Allergic to aged sawdust...our altern...

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Allergic to aged sawdust...our alternative
Author: Sunshine_Amy
Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 1:40 pm
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Hi All,

My husband was extremely allergic to the aged sawdust we were using. It seems to harbor a level of fungus or other spores that he can not tolerate.

We have been using fresh sawdust instead. This has been fine for his allergies, and a workable alternative for us. (It's fresh smelling and pleasant to use, and also easy to obtain in our area.) The one downside of course, is that the pile isn't heating up. So we're planning on adding extra compost bins, with the anticipation of needing to age each pile for a few extra years. Or, we may end up using the end product exclusively in the flower garden and on trees, after a year or two of aging.

We're still open to suggestions... Can anyone think of a cover material that would allow the pile to heat up, that doesn't need to be aged in a damp environment before hand?

In any case, our system is workable and pleasant in practice. Our veggie garden's just going to have to wait a few extra years to benefit...

Amy

Author: Joe Jenkins
Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 11:14 am
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Fresh sawdust will allow a compost pile to heat up if its from ground up trees (from a sawmill) and not from sawn kiln-dried boards. I have used fresh sawdust many times, with good results.

Author: Isla
Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 11:42 pm
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After using a Sun-Mar for a year, I discovered your inspiring book. It just makes sense. I love the simplicity of the idea and quickly made a lift-off model to use in its place for my two kids and me. It was incentive to tidy up my rather casual large compost heap, something I've had on my list for years. It also eliminated the need for our worm bin. Racoons are a nuisance here though, so my fingers are crossed.

My question is what to do with the huge quantities of biomass generated from a large vegie and ornamental garden. If I add it all to the bin it'll fill up in no time. Kitchen scraps, bucket contents and hay alone could easily fill it in a year. Do you incorporate the bigger, fluffier stuff into your bin or have a separate pile for it?

Author: Joe Jenkins
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 10:34 am
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We use a three bin system and throw the larger quantities of bio mass into the middle bin where it is stored until we need it for cover material. It will actually begin to break down in the middle bin and lose some of its bulk. You can see our bin under construction at http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/hilton.html

Author: Anonymous
Monday, January 02, 2006 - 1:35 pm
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If you are having to buy hay, using your extra fluffier stuff as cover will save on the amount of hay you use.

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