My Humanure Composting Bins

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: My Humanure Composting Bins
Author: shion mitsui (Shinjojohnson)
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 2:59 pm
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Thanks joe for replying again. I guess i can give you just a bit of info on nicaragua weather. It is really hot down there. There are two season. Rainy for 6 months and dry for 6 months. I've actually used many different cover materials for the crap. Some villages it's hard to get sawdust, so we've used the rice hulls (outer part of rice after they've been used) or just leaves that are minced up. Usually the cover materials for the bins have been leaves and straw, and random organic materials that are on the ground. If the compost can be ready within a year, it would be great news because farmers would be able to use their compost more sooner and the villages would be able to get into organic farming more quicker. This is important because many of the fertilizers run off and run into the well water, as well as the letrines that they have fill up with water during the rainy season which sometimes overflows and is also a center of disease spreading. Yes, these compost toilets have done alot more for these villages than anything else can. Thanks for the info and for writing this book.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 12:04 pm
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The composting process may be occurring more quickly in the tropical environment of Nicaragua. However, plants can sprout from the outer edges of the compost where there may not be much compost action occurring. In other words, just because trees are sprouting doesn't mean the compost is finished enough to use for gardening or planting purposes. Unfinished compost can actually harm plants. However, if trees *are* sprouting and they're food bearing, by all means pull them out and plant them elsewhere.

In Nicaragua, you may not have to wait a full year for the compost to age. If the compost pile is sprouting plant growth from throughout the pile (not just the outer edges), then it may be done composting. Try a sample from closer to the center of the pile and see how plants take to it.

Author: shion mitsui (Shinjojohnson)
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 4:53 am
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hey joe, thanks for replying. I hope to return to nicaragua soon so that i would be able to keep the compost projects going. So, if these tree's and plants that are growing out of these unfinished compost fine, is it possible to use unfinished compost as nutrients for plants such as coconut plants or other tree's? Wouldn't most of the diseases be taken care of after a year of letting the compost sit? Is the two year time frame to keep the compost sitting mainly for use with plants like carrots, potatos and other plants that grow fruit on the ground? Just wondering

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Sunday, August 13, 2006 - 7:19 pm
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Replanting the trees to a new location would be a good idea. I don't think you have to worry about transmission of disease organisms if the person doing the transplanting minimizes handling of the unfinished compost and washes up thoroughly afterward.

Author: shion mitsui (Shinjojohnson)
Sunday, August 13, 2006 - 4:35 am
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hello. I'm new to this. My name is shion and i've started some composting toilets in rural villages in nicaragua.
I have been back in the states for a few months now but have kept in contact with a volunteer girl that has stayed there and has been giving information on how the composting project is going. I have heard that some of the bins have mango tree's growing out of them. They are growing out of bins that have had crap in it for less than a few months. I was wondering if these tree's are fine or if any plant that grows out of the bins are fine to replant somewhere else and to use as a source of food. Can diseases be transmitted to the plant? Just wondering.

Author: Herb_Wis
Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 12:40 pm
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When I got the Humanure Handbook over a year ago, I liked the idea, but wanted something more permanent than bins made out of boards.

First I considered cement blocks, but what I finally settled upon and built used the 3-bin design and size given in the Book, but utilized different materials available at any garden center.

I got a bunch of ordinary steel fence posts for a couple bucks each and some heavy duty plastic snow/construction fencing (grid with small holes). I used enough posts to keep the fence from bulging out and tied the fence to the posts with plastic twine.

After a year's useage I have barely begun to fill the right bin. The middle bin is full of various rakings of leaves, garden waste, etc. for covering material. And while you might think bins made out of steel fence posts and (orange) plastic fence is not very aesthetic, in fact it is screened so well by balsams and arborvitaes that you can't see it from more than a few feet away. It nestles into the woods very nicely and is perfumed by the balsam and cedar fragrance.

Best of all, the materials I used to build the bins should be permanent, and that's what I wanted. Not something I have to rebuild in ten or fifteen years.

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