Hello from Macedonia, apparently the motherland of the Hunzas (at least according to the Hunza).
So it's a long post. Sorry.
I've been a proud shit-eater for some 5-6 years now (when I think about it, I've been that all my life, but only recently I have included my own in my diet), enjoying every bit of the process, especially the eating part. Believe it or not, my tomatoes are so tasty that when I bite in one I get so overwhelmed with tastes and flavors that I sometimes cry. :-) Now be aware, this country is THE pepper and tomato land and I have tried some pretty darn tasty ones, but none of them do it for me like the ones grown by and from me.
Over the few years of humanure composting I have gained some experiences, raised some questions and made some creative efforts that I would like to share.
I have found that keeping a small stick in the toilet (along with the scoop I use to cover my crap) helps me manipulate the toilet paper (and sometimes the crap itself) I just deposited, so I don' have to use a lot of sawdust to cover the scattered bits of paper. I use the stick to push everything in one corner of the bucket and then cover it. I am very lazy and I don't like making frequent trips to the compost pile, so I don't like it when my bucket fills up too quickly. When the stick gets sticky I just drop it in the bucket and get a new one.
I like to fill my buckets to the top. This is because I am lazy. I also don't like to have to stand up to take a dump. So, my toilet seat is a bit higher (like 4/3 of a buckets height) and I have a small "chute" cut out of the top 1/3 of another bucket. This shoots inside the collecting bucket that's sitting on the floor. The bucket is said to be full, when contents reach the chute, not when I have to stand up. :-) But most importantly I can keep the chute thing as clean as I want it to (like the rest of the toilet seat) and not worry about my private parts touching the not-so-clean buckets.
I keep like 7 buckets in rotation. When 5 get full, I pay a visit to the compost bin. Takes me about half an hour to an hour. That's because I am slow. Plus I have 3 buckets of kitchen scraps. Did I mention I was lazy? That makes the poop buckets really heavy. Plus I dry-clean them. It takes a bit longer than washing with water and is somewhat messier, but I am experimenting. I brush them with a toilet brush the same as Joe, only use sawdust or straw, hay, leaves, etc. instead of water. The buckets don't have to be spotless, because the chute thingy in the toilet is.
When I am done scrubbing, I fill the buckets with sawdust, and bring them in the house. I use one for the cover material, until it is almost empty (by this time the toilet bucket is full) and then slide it in the toilet. I bring in the next "clean" bucket filled with sawdust for cover material. So here comes a question. I tried to figure out what you (Joe, but it goes for others too) do to bring in cover material. Do you bring it in the washed bucket or separately? In the video about the Loveable Loo, I see a cool, fancy bucket for the cover material. I wonder how it gets filled with sawdust? Do you take it out to fill it up (making an extra trip each time it is empty), or pour sawdust in it from a different container inside the house (which I found to be messy)? Another option maybe?
Living in a so called "developing" country sometimes means you can't find most of the goodies you need, so one has to walk on the creative side of life. Since there is no way I can find a compost thermometer here, I use a water-heater thermometer (with a longer probe) that's been taped to a stick. It measures 0-120C, so it does the job. A decent bucket is impossible to find as well.
I also have a problem finding some rot resistant wood for my bins. The only (not overly expensive) wood around is pine (white hybrid pines), so that's what I use. Even though it is pretty resinous, it rots rather quickly, 1 to 3 years at most. So I don't have "the normal" compost bin, but somewhat portable ones (frames that stack on top of each other), and I have to make some new frames each year, because they fall apart. This year I "painted" my new boards with some cooking oil that I've been saving after frying, so I'll see how that holds up. So I wanted to ask, how long does the cedar hold? The black locust? Anyone has any ideas how to make the wood more rot resistant (without poisoning it, of course)? How long do your bins last?
Even though we seem to be related to the Hunzas, people here are as fecofobic as the rest of the Holiwood watching bunch. So, I keep a low profile, especially from neighbours (we often exchange goodies from our gardens, and I believe at least some of them might be quite offended if they knew what kind of fertilizer I was using). They just know that I compost "everything". They have no idea what that really means. :-) Basicaly nobody near me composts anything. They still like to burn stuff. So sad. And so damn smokey. It seems I am the only humanure composter around. The closest I've heard of (from this forum) is Slovenia, which is like a 1000km away. I get lonely sometimes. I would really love to hear from someone closer to Macedonia.
I love the Humanure Handbook. It's one of my most favorite books. I recently finished like my 7-th or 8-th reading (cover to cover), and there's no telling how many times I opened it for a quick reference, or just for pure fun. I do that with some books. :-) Five or six years ago, I cleverly disguised my self as an NGO in order to get a (free) copy of it, even though I already had it downloaded and printed out. It's now time to confess. :-) I know I never paid for it. So I've been sending those happy wavy things, we call love-thoughts, towards You and your family and I am pretty sure that over the years they added a bit to your overall happiness, and some of them even turned out as a few bucks extra on your account. So don't be expecting any checks from me. :-) But I will keep on sending the wavy things. If you don't mind. :-) Thank you, Joe.
Love to all