Great winter sawdust idea

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Handbook - A Guide to Composting Human Manure: Great winter sawdust idea
Author: David Cain
Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 11:51 pm
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hi folks!

tomorrow is march 1, and so we are nearly "around the bend" as far as the coldest strech of winter here in northern vermont...

following joes description for storing a winter supply of sawdust we covered up our pile with hay and a tarp, but decided to get some additional sawdust. so, late in the fall we decided to fill up roughly 20 burlap coffee sacks with sawdust from a local sawmill. we brought them home and stored them all under a covered shed roof and ended up using those as our main source of sawdust for refilling our big indoor bucket next to the sawdust toilet in our yurt that we scoop sawdust out of.

this solution worked really well, and avoided the need to dig out sawdust from under the several feet of snow. storing the sawdust in the coffee bags also allows the option of moving a decent amount of sawdust inside if it were neccesary to thaw it out. even tho this was a very cold winter, we never ran into that problem.

has anyone else done this? i would say that roughly 8 bags has got us through 3-4 months.

this is also an idea for folks located in urban areas who might not be able to store sawdust outside, but could drive out to the country where they could stock up on sawdust at a mill, and then store it in a shed or garage or closet or whatever.

by the way we were able to get as many large burlap coffee bags as we were willing to haul away for free from a local coffee roasting company.

happy composting!

dave

Author: admin
Sunday, February 29, 2004 - 12:15 pm
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Great idea.

Joe

Author: Anonymous
Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:03 am
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Great ideas!

Before the first snows I filled 3 buckets with sawdust to hold me through times of bad weather. I still had to go out a couple times to refill my buckets, but having the reserves allowed me to watch for times of relatively good weather that allowed for digging out chunks of more sawdust. The new buckets had time to thaw out inside before I had to use them.

I found that the sawdust wouldn't freeze into chunks if it stayed dry.

Author: Herb_Wis
Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 11:54 am
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I've noticed that if you can get sawdust when it is freshly cut and keep it from soaking up rain then it doesn't tend to freeze into solid clumps. Since sawdust is such a bulky item, it is tough to keep a lot of it dry. I suppose a tarp would help or a covered bin or stall.

Author: Milkwitch
Saturday, May 07, 2005 - 6:59 pm
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Hi, we live in New Brunswick Canada. We have found that the saw dust wet and already starting to decompose is easy to use and keeps smell sweet. But because of barn animals we got a lot of dry SD put away and after a bit we were haveing to use it for our tolit. This was not ideal! the smell was annoying and the bulk jumped dramaticly! and water/moisture was a problem. We tried to soak the stuff but it eventualy became too much, and we had to let go of the SD tolit till the weather broke. Our compost pile is STILL frozen!!!

Author: Ronald Mazerolle
Sunday, May 08, 2005 - 8:45 am
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I live in New Brunswick also. Keep adding to your compost pile all winter, but keep it covered. It will start to heat when the weather warms. My pile is presently over 40C and rising even though some of the inner pile is still frozen. By the end of the month it will all be working. I'll give my pile a helping hand in 2 or 3 weeks by tilling and mixing the pile while adding more yard waste. Don't forget to add your lobster scraps this spring. The pile will love it.

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