does in an above ground compost, while also containing the smell.

My main concern would be rodents looking for a warm place or food source in the winter. Does anyone know of any good designs to prevent rodents from infiltrating a pit system? Could i not just bury wire mesh around the outside of the hole and keep a lid on top of the hole?

Thanks!

Author: Larry Warnberg (Larry_warnberg)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 11:58 pm
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Completing the nutrient cycle in the City can be done. Check out this inspiring video about a Portland woman who uses Permaculture design principles on a typical urban lot. Toward the end she shows off her humanure toilet and compost bin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YYZTw_xBBs

Author: Julian Gregory (Julianeve)
Monday, October 27, 2008 - 8:00 pm
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I've been composting kitchen scraps and yard waste for years (about to start mammal excrement). This summer a vole found my compost piles, and has been digging tunnels up from the bottom. My compost has broken down to soil-like material at an unprecedented rate! The vole aerates my piles, I don't have to turn them. It's incredible. I personally don't mind if I have less end product if the vole is eating part of my compost. So far it's been a symbiotic relationship.

Author: George Oliver
Sunday, July 07, 2002 - 2:17 am
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Hi,

I finished putting my composting toilet system together today. and I found this forum today too!

Like many others I want to say THANKS for the Humanure handbook. Thank you! Thank you! for articulating a simple concept. And to think I had been bumming about flushing it down for so long and hadn't done anything about it.

Also, I'm guessing I'm not the only person who lives in the city who uses a composting toilet. I have a 3 bin palletized compost bin in our yard (we rent a house). I was (am) concerned about rodents but I figured that no amount of mesh/electric fence/landmines would deter the critters if the actual compost was attractive. So I'm focusing on keeping the compost unattractive -- covered with clean material. Is this wise?

very best, GO (Seattle)

Author: joe
Monday, July 08, 2002 - 9:42 am
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Screen mesh will work if you have rodent problems. They can enter from the bottom via tunnels, etc. so the cover material may be irrelevant.

Author: TCLynx
Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 11:34 am
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You want to keep it well covered with cover material for the smell factor and proper composting. The cover material may be attractive to critters as well for nesting materail. Perhaps if the critters are a problem, next time a bin is empty, put wire mest under the bottom too.

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