MACEDONIA - sticks and chutes

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: MACEDONIA - sticks and chutes
Author: Makedon (Makedon)
Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 2:24 pm
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Thanks for the reply, guys. I thought you filled the cover buckets separately. It seems I am the laziest here, trying to save me the extra trip to the bins. There is also another advantage to using the same buckets for cover material: unlike the old days (when I had separate buckets for cover) my buckets haven't developed an odor, even though I've been using the same set for more than 4 years now.

Regarding cold weather: winters have been quite mild here for the past few years, so I abandoned the practice of bringing in enough sawdust for the winter.

About the bins. I really want to know how long do your bins last. My bins have always readily fallen apart from all that rotting going on inside them. I am trying to figure out how to make them more durable. Your input would be much appreciated.


Author: Danilo (Danilo)
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 1:27 pm
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I bring my cover material separately. I have two bucket, when is one empty, I take another. Empty one I fill right away or later if weather is bed or I am lazy :-)

Author: Joe (Joe)
Monday, February 21, 2011 - 10:36 am
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Thanks for all the thoughts, info and good vibes, Makedon. Yes, it can be lonely being on the forefront of things, but that's life.

Regarding sawdust, I bring it into the toilet room in separate containers. I do not fill them at the same time I empty the toilet containers, unless they're empty and need filled. I use slightly larger sawdust containers - galvanized metal buckets with lids. The kids used to keep the sawdust containers filled for me, although the "kids" have grown and left the house now.

It's winter here and my system during the cold months when everything freezes is to bring inside the enclosed porch two plastic wheeled garbage cans full of sawdust in the fall before everything freezes. This lasts me through the winter. I use a metal scoop I bought at a feed store to scoop out the sawdust and put it in the galvanized buckets. It's not messy. This is a very convenient system compared to going outside to a frozen sawdust pile buried under snow and trying to scoop unfrozen sawdust out of a hole dug into the pile, which I did for years.

If I can remember, I'll take some photos and post them.

Author: Makedon (Makedon)
Saturday, February 19, 2011 - 6:20 pm
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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


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