'Greens' and Bin Sizes

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Handbook - A Guide to Composting Human Manure: 'Greens' and Bin Sizes
Author: TCLynx (Tclynx)
Monday, March 19, 2007 - 9:12 pm
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Coffee grounds work as cover material in a humanure bucket system. Only problem I find with the coffee grounds as cover in the bucket is that they are often moist and will start to get moldy in the cover material bucket before you use them up (at least if you pick up a bag full from the coffee shop every now and then.)

Composting can be pretty scientific but then again, you can often experiment and see what seems to work. Kinda like gardening, key ingredients being attention and time.

Composting is a very fullfilling activity, I hope you enjoy it.

Author: John Smith (John)
Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 8:37 am
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Short answer to coffee grounds:

Just throw them in the pile. Unless you're operating a commercial coffee process, the amount you use won't upset the composting process.

Longer answer:

The whole 'green to brown ratio' is a poor attempt to simplify basic composting chemistry. Proper moisture content and carbon to nitrogen ratios are what you're looking for (along with a few other important, but simple variables) to set the grounds for a good composting process.

https://weblife.org/humanure/chapter3_7.html

Many folks had questions (most likely based on the huge amount of misinformation present regarding composting) and composting science was simplified even more to say: Green = high nitrogen content; Brown = high carbon content; therefore you should have a proper mix of browns and greens.

Sometimes, however, during intial browning of vegetation, the nitrogen content is higher than that of when the vegetation was green. For this and other reasons, the 'brown/green ratio' simplification is fundimentally flawed.

It's best to stick to the science of composting, as it's fairly easy to understand if you're motivated enough to want to.

Have fun at the composting class. I think you'll like it.

John

Author: Kjell Connelly (Kjell)
Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 2:27 am
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Humanure is considered a 'green', so putting something like coffee grounds would maybe add too much greens, do you think? Or is there no limit to the disproprtion of greens vs browns as long as you have adequet cover material?

Second, I have a plan to make a 3 slot bin. Do the bins need to be a certain size for it to heat up (Mine tentatively will be 1 cubic yard, 3x3x3)? Do they need to be bigger to be adequet for more humanure?

Thanks!
- Kjell

P.S. I have done absolutely zero composting, but I am taking a master composter class in Seattle very soon and hope to add humanure to it. I am 200 pages through the ebook.

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