Lid or no lid for buckets?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: Lid or no lid for buckets?
Author: Clejan (Clejan)
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 9:15 pm
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Thanks for your input. Perhaps more ammonia is produced with a tight lid because of anaerobic conditions. And that might attract more flies. I think that is roughly what I observed when I tried it, but I have to repeat it to be sure.

Author: Rman (Rman)
Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 10:02 pm
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I don't think there would be a problem putting on a tight lid between uses, I just don't think you need to, outside or in. One surefire way to find out.

Author: Clejan (Clejan)
Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 8:35 pm
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I meant the space between the toilet seat lid and the top of the bucket is small. It lets air through, and too small for bigger critters than mice or small rats, but they are not interested, right? Never seen them in there, only trying to get into the bin itself. I also forgot to mention that the buckets are also outdoors, in a covered outhouse, with a roof an not much walls.

I also wonder if ammonia is one of the things that attracts flies? Or maybe some other smell that is reduced by sawdust.

So I guess my new question is: is there any harm in covering the bucket TIGHTLY (as opposed to the current method of a gap to the toilet seat lid) with a lid?

Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 4:16 am
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Agreed, Rman.

Author: Rman (Rman)
Monday, July 27, 2015 - 11:41 pm
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My vote is no lid. I don't use a lid until I am about to remove the pail since I don't think it is necessary during everyday use.

Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Monday, July 27, 2015 - 3:46 pm
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Clejan, the smothering effect of the sawdust is only one part of the deterrent. The better carbon/nitrogen ratio, when you cover the humanure (especially urine) with sawdust, chemically reduces the production of ammonia. Ammonia is one of the major factors in "bad smell."
The only place I have seen rodents is in the main compost pile, especially during colder winter months. I believe they love the warmth, but if I have put certain vegetable or food wastes into the heap, and not covered deeply with hay, then their hyper-sensitive noses will lead them in there for sure.
Some users will not properly cover the bucket surface. They need to be educated. Even after just a pee, the surface must be covered with a handful or two of sawdust. This soaks up the urine and helps the urea to be fully absorbed by the carbon. Chemists will be able to explain this bit more than I can.... it's a fascinating natural process.
I hope your landlord continues to take an interest in the subject and gains in factual knowledge as a result. The more allies we have the better.

Author: Clejan (Clejan)
Monday, July 27, 2015 - 1:15 pm
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It seems that if the bucket has sawdust or other such fine cover material, it doesn't get flies, unless there is much urine in it. On the other hand, my landlord claims that lids deter flies and rodents. I didn't think rodents are interested in the poop. The space between the seat and top of bucket is too small for bigger critters (who might be interested) such as racoons to get in. What do people think?

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