Cleaning the Bucket

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Cleaning the Bucket
Author: Larry Warnberg (Larry_warnberg)
Saturday, December 13, 2008 - 10:04 pm
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My experience with bio-degradable bags as bucket liners have not been convincing. Six months shows little decomposition of the bags. Anyone having success?
Someone on the EU EcoSan site posted a link to an interesting product, a single use PeePoople bio-degradable bag that has a urea-soaked inner liner to sanitize the contents, which may also be composted for recycling. Plastic bags are already used frequently in areas lacking other toilets, no doubt causing odor and pollution issues. The bio-degradable bag method could be a viable option where there is a culture of fecophobia. Check it out at: http://www.peepoople.com/showpage.php?page=3_8

Author: Julian Gregory (Julianeve)
Monday, October 27, 2008 - 7:16 pm
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Regular old vinegar is amazing at getting rid of smells. I haven't tried it with a toilet bucket, but I would not be surprised if it works.

You don't need much, just 1/2 cup, swish it around so it covers all surface, and put it down the sink drain (good for cleaning drains, too).

Author: Herb Stamser (Herb)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 10:13 am
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I haven't been around this forum for a long time (changed computers for one thing). But the first thing I see is that Joe is testing compostable (maybe) plastic bags! I have been using regular plastic bags in my system for years and have been waiting for this development. I'll be very interested in learning how well these newfangled bags break down in the compost bin.

Author: Barb (Barb)
Monday, May 12, 2008 - 11:25 pm
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Thanks Joe, I'd just rinse then maybe throw on a layer of sawdust. I just couldn't/can't see the point of buying specially made stuff against recycling stuff you probably have access to for free. I do see though that there may be advantages to the plastic bags.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Monday, May 12, 2008 - 11:50 am
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Barb - actually the easiest procedure is just to rinse the toilet container after emptying using a long-handled toilet brush and a drop of dish soap and some water. The water is poured into the compost pile. I was given some "compostable plastic" bags at the U.S. Compost Council annual conference last winter, and have used them all up as an experiment. Now I have to wait and see if they disappear in the compost.

Some people do use newspaper, but I don't see how that would be more convenient than just rinsing. You would still have to rinse, even if you used newspaper, because the newspaper soaks up the urine. I have never had a problem with the rinsing routine, but the plastic bags could be useful in some circumstances (e.g. emergency toilets, camp or festival toilets, etc.), so an experiment with them should be useful for information purposes.

Author: Barb Wood (Barb)
Saturday, May 10, 2008 - 7:23 pm
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If you want to keep the bucket clean why not line the inside with sheets of newspaper? Is there a reason this wouldn't work, surely using something that is recycled would be better than buying in specially made products. Or is the ink a concern?

Barb.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 10:05 pm
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I have begun experimenting with compostable plastic liners (bags) in the toilet containers. I attended a compost conference in Oakland, California two weeks ago and I was given a couple boxes of the plastic bags to try out. They come in all sizes, so if we design larger toilet containers for group situations, the liners would work for the larger receptacles. They're made in Canada and they swear that they completely disintegrate in compost in a matter of time (they were saying 6 weeks, but I'm sure it depends on how active the compost pile is). They also say that there is nothing harmful remaining in the compost after the bags disintegrate.

In any case, I have dumped the first lot of bagged material today into my own compost pile. The first thing I noticed was that the contents of the bags emptied themselves into the compost pile leaving flat bags in the pile. I had thought that the bags might have to be punctured with a compost fork, but that's not the case at all.

I also noticed that the receptacle remained clean inside. I still gave them a quick rinse, but I can see that the receptacles would not absorb any odor if the liners were used on a regular basis.

Of course, a little rain water works fine for me when cleaning toilet receptacles, and I'm sure it uses less of the earth's resources than a manufactured plastic bag, compostable or not. Nevertheless, I can see where these liners could be very useful (*if* they compost), especially in situations where toilet material is being collected for groups (music festivals, retreats, refugee camps, FEMA, etc.). The liners would greatly simplify the receptacle cleaning part of the process.

For that matter, people in general might want to use them just for the convenience. So I will be experimenting with these babies for a while and will let you all know what happens. If they work, we will make them available to buy on our website at http://www.josephjenkins.com.

Author: Alan J Marshall (Ecointerest)
Saturday, February 23, 2008 - 12:38 am
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PS: Several handfuls of sawdust may be needed to get the bucket surface really clean and dry. For those using rice hulls as the cover material, maybe using some old matured compost mixed with the rice hulls would be a good idea.

Author: Alan John Marshall (Ecointerest)
Saturday, February 23, 2008 - 12:07 am
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Joseph has mentioned (Second Edition, page 182) cleaning an emptied bucket with water, and that after a few years the inside of the bucket will have an odour build-up.
I have found with general composting collection buckets, that if I clean the inside not with water, but with a handful of dried hay, or sawdust, or even shredded paper, and KEEP THE INNER SURFACE OF THE BUCKET DRY, then odour does not produce a nuisance. Using a gardening-type glove, I can gather up a big enough handful of sawdust, rub the sawdust vigorously around the bucket, and tip this sawdust onto the compost pile. The sawdust does not scratch the bucket, and any naturally occurring bacteria/fungi/microbes on the sawdust presumably help to destroy the odour-producing organisms.
IN SUMMARY: Use no water, or soap, or detergent, or disinfectant..... Dry-clean it!
If anyone choses to try this, I would be grateful for feed-back.

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