OUR HOUSE STINKS NOW

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Handbook - A Guide to Composting Human Manure: OUR HOUSE STINKS NOW
Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Monday, September 14, 2009 - 12:33 pm
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At $15.00 for a 12-ounce bottle, which should last quite a while, it would be an inexpensive experiment. The organisms are not anaerobic--they are microaerophilic. This means they will probably work best in a closed container, but minimal exposure to air will not kill them. Further exploration of the EM products shows a Bokashi system which could probably be adapted for Humanure.

There is a leachate with this method, and it would need to be tested to be sure that the fecal coliforms have been reduced to safe numbers.

Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Monday, September 14, 2009 - 1:34 am
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Freth, thanks for this pointer to one of the "problems" which I have been pondering for some while, viz., how to use a Humanure-type composting toilet for such situations as a mobile home, campervan or yacht. I.e, where you can't dispose of it into a compost heap. Do you take it home with you? How long can you keep it locked away, before it becomes a deterrent to any visitors? What would the public health authorities do if they knew what you were doing?
Here is a suggestion, which calls for input from everyone else visiting this forum...
What about using Effective Micro-Organisms(EM) and storing the humanure in airtight containers until such time as it can be added to a compost pile? These EM work by fermenting instead of putrefying. The smell resulting is more like fermenting wine, not at all objectionable, and you will only notice this smell when you open the container to add more humanure. It's an anaerobic process, therefore you make sure to keep air out of the storage container.
Please, if you are interested to read more, Google "Effective Micro-Organisms." I would love to hear the opinions of others on this, especially if you have in fact tried it. A successful research might even do away with the porta-potty and formaldehyde.

Author: Freth (Freth)
Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 6:45 pm
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Demeter, Burra, --When you live in a big-rig truck (18-wheeler) there is no taking it home or composting. It's bag it and send it off to the municipal "compost pile" (landfill). I'm on the road for 4 to 6 weeks at a time. If you live in an apartment complex ... there is no composting capability. Not all landlords are receptive to your creating a compost pile on their property. If you have your own place (not located in an HOA), then composting is a fabulous thing to do!

Author: MJ Raichyk, PhD (Dectiri)
Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 2:15 pm
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There's an issue that seems relevant but is not being addressed. Let me illustrate from our litterbox experience with our cats.

Cats are strict carnivores, no more than about 5% carbohydrates can be tolerated without their organs incurring damage that accumulates til they develop diabetes, kidney disease or hyperthyroidism.

Once we switched our cats to a meat-only diet (well a bit of herbs for one or other health problem like runny noses or eye irritation) but you get the idea... well an amazing thing seemed to happen in the litterbox duty... the 'smells' just seemed to be gone after a couple minutes after that cat's efforts in the box.

I've since seen others make similar observation on cat health list discussions. So here's the next shoe... our own experience in using the humanure system has made us more aware of our own 'output' and the difference between our previous awareness of odor and the now-near odorless deposits since we've become *near* vegetarian (ovo-lacto with a bit of fish or fermented meat in small quantity). So here's a new angle...

Is the disagreeable smell that is looked at with alarm in SOME humanure system toilets just evidence that there's damaging to our organs going on inside our guts because of our dietary mis-choices???

The usefulness of the humanure toilets as a way to monitor our own developing health or problems may be a bonus for humanure users.

Perhaps the dietary variable needs to be examined in discussing the odors. We will be considering this angle for our own informal educational programming in our independent studies work which we are beginning to accumulate at a website of our organization... www.the-CIGHE.org

Hope you can see how impressive and wonderful this possibility of everyday and indicative health guiding role could be for humanure in people's lives and families. Even animals may be doing this, possibly???

Author: Burra (Burra)
Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 4:46 pm
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A plastic bag full of diarrhea dumped in the garbage? That's totally gross, sorry...

Can't you find some way of dealing with it a bit more responsibly? Demeter's suggestion of composting it at home is would be a lot better. Why not give it a try?

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 11:53 am
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Unless the dumpster at the truck stop is "for compostables only," you aren't composting. Why not carry the contents home and put it on your own compost pile?

Author: Freth Stifter (Freth)
Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 11:16 am
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Besides using sawdust ... I purchased a truckload of compost from the county landfill and used it both in the garden and in the "sawdust" toilet in our mobile home. No odor.

Don't use sawdust from most cabinet shops. They use sawdust board ... which is mostly glue. And OMB sawdust isn't much better. You need sawdust from a place that cuts real wood ... not wood/glue composites.

In case of emergency, I've sometimes purchased a bag of compost from Lowe's or Home Depot (for my bucket toilet in my 18-wheeler truck). I've found that this effectively stops odor (way better than chemical toilets) ... besides putting the lid back on the bucket. Why would I have one in my truck? Sometimes you get diarhea ... with no toilet facility around. Or the wife suddenly needs a toilet and I'm miles away from any facilities.

How do I compost the bucket contents from my truck? I line the bucket with a plastic trash bag ... put a tie around the top and drop it in the dumpster at the Truck-Stop.

Author: colleen pizzo (Allwillbemadenew)
Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 10:22 pm
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to the Jenkins family:
we thank our Father for you all. The Humanure Handbook was bought originally, years ago, as what else ..."a bathroom book"... we have moved too many times in the past few years.."butt"..always hand-carried the Humanure Handbook, NEVER allowing it to be shuffled in the boxed cargo. The included quote about 'living simply..being content where you are" has gotten us thru tough times (we lived out in an apartment in Az. for a while..which killed chances for natural living) now, we are in a place where we can begin to live like real human beings again..and the Handbook once again placed in the bathroom..has rekindled our spirits...and brought health to our bones. I flushed a few times..and felt guiltier than ..i'm removing the traditional toilet tomorrow, going into town i.s.o. buckets, and beginning to live the correct way, again. Wow, i feel such a sense of purpose to provide our children with the opportunity to live naturally..and it is all because you and yours shared your knowledge, kindness, and humor that will forever be in our hearts!! You've really enlightned our family. We are brought closer together by the wisdom gained from your book. Despite the sick oddities reigning..and raining down..our Father's natural beauty can still be found, exercised, and enjoyed because of the loving, unselfish spirit that is in His children, like you.
Gratitude and peace to your hearts from ours
Love, the Pizzo family
p.s. if you're ever passing thru western N.C., feel free to stop by and take a over here if nature's calling!

Author: TCLynx (Tclynx)
Thursday, November 22, 2007 - 9:33 pm
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Patrick (Pcinca), do you frequent the Soil and compost forum on Garden web? There are quite a few compost whackos there with all sorts of hints for aquiring quantitys of organic mater for composting.

I've had sometimes had good high temp results in compost piles. Key ingredients I've found for getting up to the 150-160 range seem to be plenty of urine and a bit of cooking grease or oil. My primary cover material for the outdoor bin is other peoples bagged leaves (straw is $$ here as FL isn't much of a grain producing state.) Indoor cover materials in the bucket are sawdust and shredded paper. If we notice a smell, more sawdust needs to be used. Other things we have occasionally used include used coffee grounds though they have a strong smell of their own and must be used quickly before they get all moldy and shredded leaves.

As to poor soil, I hear you there. Patients with the compost pile is a challenge. However, I've gotten really into many of the no till gardening methods so I'm into collecting as much cheap or free organic materials to cover my ground and plant. I've been carpeting the yard with slip sheets (the cardboard sheets between layers from pallets at stores like costco or sams) and covering with different mulch materials and compost. It is amazing how much the soil seems to improve just by putting mulch over it and keeping it moist. It will be even better once the H compost is aged enough.

Author: Patrick (Pcinca)
Saturday, November 03, 2007 - 10:03 am
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Scott, it sounds like you have the H-process down to a well working system now!

The only problem with any humanure pile is the long waiting period for it to be safely usuable (2 years sitting after it is full). Once the system is going for a few years, there will always be ready-to-use compost if the volume of use does not exceed the volume of production.

Meantime, I've kept several non-manure piles going so I have a steady, usable stash of compost. This summer, I ran out of compost and had to do some "speed-composting" (turning the pile to keep the digestion going at a rapid pace). This, of course, should not be done with a humanure pile unless it's in a contained, rotating barrel, but the deal here is to always have plenty of ready-to-use compost at hand.

I have not had to speed compost in years and it really brought back not so fond memories of excessively hard work to be able to turn out a finished pile in 2-3 weeks and this flies in the face of my desire to adhere to the "lazy-man technology", which in a nutshell, dictates that one should let nature do it's work and when applied to composting, one should always have plenty of usable compost on hand in order to avoid breaking a sweat over the pile.

On the other hand, one learns a great deal about the biodynamics of composting when speed-composting and having to quickly replenish my compost stash this summer, all those lessons came back with a vigorous daily compost turning workout. I now have 4 non-humanure piles going along with 2 humanure piles and eventually I will have enough compost to use the humanure pile only.

Author: Scott (Tickridgescott)
Friday, November 02, 2007 - 8:02 pm
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I just want to update here. I am not sure how we are having such great success with our compost pile, but the thing has been in the 140 degree F range for the last month or so. Today it was 151 degrees (that is the highest I have ever seen since we started the pile in March). We have only ever added humanure, kitchen food scraps, dead mice and chipmunks that the cats bring in to us on occasion, obviously ALL urine is included TOO (no separating out urine from the pile). I am extremely happy, as I have never composted before this year at all. Our soil here is really bad and I look forward to being able to use all this compost in Spring of 2009. (we will be completing filling this pile sometime this winter or early next spring). Every time I add the buckets to the pile, I first scrape the loose straw off the top of the pile and to the sides of the bin, and make a little impression in the center of the pile so that the bucket material goes there. I empty the buckets, then scrub (1 to 2 drops bioegradable 7th generation dish soap) buckets with toilet brush. I use the same wash/scrub water for all 4 or 5 buckets. I dump the wash water on the pile, then rinse out buckets and dump rinse water on pile. Then use some additional loose straw to add a good 4 to 6 inch loose layer of straw over the top layer. After the straw is added, I stick the reotemp 20" compost thermometer back in the center of the pile. And then I cover with plastic deer fence netting to keep the deer from poking their nose in the pile to get food scraps. Yesterday when I emptied 4 buckets, the temp was 146 before adding the new deposits. During the 10 to 15 minutes that I had the thermometer out of the pile it dropped to 50 degrees (outside temp). Within 3 or 4 minutes after replacing the thermometer after the addition of the new bucket material, it jumped back up to about 138. Today the temp was up to 151. I don't think it will get any hotter but that is good and fine because 151 degrees is hotter than I ever thought the pile would get in the first place. When i remove the straw it steams. I think that the layer of straw not only serves to keep the smells in, but it also acts as a HEAT INSULATOR for keeping the heat of the pile in. I built the strawbale house we live in and it DOES in fact function wonderfully as an insulator.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 7:59 pm
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I get a dump truck load (10 tons) of sawdust at a time and I leave it outside uncovered. I have to replenish my sawdust pile every few years.

Author: Scott (Tickridgescott)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 9:58 am
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I am updating here to say that in the last week since acquiring the new buckets and using correct cover material, no odor now - at least ways - no more odor than would be had with any kind of water flushing toilet.

Author: Scott (Tickridgescott)
Friday, October 26, 2007 - 3:25 pm
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Thank You Joe. I understand and know that a lot of forums also deal with this.

I did find out that the sawdust I have IS sawdust, but they said that maybe it was some of the stuff that was slightly coarser from clean off of belts, etc. I went to another sawmill today and their sawdust seems a little bit finer, with more finer material throughout it. I did not get any as they are really low right now and i need i would need to coordinate with a dump truck in the area. I firmly now believe that ultimately my issue is with my cover material.

The pile I have is covered with a tarp to keep it our cats out of it. If i remember correctly, it is actually BEST to leave the pile of sawdust outside and UNCOVERED. Is this true?

Also, it seems that at this place I went today to look at their stuff, if you get a huge amount (open semi load) you get a deal (60.00). What do you think about trying to coordinate with a tractor trailer load (i know a guy here who has one) and get THAT much sawdust. Do you think it would be a problem in terms of it breaking down before i get to use it or any other issues I am not considering?

If appropriate, I could have that large amount dumped and fence in that area (if leaving uncovered is more appropriate) and have enough sawdust for several years. Does leaving open help?

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Friday, October 26, 2007 - 1:21 pm
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OK Scott - you have convinced me that you're legit. Sorry for jumping all over you. I maintain two message boards and have had severe problems with spammers and whatnot over the years and am on a hair trigger when it comes to bogus posts. I'll try to restrain myself next time I have doubts and make additional inquiries before jumping to conclusions.

Author: Scott (Tickridgescott)
Friday, October 26, 2007 - 4:05 am
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One more thing Joe...
I use straw as the cover material at the compost bin. I keep it covered about 6" worth most of the time. There is no smell emenating from our bin.

Author: Scott (Tickridgescott)
Friday, October 26, 2007 - 4:02 am
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Joe,

First of all, sorry to have alarmed you at first. The odor thing has in fact really been an issue but I think that I have a hunch as to what the real source of the problem is. I know that the buckets had to do with maybe some of it... old scratched buckets, sat for weeks and weeks at a time before dumping, etc. But I think the real culprit is my cover material. I got a load (our first load when we moved in here in May and still using that load) of what I thought to be sawdust from a sawmill. However... I am not sure that it really is, as I have not seen a comparison with other sawdust from the mill. It seems to be coarse. It is much coarser than sawdust that I have laying on the ground after using my table saw. It is like you can cover over the deposit in the toilet until you can't see it but it doesn't help, hardly any. Maybe there is a 15% reduction in smell verses leaving all the way uncovered. Your post here is what got my attention and I think that I may have planner shavings. I am not sure but they do seem very coarse.

Our humanure compost toilet is in the house in the bathroom. Our house is small and is more open in design (bathroom kind of centrally located) and so smells do kind of emenate throughout. I will say that if we cover a WHOLE LOT (say 3 or 4 inches over the deposit there is ZERO smell). We rarely do this because we would be going through buckets VERY FAST.

Yesterday I located an actual sawmill who sells their sawdust for 10.00 per pickup load and I am going to get over there to get some soon because I am thinking this will totally change our system and make it odor free.

When I was building out house last summer, I had a local amish guy saw up the white oak boards for my compost bin. When I picked them up he gave me a bag of sawdust as he knew what I was using the boards for. His sawdust was definitely much more fine than what the load of "sawdust" we have and have been using for 6 months. I don't remember any smell at all when I was using that toilet with his sawdust but i guess I had just attributed that to being in the garage. Now I am very suspect of our "sawdust" and thing it is planer shaving or something because is MUCH coarser.

As far as our compost pile goes, I am pretty jazzed about that because our pile has averaged probably about 120 degrees since June. A few days ago it was at 140 degrees and this was about 3 or 4 days after adding 8 buckets of humanure. It then slowly goes down to like 115 over time. I think the lowest I have ever seen it this summer was like 110 degrees. But that was after a while of not adding to it.

The bin is 4 feet by 4 feet by 4'8" tall. It is built from white oak boards. It is getting close to full (it was almost full in August but keeps sinking down). I have some sawed black locust boards ready for the second compost bin but i just have to get around to building it.

I just want to mention about the other thing (the deal with not affording new buckets). The deal with this was that it seemed that the buckets were stinking so bad after only months (now I am thinking it is my cover material that is inadequate) and I was envisioning having to buy new buckets every few months.

One more thing about our cover material. When you pee into the bucket, the sawdust is so coarse that it does not absorb the urine, the urine just runs right across the top and over to the side of the bucket and down to the bottom. Eventually it absorbs it because when you empty the bucket the whole thing is really moist. I think this is why the buckets aquired their smell so quickly. So you can see how I was coming up with what I was coming up with.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Friday, October 26, 2007 - 1:12 am
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OK Scott, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're not a bogus poster. You have two strikes going against you - stating that your buckets were stinking up the house and making people sick, then stating that buying new buckets was not in your budget - two far-fetched statements. For what it's worth, I got all my buckets free for many years at a donut shop. They cost nothing. These are still available today almost anywhere. They had donut filling in them and were only used once, so they're perfectly suitable as toilet receptacles.

Furthermore, anyone who uses a humanure toilet and uses proper cover materials know that the system is practically odor free. I say practically because someone once walked into a humanure toilet room after someone took a fresh dump and complained that it smelled bad in there. Using a humanure toilet will not make your stop stinking. If you walk into any toilet just after someone has taken a dump, you're probably going to smell something. However, proper cover materials stop all odor that may otherwise emanate from the toilet.

Your compost temperatures are extraordinarily high. If what you're saying is true, then you're doing something right. But I'm skeptical of your information. Your credibility is not at an all time high.

It doesn't matter how much urine is in the receptacle. You can use the receptacle for nothing but urine and there will be no odor if it's kept covered with proper cover material.

Proper cover material is a big factor. I used planer shavings this year, for example, in an experimental toilet at my place of business. It required twice as much cover material to prevent odor. That meant emptying the container twice as often and having a compost pile with too much carbon and not enough nitrogen. The cover material had too many air spaces that were too large. I'm back to sawmill sawdust again and it makes a BIG difference. Kiln-dried sawdust does the same thing (allows odor to escape). I'm sure wood shavings sold as pet bedding and that sort of thing would also not make very good cover material. The choice of cover materials is critical to the successful, odor-free use of a humanure toilet.

I have 4 humanure toilets. One is for urine only, just off my bedroom. Two are in my place of business. The urine toilet is emptied every 3 weeks or so (when it fills). There is no odor. I have used it for years. The business ones are emptied every 6-7 weeks as I fill 6-7 containers at a time before emptying then. One of these in in my office. There is also no odor there. However, leaving these containers sit so long before emptying had caused a fruit fly problem, so it's better to empty them every few weeks at the most. The fruit flies came from a banana peel or something that was throw into one of the toilet receptacles. Alternatively, the toilet receptacles can be removed from the building when full (set outside by the compost area, for example), then emptied when enough are accumulated, fruit flies or no fruit flies. I have found that the compost pile likes a more regular feeding and is happier if fed weekly rather than monthly.

My home toilet is emptied about every week. It's a four container system. We have never had a fruit fly issue in 28 years.

My best compost temperatures are in my home compost pile where the urine toilet is deposited as is all food materials and lots of garden weeds, etc., etc. It rarely rises above 130F. Compost really likes the urine (and the green materials), so I would not advise trying to reduce the urine supply. There is a faction in the compost toilet community that insists on segregating urine, but I am in complete disagreement with them.

The business compost pile gets only toilet compost, no kitchen material or even green material, and does not achieve high temperatures. Maximum maybe 110F. I would achieve higher temperatures if I deposited into (i.e. fed) the compost more frequently, or if I added green material or food scraps.

I am trying variations because I want to see what happens. I'm finding that people who read my book and then set up their own humanure toilets frequently stray from my directions, so I'm trying different variations to see what problems arise and how they can be remedied.

Tell me, Scott, where is your toilet - house, shop, etc.? How many are you using (one location or more)? What are you using for cover material in your toilet, and in your compost pile? Where are you getting your cover material?

Author: Patrick (Pcinca)
Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 7:17 pm
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Scott,

It definitely sounds like you were using too much cover material and have cut back on it. I use just enough to cover the log and don't bother trying to completely cover the T.P.

Later, I pee on the paper to make it lay down flat then sometimes I put a little cover material over that, but I don't care if it's completely covered- it's not neccessary. The log is what's important to cover and just for the odor abatement.

With 3 people, 3 buckets per week sounds about right, but if you skimp on the cover material like I do and gently compact the stuff one time, you might get another day or 2 out it before emptying.

You're right about the need to keep the humanure away from the edges of the compost pile and that's why I keep the pile concave and it requires less hassle and less cover material. The bucket contents only need 2 to 3 inches cover material to stop the odor and with the adition of yard material and kitchen scraps added, it will be odorless and un-offensive.

I started my current humanure pile in May and it's full to the top now, but by the time I'm ready to empty another bucket, it biodegrades and lowers enough to accomodate a full bucket about once a week. I set up a new H. pile about a month ago and have not used it once because the first pile keeps lowering. Winter will probably slow the digestion down, but here in So. Cal. the weather allows for year-round composting.

Author: Scott (Tickridgescott)
Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 10:02 am
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Patrick,

I have always even with the old buckets put 2 to 3" of sawdust in the bottom before starting a new bucket. However, you have a point there when you talk about too much urine in them. It seems that in every bucket i emptied, the entire contents were fully soaked with moisture. I don't understand though about having too much urine in them, the way i understand it is you start with a few inches of cover material in the bottom, then use as a normal toilet, covering after each time. I think what we ran into was that the information in the book describes the average of 1 bucket per person per week. When we FIRST started out we were covering with plenty of cover material each time, but with the 3 of us we were going through 1 bucket per day (7 per week) instead of what is talked about as 3 buckets per week. So I thought....maybe we should use less cover in order to not go through so many buckets. So that is what we did, less cover after each use to conserve buckets. We used 3 to 4 buckets per week. Maybe we really ARE full of **** literally.

The reason i was digging an indentation in the pile was to make sure all the stuff wasn't falling outward against the sides.

I know that emptying the buckets immediately after each use would be best for odor reduction, but of course that isn't practical. Once per week seems like a fair trade off (as Joe DOES AT HIS PLACE). i AM hoping to see less odor stagnation in the buckets.

Author: Patrick (Pcinca)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 2:00 pm
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Lively conversation, folks!

Scott, problem "A" on the odor is keeping the buckets around too long before emptying them and you might have too much urine in them, also. This will contribute to the problem, but as others have mentioned, the cover material is very important: put a little in the bucket initially and cover the #2's up immediately. I never cover pee, infact, I use pee after covering #2's to wet down the T.P. and cover material for natural compaction. When the bucket is full, I take a plunger no longer needed for it's original purpose, and I compact the contents easily down to 1/3 bucket. This gives me several more days of use before emptying. I'm using dry eugenia leaves as a cover material and they are perfectly suited for this as they are small, thin do a great covering job then compact easily.

I have never had an odor problem and never wash the buckets with anything but a quick water spray and then let them dry in the sun.

If one wants to keep the buckets around for awhile before emptying, they need to be vacuum sealed to eliminate all bacteriological activity. This is the same process used to store food and it will also work on the humanure buckets.

When emptying the bucket into the compost bin, you do not need to create a whole in the center- that helps, but I just keep the pile level- maybe slightly concave, then cover the whole top of the bin with just a few inches of dry, organic, material. The initial odor from emptying the bucket goes away immediately. My bins are 3' dia. X 3'h circle shape and easy to maintain.

Author: Scott Hall (Tickridgescott)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 4:39 am
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Well, It has been a day now with a brand new bucket. I am happy to report that the odor is reduced to just about nothing. Amazing what a brand new bucket will do. The other thing here is that I think there has been a tendency here at our place to not cover after peeing, in an effort to minimize the amount of buckets and sawdust we go through. However, it is now becoming more apparent that some cover needs to be added EVERY single time any deposit is made.

As far as my compost pile temps are concerned, I have held steady between 115 degrees and 150 degrees all summer and fall. Several days after a new addition to the pile, it ramps up to high 140's, then very slowly comes down but is staying plenty hot enough. I think that I am going to start adding to the pile weekly instead of every several weeks, simply because it is a little difficult to make a HUGE depression to take 12 or 15 buckets verses the 4 to 5 in a week.
A year from next spring I will be using to grow food.

Author: Scott Hall (Tickridgescott)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 4:45 pm
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Okay, so i went and bought new buckets today and the horrible stench (from the buckets themselves) is no longer with us. I believe that the problem might have been as follows:
1) I had 12 to 15, 5 gal buckets from past uses. I was using these to save money in going and buying new buckets when we moved he in may and started living here with the humanure system. There were lots of scratches in the buckets at the bottom which i think contributed to why they QUICKLY adopted a terrible odor.
2) We go through maybe 4 per week and I was emptying 1 time per month after all the buckets were full. Maybe this is a problem.

3) Based on how fast those "used" buckets adopted the odor, I could see spending a lot of money on buckets: Lowe's today : I bought 6 buckets 5.00 each plus 6 lids (1.50 each) = about 40 bucks (and it was my thinking that as fast as those other ones pick up odors, then how much am i going to be spending in buckets. SEE my thinking here? Relax Joe and be patient with us slow folk.

Just a note here: I ALWAYS scrubbed the buckets with bio soap AND a toilet brush and let them sit outside till we needed them. I think it was just a lost cause due to the scratched up buckets absorbing the ammonia smell.

I HAVE seen people posting here about some problems with smells, so it was not OUT OF THE QUESTION that I would have a problem. (Again, I think I am going to have better luck with NEW buckets now, I am hopeful).

I think though what was really offensive [of which you explained WHY (past people posting bogusly)] is that you quickly got extremely defensive and rude for an honest inquiry. I understand being on guard about things due to the beligerence of people who come on here and basically just have an inner intention to cause havoc to this site. I understand that. But....(YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN) But from my end of things, I have bought the book a couple years ago, been an avid supporter of it (even the couple years before we actually used the system), been an avid promoter of your system. But then, we ran into problems. I KNOW that others have run into some similar problems from time to time, not because they are STUPID or they are an "air head" , but because people are all different. To basically publicly say those kinds of things is just downright rude, man. I have been a avid fan and supporter. I am saying that if you want or would like to see more people adopt something new than what they are USED TO, then you have to have patience in their learning it, even if it their apparent incompetence seems silly to you.

Really I do not like having to get confrontative in any way about your comments, but then it was just that I was simply seeking information, nothing more. I feel as if the reason for your reactions was that you are afraid of what other people are going to think of the system based on my post. But I think we could just as well had a simple conversation about it all to help clear up the problem I was having with my buckets.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 1:29 pm
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We do get bogus posts on this message board from time to time and your information suggested that you were one of those people. I'm still not convinced you're not. I can't imagine a house stinking to the point of someone getting sick from a humanure toilet system, having used one myself for 28 years and the same buckets for maybe 10-15 years at a time with no household odors at all. This fact has been confirmed time and time again by numerous visitors and especially media people. For example, a reporter and a cameraman visited me a week or so ago and did a story on the humanure toilet and, as usual, remarked on the lack of odor (https://jenkinspublishing.com/downloads/news_herald_10_15_07.pdf)

If you are using a stinking system - don't use it - use something else. Why would anyone use a toilet system that stinks??

Yes, the plastic in the receptacles will absorb odor, especially the bottom, and you must put a few inches of cover material in the bottom of the bucket to start out - every time. You should also clean it after emptying - I use dish soap and a brush - every time. If you're receptacles smell bad - get new ones or do as some of the other people state on this message board - clean them and leave them in the sun for a couple days.

One guy wrote in and said he had mold growing all over his toilet and flies everywhere, everything but boa constrictors. Either the guy is a complete air head who can't follow simple instructions, or is making a bogus post.

If a humanure toilet system is problematic for anyone, they should not be using one. The system is very simple, but you do have to follow directions, use proper cover materials, and be responsible.

Author: Scott Hall (Tickridgescott)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 9:21 am
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TCLynx (Tclynx): Thanks for your reply, it was straightforward information - I am trashing these other buckets and getting new ones TODAY! I am getting re-inspired.

Author: Scott Hall (Tickridgescott)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 9:17 am
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The other thing I forgot to say is that it would have been fine with me to just tell me I need new buckets. THATS IT. Leave out the nasty comments. I did not realize what SEEMS an OBVIOUS fact to you, but instead of just talking to me about it, you had to try to attempt to make feel like about it. Why don't you do a little inquiring before rubbing people's noses in something that they are just asking about.

Author: Scott Hall (Tickridgescott)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 9:09 am
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Also is that she never pukes in the bucket, so she has never had her face IN the bucket.

Author: Scott Hall (Tickridgescott)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 9:08 am
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Geese, I am really stunned. Reading your follow up to my post really hurt. This was not a bogus post at all. This has been an issue for us. I was not demeaning in any way, just trying to get some feedback on this. I get it- get new buckets - we will try that. But to saying some of the things you said to me when I am just trying to get information is not cool at all. Anyway, I will try getting new buckets. The reason we have tried to stick with the old ones is due to finances. Thanks.

Author: TCLynx (Tclynx)
Monday, October 22, 2007 - 7:45 pm
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if someone is spending time with their face in the plastic bucket being sick, then I expect they can smell the odors that might cling to the plastic and be able to tell that it is the plastic buckets and not the lack of the cover material working. In this case definitely get some new buckets. Perhaps an extra bucket just for those morning sick days!.

Ok, and don't bring the wet buckets back inside before letting them dry out in the sun. Once they have dried and you have put some cover material down in the bottom of them they won't stink up the place when you bring them in.

The smell has noting to do with the humanure, it is simply about the plastic. There are very simple/cheap ways to deal with that.

If you expect that one of those "comercial" composting toilet systems will be perfect and without issues, you may be bitterly suprised.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Monday, October 22, 2007 - 12:12 am
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We occasionally get bogus posts on this message board and yours is one of them. If your buckets smell, get new ones. What do they cost, $4 each? Of course, that simple and obvious solution wouldn't fit in with your rant about your house stinking and your pregnant wife getting sick. Anyone who composts humanure and uses a humanure toilet knows that your post makes no sense whatsoever. Why would your toilet system smell if you're using a correct cover material? It wouldn't. I have used a humanure toilet for 28 years and there have never been unpleasant smells in our household, which has included 5 pregnancies during that period. Why would your house stink and make your wife sick? It wouldn't. Go get yourself a "real" compost toilet and scratch your head all the way to the loo, but keep your bogus rants off this message board, please. I suppose you get some perverted pleasure out of creating a misleading fantasy about humanure, or maybe your just full of . In any case, don't make your problems ours.

Author: Scott Hall (Tickridgescott)
Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 9:22 pm
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I read the humanure handbook at the time I was building our house. Instead of a septic, I did a greywater system and did not install plumbing in the concrete slab floor for the toilet as we decided to go with the bucket toilet. We moved in finally 5 months ago. My wife absolutely can not stand the smell. No matter how much i scrub the buckets, they acquire a smell. She maintains that it is NOT that the cover material is not working, it is the buckets themselves. I agree. I use biodegradable soap and a toilet scrub brush and scrub and scrub them but they still smell. I am thinking I either made a big mistake in doing this system....or.... i am going to have to spend big bucks (for us) on stainless steel buckets. My wife wants to use PINE SOL in a spray bottle to spray in the buckets and on the bucket walls after each cleaning. It says "Biodegradable" and "NO Phosphates" on the bottle, but i am still concerned. I have not decided whether we are going to use the compost on our food crops yet (we are not to that point yet) but I am thinking if we start adding the Pine Sol, then I will not have the option to put the compost on food crops, but would be fine for other stuff. My wife is pregnant and smelling the buckets throughout the house (small house) and is always sick from the smell. She jokingly said tonight she's gonna divorce me if I don't do something about this smell. Jeese, I never anticipated such a hassle when I decided to avoid the septic system. I am thinking about saving up for a REAL compost toilet like sun mar or some other thing. I am left scratching my head about all this right now.

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