Harvesting from sun-mar composting to...

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Harvesting from sun-mar composting toilets
Author: laura trent
Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 1:08 am
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I have been using a sun-mar composting toilet for more than a year with mostly good results. The problem I have seems like a design flaw. When I rotate the drum counter-clockwise to advance a load to the finishing drawer, I find the load contains a mixture of fresh and well aged material. As the load dessicates in the finishing drawer for a couple weeks before it is emptied the final material is mostly innocuous. When some of the material looks a bit raw I put some clean cover material over it. That works o.k.. But my issue is that I am making all this lovely stuff in my drum but what gets harvested from this regularly added to compost isn't always the most finished material. I try turning the drum clockwise to mix many times before dumping and get the same result. How is this supposed to work? After re-reading "Humanure" I see why a batch system would be more desireable. Any suggestions?

Author: Larry
Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 9:31 am
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Laura, try transferring the partially composted humanure from the drawer to a finishing pile outside. Follow directions in The Humaure Handbook to get a hot pile. Or just get a bucket collector, switching to the reliable batch system.

Author: Angela Sun-Mar
Friday, January 20, 2006 - 8:03 pm
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Hi Laura:

Angela from Sun-Mar here - that is actually part of the design. The drawer is meant as a finishing chamber to finish off the compost. You do leave it in there for at least 4 weeks before removal (or until your next empty, whatever you wish). When you first dump into the drawer, you will get a mix of finished and raw waste - 4 weeks is the amount of time it takes fresh waste to break down in the drawer environment. In this manner our system actually combines "batch" and "continuous" composting.

You only dump waste into the drawer when the drum is around 1/2 full, and I usually tell this by weight - you should never have to really "push" at all to get the drum around, if it is getting to that point its time to dump a batch into the drawer.

E-mail me at work at angela@sun-mar.com and I will be happy to e-mail you (or any other Sun-Mar users for that matter) an owner's manual or anything else you would like. We also have a toll-free number for all North Americans (including Alaska and HI) at 1-888-341-0782. Call or write us anytime with questions - I just popped in on this forum from home and probably won't have a chance to check back too often from work.

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