Will 55 gal two bin system compost?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Will 55 gal two bin system compost?
Author: TCLynx (Tclynx)
Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 8:35 pm
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Update!
Coffee grounds work great as cover material!!!!
In the shredds for #1 and sawdust for #2 system, coffee grounds work great to replace the sawdust. I've found that dry grass clippings work well in place of the shredded materials.

The grass clippings will give the bucket a different odor when dumping. Can't say it is better or worse, just different. Perhaps a little more like horse manure than the smell I notice when dummping a heavily urine/paper laden bucket.

Author: TCLynx (Tclynx)
Friday, October 06, 2006 - 4:53 pm
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If you are short on sawdust, you might try other materials. We have had good luck with shredded paper to cover and soak up urine and save the sawdust for the poos. We are trying mixing coffee grounds with the sawdust. Leaves and pine needles also work as cover outdoors and I've had good sucess with mulched leaves indoors so long as you can cope with some bugs comming in with it.

As far as your 55 gallon drum idea, I don't know. You could try and see how it works. If you are looking for a low cost easy method, the bucket toilet with basic compost bins outdoors is probably a good bet.

Good luck!!

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 12:15 pm
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1) Don't wet the sawdust. Use it dry and allow the urine to rehydrate it.

2) I wouldn't worry about the wood species unless it's all cedar, redwood, black locust or cypress, in which case you may have trouble composting it. This is speculation, since I haven't tried composting sawdust from these wood species, and I would try it anyway if that's all I had to use.

3) I don't have any answers to this question.

Author: Zdenek Mestenhauser (Zdenek)
Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 1:03 am
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I own a cabin with a commercial composting toilet (Biolet) that disappointed me, because it stinks and breeds flies. I suppose I do not manage it right and will try to improve it after reading the handbook. I wish I found your book before investing in the Biolet.

1. DRY OR WET SAWDUST? I am a woodworker and generate a lot of sawdust and shavings from air dried lumber. I would like to use this, since no toxins are included (I do not work with treated lumber). I am guessing that getting the sawdust wet (soak it in water in a bucket) should give me about the same result as sawdust from a sawmill operation. This is confusing me, because if I put wet sawdust in, am I making my problem with excess moisture worse? Maybe I need to put way more sawdust in than I am putting now. Biolet sells their mulch and warns against using sawdust, so it gets spendy to put their mixture in.

2. WILL ALL WOODS WORK? Where my cabin is located near the BWCA in MN, there are mostly firs, spruces, cedars, pines, poplars and birches. Should any specific wood be excluded to avoid problems (thinking mostly about cedars). The alternative would be to try and see.

3. 55 GAL SYSTEM? I am in process of building a large scale composting toilet outdoors (biffy replacement) because of the Biolet failure. I planned on two 55 gal drums to emulate the Biolet two bin concept and hoped that larger volume and more heat (was thinking about heating the drum area with solar heat and more mass should give it more composting opportunity) will make it work. I am contemplating blowing hot air that gets trapped under the roof down below the drums using a solar panel and a small fan. Does this concept have a chance? I was planning on finish composting the content in an outdoor compost after the second drum gets full. Managing the weight is not a problem for me, as I have a tractor with a front loader and can move it around. We are a family of four and this gets used only about 70 days a year, so the start/stop effect is there. We use it year round. It will become full time place after we retire there.

To sum it up, I got so excited about your book, that no other book managed to do. Thank you for your contribution to the planet. We need the education so much.

Regards,

Zdenek

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