Eucalyptus sawdust?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Eucalyptus sawdust?
Author: The_virginian (The_virginian)
Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 12:47 pm
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We grow a few very cold hardy species of Eucalyptus here in Virginia like E. neglecta that compost well, leaves saw dust etc. E. cinera or E. globus have more oil in their fibers and may resist rot much longer than other species.

(Message edited by The Virginian on May 26, 2011)

Author: Reville (Rev)
Monday, July 21, 2008 - 2:00 am
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Eucalyptus is a big genus
some species are remarkably rot resistant say as post in ground, or snags in a forest
but not all species are rot resistant
and when the CN ratio gets fixed, it composts readily
i worked on a farm making commercial compost that used euc sawdust of Tallow wood, which is more rot resistant, but worked just fine when mixed with chicken manure and spoilt hay.

Author: Alan J Marshall (Ecointerest)
Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 6:28 pm
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Just to give an indication of my own current experiments with Eucalyptus debris, which have been going on for some time now.

After having a few large trees felled for safety reasons, I had all the tops mulched, instead of burning them. This was at considerable expense, but has given me several piles of good mulch.

This mulch has been mixed with other forest-floor debris (leaves, twigs, leaf-mold, etc.) and left for 12 months to weather. Urine, diluted with 2-3 parts water, has been frequently sprinkled over this. There is good decomposition throughout the heap but, of course, no heating that is noticeable, because the heap is too open to the air.

Now, more recently, I have been adding the contents of my toilet bins. Each bin is medium-sized, the top being about knee height and 15 inches (40cm) diameter. When full, a spadeful of composting worms are added, then the bin is stored for at least 8 months. It is this resultant compost which I am now adding to the mulch heap. When it looks like good plant food, it will be used in the garden.

My feeling is that the Humanure system has one obvious advantage over mine. Urine is kept within the compost heap, aiding the thermophilic process, whereas in my system urine is dealt with separately. One advantage of my system is that excreta is not touched or transferred at all, until full vermiform composting has taken place.

I am planning in the near future to convert to the Humanure process, to "get a feel of it," (wait for the laughter!), because it is really impressive and appropriate technology.

Author: karyn stillwell temple (Cobber)
Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 6:19 am
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Thanks very much for the suggestions! I greatly appreciate it!

Kind Regards,

Karyn

Author: Tassiejohn (Tassiejohn)
Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 1:47 am
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Karyn,

I don't know specifically about privet but I regularly use fresh leaves and the growing tips from pruning various hedge plants around the garden as cover material in the compost bin. I generally cut them up a bit and try to avoid using the woody material. This seems to work fine, though I've often thought a garden mulcher to chop them up could be good.

If you're going to feed them through a garden mulcher first the bits should be small enough that it can cope with the odd woody chip. I suppose if you feed a heap of green privet throught the mulcher and leave it in a pile to use as cover material it'll start to break down before you even put it on the pile - which would be good.

Depending on how it goes you may find using some straw or other cover material that is a bit 'open' and lets air into the pile helps. In our pile I also use weeds, lawn clippings, spent veggie plants, autumn leaves, seaweed and straw. If in winter the pile starts to look a bit waterlogged I poke some holes in the pile with a stick to let the air in and put a sheet of roofing iron over the pile to keep the rain out for a while. All in all it seems hard to go wrong once you've got a basic feel for what a compost pile likes!

Cheers,

John

Author: Alan J Marshall (Ecointerest)
Friday, April 25, 2008 - 5:47 am
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Again, an educated guess, Karyn, I would take some of the mulch from underneath the privet hedge, and add it to the humanure along with the leaves, etc., just to add a diversity of micro-organisms. This might or might not improve the composting. Just a suggestion.

Author: karyn stillwell temple (Cobber)
Friday, April 25, 2008 - 4:40 am
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Thanks for information! I'm excited to get started; I humanure composted in the pacific northwest of the US years ago and have felt bad about every flush ever since. I look forward to building a proper toilet and composting bin. Another question: How about mulched Privet as a cover material for the pile itself, instead of straw, hay etc. Privet grows rampant in my area (mid north coast NSW) and it would be great to use it for something positive.

Humanuraly Yours,

Karyn

Author: Tassiejohn (Tassiejohn)
Friday, April 25, 2008 - 2:02 am
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Karyn,
I'm in northern tasmania and we've been using a sawdust toilet for over a year. We use eucalyptus sawdust from a local sawmill and it works fine, I don't use a compost thermometer so I don't know how hot it gets, but it's definitely hot (and as Alan says, the compost worms seem to love it!). Friends down the road have been using eucalyptus sawdust in their sawdust toilet for about 7 years and the compost on their veggie garden, and have nothing but good things to say about it!

Author: Alan J Marshall (Ecointerest)
Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 7:40 pm
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Karyn, I have been using eucalyptus sawdust of various kinds for a long time, and find no problem with it.
My guess (no expert knowledge, just from personal experience coupled with logic) is that if you use local mulch, that grows and accumulates in your area, then it contains much of the bacteria/fungi/micro-organisms which are well adapted to breaking down organic materials. I have found that adding this sort of mulch, plus the sawdust, makes fantastic compost, and the compost worms (mostly tigers) love it.
This is in southern Tasmania - I use mainly Stringy Bark, plus Eucalyptus Regnans.

Author: karyn stillwell temple (Cobber)
Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 7:50 am
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Hi,
I'm just beginning to plan my compost toilet here in Australia and I'm wondering if Eucalyptus sawdust (not kiln dried) is a suitable cover material. Or does its anti-bacterial properties make it a bad choice? Thanks!
Karyn

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