Composting urine + sawdust alone

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Composting urine + sawdust alone
Author: Joe (Joe)
Friday, May 25, 2012 - 6:26 pm
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All of our urinals are 5-gallon sawdust filled receptacles. Start with just sawdust, 1/4 to 1/2, way full, add urine as needed, sprinkling more sawdust in if an odor develops. Eventually the receptacle will be full of sawdust and nearly full of urine. Then it gets dumped into the compost bin (along with everything else). I have never tried (or wanted) to compost it separately.

Author: Ken (Ken)
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 11:44 am
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Here is an interesting article on humanure composting.

http://www.terra-preta-sanitation.net/cms/fileadmin/publications/pdf/Terra_Preta_Sanitation_WS_T_2010.pdf

Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 3:31 am
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Good questions, Nancy, and I cannot give you a definitive answer. It was some time ago (15 yrs), so I can't remember the details.

As a guess to this current question, I would have it open to the air, but protect from downpours. Maybe one of the blue plastic drums (approx. 50 litres) put some soak-up material at the bottom, like fine mulch, leaf mould, spagnum moss, etc. or sawdust if you have it, enough to act as the sponge. If the bin is to be placed on soil, where worms are able to migrate in and out of the bin, then put small holes (1/4 - 1/2 inch) in the bottom.

If the bin is to be placed on concrete/non-absorbent ground, then no holes. Keep everything contained.

If you used an open, wire-mesh basket, I don't think this would be a problem, but pour the urine into the middle of it, keeping the outside zone free to allow lots of air in.

As long as there is sufficient carbonaceous material to counter the nitrogen of the urine, then you are unlikely to get ammonia smell.
I would not want to stir it. Leave it to compost by itself.

Others reading this might say "Use the urine, diluted, straight away on the garden." What do you say to this?

All this would be experimental, but it's the way I would try.

Hope this is not too complicated.

Author: Nancybeetoo (Nancybeetoo)
Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 1:47 am
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Eco-

did you do the eucalyptus leaves + urine in a watertight bin or an open bin like a wire mesh?

My guess is that a watertight bin with no drainage would get soggy and anaerobic at the bottom, unless mixed top to bottom by some kind of compost crank.

Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 1:50 pm
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Yes, Nancy, only a little experience, with composting eucalyptus leaves. It works well. They break down into wonderful dark compost.

Only from theory now... I reckon pine needles would be a great "soak" for just urine. Put them all into a plastic bin, e.g. the 50-gal blue drums like you get at a car-wash servo. A metal drum would probably corrode to quickly. Continue to add urine and keep covered with the pine needles as you would with sawdust in the humanure system.
(Is there a problem with composting the faeces in combination?)
Best wishes

Author: Nancybeetoo (Nancybeetoo)
Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 12:19 pm
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Joe and others,

have you experimented with adding urine to sawdust (or leaves) with no other additions? No food.

Any guesses on the volume of sawdust needed per person?

Open bin like wire mesh? or barrel? Holes in the barrel or not?

Looking for experiences (or educated guesses)

Nancy

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