Sure has been quiet here.

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Sure has been quiet here.
Author: Stephen L.
Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 12:26 am
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I hate to see this board sit dormant for too long, so I thought I'd drop a line and say hello.
This is somewhat funny, You always know what you were doing at the time of a catastrophic event such as last Tuesday.
I can tell my grandchildren that on Sept 11 2001 I was emptying my bin of finished compost so that I would be ready for the winter. I came into the house afterwards for a drink of water when your grandma says, "Honey come here" , and points to the television. as I see a mighty tower fall, and than the other.
I was doing, at that point what I know is beneficial to all mankind, always thinking and learning ways of doing things that will help us all live in a better world, knowing or hoping that someday everyone, before it is to late, will understand what is going on and how we as mankind are surely harming the planet we live on, that gladly supplies us with everything and more that we will ever need.
Yes, that was what I was doing that morning when so many lost their lives for no justly reason.

Author: Joe
Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 12:34 pm
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At 9 am on Tuesday, I had a film crew arrive here at my home from Home and Garden TV out of Washington DC. They were *not* doing anything on humanure composting, but were doing a shoot on slate roof restoration (my trade). Soon after they arrived, a roofing contractor drove in to buy some slates. He had been listening to the radio and he broke the news to us about the World Trade Center attacks. Shortly after that, the Pentagon was attacked. The H&G TV people were beside themselves and had a hard time focusing on the shoot. But we pulled it off. They filmed until 12:30 pm and then took off for Shenksville, PA (I live in western PA) to try to get some footage on the plane that crashed there. Certainly a day to remember. The shoot is supposed to air in January, I think, and only be a minute and a half long!

Incidentally, the Organic Living (magazine) people were here later that week doing a permaculture article. Maybe they'll mention the humanure composting then. They did take some photos of the "Humanure Hilton." This is also supposed to be in print in January or thereabouts. We'll see.

Author: Stephen L
Friday, September 21, 2001 - 12:17 am
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I will have to have someone tape that episode sinse I don't have cable.
That compost was my first finished batch. I spent the first three days of my vacation reading your humanure handbook. That was 3 years ago.
A fellow at work was a slater and gave me his copie of the Bible. I happened to have the handbook in my truck to show him, he strangely looked at it, than I asked him what he thought of the slate book author. I thought it was funny, wondering what he was thinking.
Anyhow I'm pleased with my compost, I just need something to do with it. Garden you say? I still don't have my slate all up.
Stephen

Author: Joe
Friday, September 21, 2001 - 10:09 am
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People ask me why I wrote a book on slate roofs and another on humanure. The answer should be obvious: shit and shingles! Somehow they go together.

Author: John Doman
Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 9:03 pm
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My wife and I are about to move into an English Tudor house built in Wichita, KS in 1922. The house has the original slate roof which is composed of quite large and thick slate squares.

We have noticed that certain areas of the roof have a brownish-rust-colored stain (in about 5 places over the roof, each stained area about 20 ft. x 20 ft.). Does anyone know what may have caused this stain and how we may be able to remove it?

Thanks

John D.

Author: joe
Tuesday, January 01, 2002 - 10:28 pm
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Iron pipes and flashings will rust and stain the roof. Old sewer vent pipes, other iron devices such as antenna anchors, hooks, nails, unpainted tin ridges, etc. may have been the origins of the stains. Leaf fall from overhanging trees will stain the roof black. Some slates change color as they weather, but that will not be localized (it will be over the entire roof).

Author: admin
Tuesday, January 01, 2002 - 10:30 pm
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PS: There is a slate roof message board at http://www.jenkinsslate.com/messages/

Author: Stephen Linebaugh
Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 11:57 pm
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Well its been quiet again so I thought that I would throw in a positive thought.
Happiness is..... a steaming pile in late January.
Yes its cooking again and luckily. Both bins are quite full and I don't feel like building another right now.
Is everyone else getting the nice weather as we are?(central Pa)

Author: Joe
Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 12:11 am
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Funny you should mention that. My pile is also steaming, January 29th, 2002. My compost used to freeze every winter - solid as a rock. About four years ago, it stopped freezing. Then, it seems to maintain a greater amount of heat each year, now steaming at about 100 degrees F in midwinter. I always considered a compost pile to be like a living thing, and like the birds returning in the spring, an indication of the state of Mother Nature. Is this an indictaion of global warming??

Author: Stephen
Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 9:50 am
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I thought you may mention that. I don't think we have all the info to make an exact decision, but our contribution to global warming needs to be seriously addressed.
Hey Joe, I was just thinking. You mention global warming to be sort of a fever. If the temps rise high enough, more organic breakdown/composting will occur,resulting in a cleaner product. Air, water, soil and who knows what else. Higher temps and whatever other enviromental changes that are happening are part of the Earths self healing.
Well onto other thoughts,
Stephen

Author: Joe
Friday, February 01, 2002 - 12:19 pm
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You're right, and that's the problem. Higher temperatures will result in a cleaner product - free of pathogens. That's us!

Author: Herb
Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 11:26 am
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Forum has been rather dead lately so I'll just mention that I emptied my outhouse bag yesterday.

Once again I let it get too full, but what the hey....

No smell that I can detect around the compost bin. When the snow first went off I did detect some oder, but added some more material on top of the winter loads and the smell vanished.

The small white cedar trees (arborvitae) that I planted around the bins are greening up nicely. Their exotic form and pleasant fragrance make for nice additions around ground zero.

Still a VERY long way from filling up Bin #1.

Author: admin
Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - 10:45 am
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For what it's worth, now that the Humanure Handbook has been published in South Korea, their 2nd largest newspaper did an interview with me last week via email and will email me a PDF of the article once it's in print. However, it will probably be only printed in Korean. If there is an English version, I will add it to this web site.

Joe Jenkins

Author: Anonymous
Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 10:17 am
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It might be worth North Korea if it catches on in South Korea.

Author: Stephen
Sunday, August 07, 2005 - 11:21 pm
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Just thought I post sinse its been quite for awhile.
I will have some pics and a story to post about our sawdust toilets and bin that was built for the campground area of this farm that holds a fesival in May and one in the fall.
When I get time that is.

Author: admin
Monday, August 08, 2005 - 10:47 am
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I think we're all busy right now. A third edition of Humanure, for example, is now at the printer. Pub. date = September 1, 2005.

Author: Stephen
Monday, August 08, 2005 - 11:12 pm
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Didn't know that. Great!

Author: Larry
Tuesday, August 09, 2005 - 11:30 am
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Onsite Water Treatment is a new periodical that features a review article on composting toilets in its premiere issue. Check it out at www.onsitewater.com

Author: limeflower
Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 1:36 pm
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Thanks, Larry. Maybe they'd also appreciate the submission of an article about humanure bucket collection/composting from someone with lots of experience.

Author: Larry
Friday, August 12, 2005 - 11:10 am
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Good idea. I'll write to the Editor with your suggestion. It is encouraging that this new publication chose to include a feature article on composting toilets. The intended audience is primarily engineers working in the onsite wastewater treatment field, as indicated by the other articles and abundant ads for pumps, pipes and tanks. I think it is important for onsite designers to know that composting toilets complement septic systems by reducing the solids loading to the tank, reducing the effluent strength and volume to the drainfield, and reducing maintenance costs.

Author: Anonymous
Wednesday, August 17, 2005 - 10:58 am
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Hi All. Just finished reading the Humanure Handbook and have begun my depositing in a bucket. I have access to Peat Moss and so am using that as a cover. Haven't yet built the compost bin outside. I'm thinking about using chicken wire. I live in a city so don't have much of a backyard. How far away from my veggie garden is safe enough for the compost pile. Also, is it okay if the compost bin is close to the house? Thanks all,

linda

Author: admin
Wednesday, August 17, 2005 - 10:11 pm
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The compost bin can be close to the house - just "keep it covered." I have put a humanure bin inside my garden on occasion. Responsible management is the key (no odor, no runoff, etc.).

Joe Jenkins

Author: Linda B.
Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 10:15 am
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I have decided against putting it near the house due to possible critters and odors. i know to keep it covered, etc. but this is my first time with a compost bin. i could construct something on my concrete parking pad out back which i do not use. if i do this, i need to import soil on the bottom i'm thinking. any idea how much soil i should use? or if this is a bad idea? thanks.

linda

Author: admin
Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 4:13 pm
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I don't know how a concrete parking pad would work as a base for a compost pile. I think you will need a lot of absorbant material on the bottom.

Author: linda
Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 5:12 pm
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yeah, i'm not going to build it there. i am currently digging up more concrete around the parking pad so as to get rid of it, so as to have soil access so space isn't as great an issue right now. i plan to use leaves as my primary carbon covering material. i live in a city and am not sure i have a hay source, but i got lots of leaves. after i go over them with the mower for mulching how best to store them?

thanks so much
linda

Author: S. Infante
Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 7:09 pm
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I use leaves too as my cover material inside the toilet (instead of sawdust) and I used leaves and grass clippings outside in the compost bin as my cover there. I keep my mulched leaves in a second compost bin adjacent to my main compost bin and it is the same size as my regular compost bin., 5 x 5 x 4 feet.

Author: linda
Friday, August 19, 2005 - 10:43 am
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how best to use the leaves. is it okay if they are wet to use them as cover material for the toilet? do they need to be turned or anything in the compost pile outside. thanks.

linda

Author: S. Infante
Friday, August 19, 2005 - 3:10 pm
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Last fall, my neighbor brought me all his leaves. I mulched them and piled them in my second bin, as mentioned above, and used them from there to put some in the bottom of the recepticle buckets and filled the cover material bucket. They heated up at first and were too hot to put my hand into the middle of the pile. We live in a very arid area so they are just exposed to the weather as it comes. I think next year, when we have the dry spell, I will go ahead and moisten them down every week when I do my compost blessing (emptying the buckets for the week) because now that we are getting a little damper, I prefer the cover material for the toilet to be a little moister. It takes less to provide the biofilter and they tend to scatter less on the floor.

Can you define "wet?" If they are soggy I think it would be messy, but if they are just moist, I think it is okay. I never turn my cover material leaves.

Author: linda
Friday, August 19, 2005 - 4:43 pm
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wet, like in after a rain.

so if i mow my leaves and put them in a bin i can just leave them alone and use as needed for cover of both toilet and compost bin?

Author: linda
Friday, August 19, 2005 - 4:48 pm
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leaves are going to be my primary cover material unless i buy a wood chipper/shredder. right now we have lots of downed limbs from a recnt storm. perhaps i should gather them for shredding. i'm also going to swing by the park and see if they are putting out any of their sawdust from shredding those downed trees. sometimes they do.

do these leaves need to be older and browner or can i start to use the freshly fallen leaves this fall. am anxious to get to composting.

linda

Author: Joe Jenkins (Admin)
Saturday, August 20, 2005 - 7:36 pm
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You can use fresh leaves or old leaves.

Author: linda
Sunday, August 21, 2005 - 8:24 am
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but if the leaves are fresh, i thought they were nitrogen? then if i'm adding the contents of my bucket, do i not have too much nitrogen and not enough carbon?

btw: i've constructed my compost bin out of bricks and pavers i had in the backyard. i made it so that it will get plenty of air circulation. now i'm just waiting for leaves to fall for a sufficient, 18" base and enough to cover my two buckets which are waiting. when i go to dump the buckets, which are full, should i dump half the contents, then add leaves, another half, then leaves, etc. so that it has good layering. many thnks.

linda

Author: admin
Monday, August 22, 2005 - 9:02 am
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When using cover material in the bucket, you don't need to think about nitrogen or carbon. You need to use a clean, compostable material that will prevent odor from escaping. Fresh leaves will work.

When emptying the bucket, dump the entire contents into the compost pile at once, then cover it. It's usually a good idea to dig a little bit of a hole in the top center of the compost pile, then dump the contents into that before covering.

Author: linda
Monday, August 22, 2005 - 10:39 am
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currently, i'm using peat moss for my indoor covering. my problem is outdoor, compost bin covering. is using fresh leaves on the outdoor compost for covering acceptable?

Author: admin
Monday, August 22, 2005 - 5:26 pm
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Yes, fresh leaves outside can work quite well.

Author: linda
Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 10:20 am
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thanks so much for the leaf info. i've also discovered a local source for straw, whoohoo.

linda

Author: linda
Monday, September 05, 2005 - 9:43 am
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well, i did my first bucket dump into the compost pile two days ago. it was pretty gross and i thought my humanure days were over, but i've since gotten back on the saddle, or bucket shall we say. the gross part was the smell. the buckets had been filled and sitting for a few weeks waiting for me to locate a cover material. so when i dumped these puppies, they were fairly ripe, and one had blue moldy stuff growing in it. i feel like my cleaning of the bucket is the weak link, and not getting any of the crap on my shoes and tracking it back inside, i mean the rinse water. do folks wear any sort of gloves and special shoes strictly for the cleaning process. also i can't imagine leaf cover being able to cover over the smell of poop in the bucket, but i'll cross that bridge when the leaves start falling.

linda

Author: Stephen
Monday, September 05, 2005 - 10:31 am
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Make sure the leaves are shredded before they are used for cover.
And Linda, look at it this way,when slicing onions its painfull and makes you cry. Your first bucket was'nt that bad was it?
It's all part of doing the right thing.
Congrats

Author: admin
Monday, September 05, 2005 - 1:15 pm
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How would you get crap on your shoes?

Author: linda
Tuesday, September 06, 2005 - 10:02 am
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okay. when i dump contents of bucket, i turned on the hose to rinse it out. i did dump the water in the compost pile but with the hose going, i wasn't sure from all the wetness if any of the compost was leaching. i'm not going to turn on hose again. this morning i dumped another bucket and there was lots of urine and some flew back in my face. another lesson learned.

i seem to generate lots of urine and refuse or it could be the cover material, peat moss, that i'm using fills up the bucket too fast. i'm not having any smell problems though that i'm aware of. and so far the only critter was there before i started composting--a possum. thinks he owns the place. you'd think my cats would dissuade him from hanging out but they don't bother him.

linda

Author: admin
Tuesday, September 06, 2005 - 11:00 am
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Lay a section of wire fencing over the compost to prevent access by animals.

Funny, in 26 years I have never splashed myself in the face emptying a bucket on the compost pile. I don't know what you're doing, but you obviously need to refine your technique. For one thing, you should be digging a depression in the top center of the compost pile with a pitchfork, for example, before adding material. Dump into the depression.

Author: linda
Tuesday, September 06, 2005 - 1:08 pm
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there was lots of urine in the bottom of the bucket and lots of peat moss. i did dig a depression but not a terribly big one due to the fact that i was worried about stirring up the crap underneath the depression.

linda

Author: linda
Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 10:38 am
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got some good news to report: emptied a bucket in the compost pile last night and it went just peachily. no splashback due to excess urine because i'm now peeing in a separate container and putting it on the plants. when it comes to be winter i'm not going to hop outside so often with the urine. i'm guessing it's okay to store it for a week or so in a bucket with a lid on. somebody say if this isn't a good idea. thanks

linda

Author: Annonymous
Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 12:53 am
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It is true unless you are ill or carrier of some pathogen urine is sterile when it leaves the body, but it is an attractive growth base. Please don't let it sit for a week or so.

Author: admin
Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 9:14 am
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Fill your urine bucket with sawdust *before* you pee in it, and keep a lid on it. It will hold a lot of urine despite the sawdust and the sawdust will deter odor. However, all urine should go into the compost - it will create a hotter compost pile.

Joe Jenkins

Author: Anonymous
Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - 3:57 pm
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Just came upon this message board. Quite provocative, but I really wrote to say that Joe's two interests parallel a favorite dish of shaved beef on bread that my in-laws often ate during the early and lean days of their marriage (1950s), and still refer wistfully to as "shit on a shingle".

Author: Stephen
Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 12:13 am
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Yea thats pretty good, Now are you composting your crap? Have you slated any roofs? I ask you, are you doing anything worthwhile at all for mankind other than making jokes?
Ain't got time for your shit.

Author: Anonymous
Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 4:16 pm
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Is that any way to win friends and influence people!? :)

Author: Anonymous
Friday, October 07, 2005 - 11:47 am
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I think the point is its anecdotal not jocular relevance.

Author: admin
Monday, October 10, 2005 - 2:28 pm
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I use that terminology all the time: shit and shingles. That's the only way to explaion my "niche."

Joe

Author: Anonymous
Monday, January 30, 2006 - 1:40 am
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Thx Joe for the info that lead me to composting. I have been humanure composting for about 6 mos now and found some nice tall buckets at wallyworld. I learned real quick to only fill them halfway as they are at least 6 gallon containers.... being a woman and not that strong to boot, a little over half a bucket is quite enuff. 2 at a time 2 trips out....aieee!! I have a question, though, for those with years of experience. How long do the plastic buckets last? do you recycle them every year or 2? I have nightmarish visions of a bucket giving up the ghost as I haul it through the house. any horror stories you care to share?
Also I was sharing info on the system (which I feel will be a world standard someday) with an agriculturalist in Guatamala and he told me of a great substance to use for gardening in the year or so till the compost is ready. It is called "bocashi" from the Orientals which should not be a surprise. What did surprise me is the inclusion of ashes in the fermented mix. but this high intensity compost is worth a try . found some recipes on google "bocashi" "bokashi"
thx again for great information and everyones chat on the subject =-)

Author: admin
Monday, January 30, 2006 - 9:22 pm
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A decent plastic bucket should last many years.

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