Designing Composting Chambers in a Ne...

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Handbook - A Guide to Composting Human Manure: Designing Composting Chambers in a New Home
Author: Xenos (Xenos)
Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 10:19 am
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I'll bet this whole topic belongs in HUMANURE TOILETS -- that seems to be the 'design central' area.

Author: Xenos (Xenos)
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 5:11 pm
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Thought that first message was quite long enough as an intro!

Continuing to the mode of usage:

The precious deposits are placed and covered, much as in the time-honored bucket-&-chuck-it system (including kitchen scrap collections, additional water allotments, and misc household offal including cans of spent grease), except that weekly or biweekly I'd maintain this system 'from below.'

Maintenance would include raking down any 'peaks,' then adding additional fine-gauge cover such as sawdust as needed, raking in a VERY light hay or straw cover if insects are a trouble (while keeping a good indented shape to the pile), and monitoring temperature and moisture.

Each bay would continue in use until the vertical height became unwieldy to maintain from below. At that point, the toilet access would be capped and the next access would be opened. This is done primarily via cabinetry in the bathroom.

The first bay filled would be left to do its thing for the time needed to fill the second bay. The compost would be harvested at the end of approx 18 months (or longer). We're talking food plants, and an expanded exterior collection of native plantings, etc.

Am I a loon, or does this sound rather feasible and possibly a good idea if 'husbanded' properly?

Author: Xenos (Xenos)
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 4:31 pm
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my first post -- and apparently reviving a rather old topic here! but it's the most appropriate for the material/questions I mean to discuss, so here it goes.

I've been planning an earthship-ish construction in the high mesa Nevada mixed desert/scrub/woods for quite some time. New construction.

Precipitation is estimated MINIMUM and near mean, 7"/yr. LOW. but doable.

This is to be an entirely self-sufficient (yes, a dirty word in NWO circles) homestead, gathering all water from rain/snowmelt, and growing/herding all fruit/veg/critters for food in the 'compound,' starting small BUT with provision to take in refugees up to 50 in times of need.

Greywater will be processed through our constructed planter cells, greenhoused for the most part, with runoff (if any) directed to the exterior planters moderately supplying whatever local species we install.

The issue I've been ruminating over (and over), is the TOILETS. Joe Jenkins has developed the simplest and most logical, efficient, and all-encompassing system -- so long as one is agreeable to porting then processing the collection at a separate finishing station.

His system is absolutely perfect, really. There is no argument to make with it, and I make none. And, after EIGHT years of talking, posting, and administering a whole slew of webtalk on it, I hope his labors are slacking off a bit, and I really hope he finds this post restful and satisfying! :-)

Here's my design idea, for your picking apart, criticism and general toss-around.

I envision a set up where there are two (or three) bathroom port openings in each 'smallest room' for humanure to drop into composting bays. Each compartment or 'bay' is built over a hollowed-out space of ground (no cement). The hollow is lined with limestone gravel, then covered with hardware cloth.

To start, straw bales are packed over the hardware cloth, up to 50% of the height of each bay. Straw-tied bales of straw are stacked up around the three enclosed sides of each bay.

Each compartment has an exterior double door, split horizontally (a "Dutch door"). Maybe a three foot high lower door built of sturdy, weathertight material, and a two foot (dimmed glass) flip-up door on top, for a hint of solar gain and regular access.

The area has an extra elbow-room space (the third 'bay,' possibly in the middle or to one side) for a short rake, stacked straw/hay bales and various buckets of: dirt, rotted sawdust, leaves, weeds or other plant clippings, etc.

With the rainfall transporting aluminum, barium, cadmium and the rest of the chemtrail fallout into the pile, indoor composting seems the more attractive option at this time. We're prepared to allot an additional 2 ft x (sqft of bay) of water to each bay yearly.

This is not a solar toilet -- the glass will add a minimum of heat, similar to open air sunlight.

We'll probably have to 'import' some red wigglers to inhabit the cooler pile areas, and tweak the system as needed.

Thoughts?




I cannot put into words how immensely valuable ALL YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS (text, that is, lol) have been in my present and continuing education here. It is likely that the 85% of readers who never post are emanating a huge silent gratitude to you all, and of course to Joe particularly. Thank You.

THERE IS NO WASTE, ONLY LACK OF IMAGINATION! :-)

(Message edited by Xenos on July 14, 2009)

(Message edited by Xenos on July 14, 2009)

Author: Carol Schloss
Monday, December 06, 2004 - 6:11 pm
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Mr Jenkins,

We’ve read your Humanure book and would like to build our own 2-chamber composting toilet, designed to be a part of the indoor bathroom of our new home. This will be a one-story, owner-built house on a slab foundation with radiant floor heat. The composting toilet chambers can be located against an outside wall with a door for easy cleanout, accessed by a few stairs up to the 3’ or 4’(?) height needed from inside the bathroom, but the chambers will have to sit on the slab, not be located below grade, and the outer walls will have a height of 8’. My question is: what is the volume we need to enclose for each chamber, calculating that 2 people will be using one chamber year ‘round, for a year, without the addition of kitchen scraps, only the sawdust cover? We plan then to seal the used chamber for a year before using the compost, meanwhile utilizing the second chamber. I see something similar mentioned by a reader on page 202, but they’re adding kitchen scraps and garden compost, and a 5’x10’x3’ area seems huge in a modest sized home. If you could help us calculate for the minimum size, we’d be grateful, as plans seem to be very scarce. Also, besides a vent, do we need to plan for a drain in this area when we pour the slab foundation? In my reading there seems to be a lot of questions as to whether it’s needed or not.

Author: Ron Mazerolle
Friday, December 10, 2004 - 10:54 am
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What you are considering is very commendable but sounds expensive. If using Joe's sawdust toilet does not appeal to you perhaps a proper compost toilet would suit your needs. Check out the units available at sun-mar.com. I have one and am very pleased with it. I have also used a system similar to what you are proposing and have used a sawdust toilet. The Sun-Mar toilet seems more appropiate for my needs. Good luck on what ever you choose.

Author: Larry
Friday, December 10, 2004 - 2:39 pm
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One size doesn't fit all, as Ron's experience with several systems shows. Bucket or bin? That's a basic question. I have both, and there are advantages to each. A large capacity 4'x4' poly cannery tote serves well in the high-use area at my roadside oyster stand (photos at www.solartoilet.com). In our home a bucket toilet sits next to the flusher, (which makes a good stand for the office shredder, providing absorbent carbonaceous cover material). I find the simplicity of the bucket system elegant: no need for a drain or special vent, no heater, and cheap/free.
If a bin is considered necessary, cannery totes are hard to beat. They're tough, long-lasting, easily equipped with a drain line, have covers, and have a fairly low profile (about 28"). A drain line is essential to avoid oversaturated smelly anaerobic conditions. One bin should last 2-3 residents about one year. Access is needed to occasionally move the mound under the seat to another section.

Author: Anonymous
Saturday, December 11, 2004 - 11:44 am
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To Carol, What about following the humanure hilton plan; only it will be inclosed & have a natural drain (no slab underneath).Please answer. I've wondred about doing this.Earthworms underneath have a big part in changing all of the raw compost to valuable finished compost and clean water after the naturally generated heat kills the germs.

Author: TCLynx
Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 2:44 pm
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I expect the composting toilet/chamber systems appeal to people thinking that they can simply use and forget with minimal management. Do concider that when it does come time to deal with such systems it can be messier and more difficult. And if there is a failure of the system to work, what then? Concider carefully.

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