Hurricane Sandy

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Hurricane Sandy
Author: Pachai (Pachai)
Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 1:07 am
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It's about time for an update on this thread.

I built a compost box that doubles as a
landing for a future wheelchair ramp.

The pictures I have today are too big.

With the lid down,
the compost pile doubles as a landing for
a wheelchair ramp to be built soon.
The ramp could not be built-in to the deck,
due to zoning,
but a compost box is no problem.

I tried using grass clippings as cover,
but they tend to be rotting before I get them,
and the smell is an issue. I have straw,
will need to make a hutch to store it.

This is a small city lot. The compost is 7 feet
from my kitchen window and about 10' from a neigbor's.
The only smell issue seems to be the
rotten grass. I will stop that.

For inside cover, I have a steady stream of
coffee grinds from work. They make about 3 pots
of 8 cups per day, and I collect them in quart
ziplock containers, bring home every other day.
I also have 3-4 huge tubs of 20 Gallons of
sawdust from the Sandy cleanup.

When I started this process, in November
I used a 96 gallon Toter for central collection,
but it never heated up more that 10 degrees F.
The compost/landing is 118 degrees F
just a hand-breadth beneath the surface.
I used 1x6 deck boards and some old 4x4s I had.
In the course of things, I will merge the
contents of the old container into the new.
This pile will be full soon, and I will open
another one, in another location I found.

Thanks to all, especially Joe for the guidance.
Sorry for the delay with the pictures.

Author: Pachai (Pachai)
Monday, November 26, 2012 - 12:43 pm
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Demeter - Thanks, you wrote that a 55 gallon drum can work. I have 96 gallon bin. What I am not certain about is what the key difference between a plastic bin vs a pile is. Air circulation? Ground contact?

I happen to have 2 years of leaves that have been looking for a compost heap. I have 4 nieces who brew fresh coffee daily, and I have a friend who has a one-man barber shop. And a lawn guy who has grass to get rid of in the spring. So, I think I have some stuff to feed the pile if I don't suffocate it.

Thanks.
PS I am not opposed to just following the directions in the book, but my yard is in transition so it is better for me this year
to have something portable...unless earth
contact is truly part of the formula.

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Thursday, November 22, 2012 - 8:12 pm
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I would be happy to answer any questions regarding compost bins. What would you like to do?

Author: Test2 (Test2)
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 12:29 pm
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@Pachai - A concern with garbage pails is food gradeness. Some chemicals may leach from the pail into the compost - would you want to eat vegi's grown withthat compost ?

Author: Pachai (Pachai)
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 10:42 pm
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I appreciate everyone's replies, and in the long term (If I stay in this house), I will build a regular pile.

In the meantime, I would like to hear more about
plastic drums - eg, from Demeter....

The idea in my mind right now is HD sells a 96 Gallon garbage can on wheels. Google says the dimensions in the book 3'x3'x3' = 201 Gallons,
so the can is that's half the size.

I have a piece of fence that fell down, which
I think would be great for this....
I can cut it to fit inside the can,
then remove every other slat, and staple
chicken wire on it to ensure air circulation.

Then, in the spring we'll look at building a pile.
Thanks
Seth

Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 12:41 pm
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Insulating the bucket (i.e., pail) will obviously help, but if you increase the size of the pail, in other words, using a medium sized garbage bin, one you can shift fairly easily when it's full, then store that while you fill a few more, that could last you around 6-9 months before you come back to the first one.
In that time the contents will have composted well, without the thermophilic conditions.
Look around for a supplier of earth worms and put those into the filled bin. You will be surprised how well they do the job (no pun intended).

Author: Test2 (Test2)
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 7:21 pm
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Humanmanure composting in a barrel is more difficult and riskier. SEARCH THIS WEBSITE FOR TIPS. Maybe giving the stuff more time and at some point seeding earthworms, compost worms etc: could make it workable. I have no actual experience.

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 12:08 am
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A 55 gallon container will heat up if done properly. I can get a 35 gallon barrel to 120 degrees at the center.

Author: Pachai (Pachai)
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 4:29 pm
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>>>Why not just start composting the easier wa
>>> - the way the BOOK says to.
>>>Do you really want giant barrels of ...
>>>in your house ?

I live in the City. Space outside is valuable also.
The grass around my house is not 4 levels.

I'll look for a spot for a Big Pile.

Author: Test2 (Test2)
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 2:35 pm
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@Pachai - why not just start composting the easier way - the way the BOOK says to. Empty the 5 gallon buckets into a pile outside - (see book for details) that will solve the heating problems, storage of pails problems etc: Do you really want giant barrels of ... in your house ?

Author: Test2 (Test2)
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 2:15 pm
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A small pile of any organic matter will NOT HEAT UP. I do not have exact calculations on what minimum size is needed - my limited experience a 3 foot by 3 foot by 3 foot may heat up. a Five gallon bucket will not. A 55 gallon container would probably NOT. ANYBODY eles out there know better ?

Author: Joe (Joe)
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 11:37 am
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If you have several toilet receptacles, you can just fill them and let them sit with lids on until you figure out where to put a bin. The organic material will not heat up in a 5-gallon container. I use 6-8 containers at my office and only empty them every 6-8 weeks.

Author: Pachai (Pachai)
Monday, November 12, 2012 - 3:26 pm
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PS Sunday, I did not flush any toilet except once for my kid! Saved about 12 gallons on potable water!

Author: Pachai (Pachai)
Monday, November 12, 2012 - 2:09 pm
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Thanks. I think I have a safe place in the basement for a few 44-gallon drums. I got them free from a local cleaning supply company - thought I would use them for rainwater, but the compost will come first.

Author: Micros3 (Micros3)
Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 10:03 pm
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I cannot answer your question regarding size for thermophyllic action. However, if you can find any 55 gallon plastic drums, they have been successfully used to compost humanure. You can read more here: http://www.omick.net/composting_toilets/bucket_barrel_toilet.htm

Author: Pachai (Pachai)
Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 11:09 am
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One question that comes to mind - and I have not yet found it explicitly in the Handbook -
Can a small compost pile become thermophyllic?

In other words, can I use 5 gallon buckets to compost in a corner of the basement?
(through the winter and into the summer).

Is there a size (eg in gallons) that is
minimum for starting thermophyllic action.

pachai in NJ

Author: Pachai (Pachai)
Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 3:09 am
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I have been reading the Handbook, and other sites. Saw a post about collecting urine for use in the garden, in a gallon jug. I had empty bleach jugs, so I started. Had always thought a urinal would be good to have.

Meanwhile, I was reading the Manual. I saw about using fresh sawdust. And about not separating.

Hurricane Sandy left lots of fallen trees.
Workers cut them up and took them away.
I collected 7 gallons of sawdust in one run.
(I didn't have time to look for more
thanks to the blackout.)

Then they said to conserve water because
the sewage processing plant is overtaxed.

(What a waste to take potable water and
recyclable material and make a toxic sludge).

I said, time to start my sawdust toilet.
An old toilet seat on a bucket in a corner
of the basement bathroom works.

And now I have a place to put the collected urine.

Still figuring out where to make the pile.
Need to know real soon...bucket is 3/4 full.

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