Composting bin size????

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Composting bin size????
Author: Mama to Many
Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 7:43 pm
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Hi All,
We are getting ready to build our roundhouse this spring, complete with a few humanure toilets, and a composting bin system. Any rough ideas on how big we would need to make each composting bin to last for a year? Is there a rough square footage/person/year? We would like to be able to use one bin for a year, let that one sit while filling the next one with the next year's deposits etc... We will have 8 people using it full time, and then visitors/guests. Thanks for any info/ideas/input.
Happy composting,
Lynn

Author: Larry
Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 12:29 am
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Our sawdust/bucket toilet generates one cubic yard of humanure compost per person per year. Aging for one year without adding fresh material to the pile reduces the volume by almost half.

Author: Anonymous
Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 5:52 pm
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8 cubic yards would mean a pile at least 6 ft per side that would reach 6 ft tall. That seems pretty big for one bin. Perhaps you might concider a two bin per year system which would allow you to harvest your compost twice a year. If you time it right you would be able to use compost from one finished bin in the spring around the plants and then the other bin for fall mulching. It would actually only require 3 bins for compost and one for cover material so long as timming works out right and you are satisfied that it cooked well enough. You could perhaps start filling bin one in say April and use it for six months till October and put it to rest to start bin 2, use it till the next April and start bin 3 and so on. Once Bin 3 is full in October, bin 1 will have rested for a year and should be ready for use. This would allow you to use slightly smaller bins, (not much smaller but a 5' by 5' by 5' bin would allow for the guests and kitchen scraps as well as being easier to reach accross to manage the cover material.)

Author: admin
Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 12:27 am
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Or use a 4 bin system (one for cover material), filling each over a 6 month period. By the time the third one is full, the first could be emptied and you could start over. Each bin would be 5x5. Rather than harvest every six months, you may find it better to allow for the extra curing time.

Author: Lynn, Mama to many
Monday, March 06, 2006 - 5:36 pm
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Thanks for the input. I think I will go with a 3 or 4 bin 5x5 to start with and see where we are in a year. If needed I could always add another bin or two to the system next summer. I just want to make sure that I have enough space to at least get through the winter with.

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