Pre-wet the biological sponge?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Pre-wet the biological sponge?
Author: Maddy
Monday, July 22, 2002 - 11:25 am
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Joe, I finally got my compost bins built, and started using my bucket toilet this weekend...my husband was pleasantly surprised at the resulting lack of smell, but I will be faced soon with the need to empty my first bucket!
Before I do that, I need to know if I should pre-wet the "biological sponge" - 18 inches of mixed leaves, alfalfa hay, and fine wood shavings/chicken poop.
It is all bone dry...would it be better if I dampened it all for several days, to get it working like compost, rather than dump into a dry pile? We get no rain in the summer at all...

I tried to find a reference to the long thermometers...I know I read about them here somewhere...can you tell me where to get them? I need 2, right?
2 different lenths?
Thanks for your contribution to the world!

Author: joe
Monday, July 22, 2002 - 11:49 pm
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Do not pre-wet the biological sponge. You should be collecting your urine in your toilet and that will be enough moisture, combined with the bucket wash water, to activate your compost.

You only need one 20" compost thermometer available from Reotemp, 800-648-7737 (reotemp.com).

Author: Maddy
Thursday, July 25, 2002 - 10:27 pm
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well, we are using the bucket for everything, so it is plenty wet.
I wanted to dump the bucket, so didn't wait for an answer, went out and sprayed the dry starter material with some water....not a huge amount, maybe 15-20 gallons spread over the 5 by 5 bin. I dumped and covered. Today, I uncovered the middle to dump again (iI am also putting some kitchen waste into the bucket)and it was HOT! Didn't touch, but could feel the heat in the middle of the pile. COOL! it's working!
thanks Joe!
I feel ready now for anything!
We have a stream, chickens, ducks, fuel, and a big food cache, but "how to dispose of waste" was beyond me until your book. Can you tell I want to be ready for any kind of system breakdowns should we have more terrorist attacks?
That is how/why I found you on the internet...

Author: Anonymous
Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 6:09 pm
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Don't worry about terrorists,that is,unless you
are the head of a multi-national Corporation or
anybody else who is destroying the third world..
you will notice that the so called terrorists went
after the "World Trade Center"do you think that
was a clue for the clueless americans?.americans
are the most Propagandized people on the face of
the earth,even their schools are instruments of
social conditioning,so it is no accident that they
believe everything they are told by "experts".We
must warn the americans of their own Fascism..

Author: Joe Jenkins
Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 9:02 pm
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That's pretty accurate.

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