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post #281 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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So how do you responsibly discard the waste from a composting toilet? The answer is this cannot be a zero impact solution and at any scale begins to become a serious health issue.
.
I think you make a good point but I'd seems unlikely that a bucket or two in the corner of a yard per year would be a scale that would be a problem.
many of us poo very seldom on the boat but proper handling is important and volume matters, agreed.
For many of us it seems to be a solution if Handled responsibly.
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post #282 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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Originally Posted by HeartsContent View Post
There is a HUGE difference between organic compost (food, grass ...) and human fecal matter mixed with compost. The latter carries fecal bacteria and the former does not. There is a reason that you are not supped to mix the fecal compost with food gardens - it's dangerous due to the fecal bacteria! - RTM that comes with your composting toilet!!!!

If you are spreading fecal compost in your yard then my post remains valid despite the ignorance of the parties involved. It's disgusting and dangerous - especially in an urban environment. If folks get sick in your neighborhood, you could be in a heap of trouble if they track it back to you. Now more so than before as you cannot claim ignorance. Gotta love the internet!

Where you dump the bacteria does not influence where it will stay. Once it rains, this bacteria can easily end up in your neighbors vegetable garden. Note that many of the recent food contamination issues are a result of this.

This exemplifies how messed up the public understanding of responsible environmental management is (gotta love "green"). A society of no understanding of consequences, only what's in it for me!

If you've ever seen the 3rd world you'll fully understand the dire consequences of failing to properly manage sewage.

So how do you responsibly discard the waste from a composting toilet? The answer is this cannot be a zero impact solution and at any scale begins to become a serious health issue.

One can have a zero impact with a porta-pottie or pump out head.

That's just the facts, not opinion or religion.
Are you obtuse or just a troll?
Let me quote from my previous post. Please actually read it this time, okay?

"Humanure may be deemed safe for humans to use on crops if handled in accordance with local health regulations, and composted properly. This means that thermophilic decomposition of the humanure must heat it sufficiently to destroy harmful pathogens, or enough time must have elapsed since fresh material was added that biological activity has killed any pathogens. To be safe for crops, a curing stage is often needed to allow a second mesophilic phase to reduce potential phytotoxins.

Humanure is different from night soil, which is raw human waste spread on crops. While aiding the return of nutrients in fecal matter to the soil, it can carry and spread a vast number of human pathogens. Humanure kills these pathogens both by the extreme heat of the composting and the extended amount of time (1 to 2 years) that it is allowed to decompose."



There is a lot of information on the subject. Why don't you actually check it out?
No offense, but you're information is a bunch of crap.
You're insisting that the most natural process in the world, one that happens all by itself and has forever, is a dangerous practice.
That's just silly.

Google a fellow named Joe Jenkins. He's the guy that came up with the term "Humanure". He also composted his family's waste for over thirty years while bringing up children. He used the compost in his vegetable gardens for all that time.

The Humanure Handbook - Center of the Humanure Universe

He also paid to have extensive testing on his compost and has the documentation to prove his claims.
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post #283 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
I can see that with normal usage if you have your own yard available the ct sounds ideal.

How do you figure it would work out if you are limited to marina's and anchoring and are not off shore.
Until people become educated on the subject, unreasonable fears such as Heart's Content is exhibiting will continue and serve to hold back simple solutions such as special bins provided by municipalities for the specific purpose of collecting compostable materials.
The sad fact is that misinformation is holding back progress. People like HC are sitting on city councils and making decisions based on paranoia rather than science.

However, to answer your question directly. Placing the mostly dry contents of a composting head into a stout plastic trash bag and tossing it in the dumpster seems to work for a lot of people. It will still end up in the dump and be returned to the soil. And it won't be any more dangerous than all the diapers that end up there.
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post #284 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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But is it better? That's where your loosing the debate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
Until people become educated on the subject, unreasonable fears such as Heart's Content is exhibiting will continue and serve to hold back simple solutions such as special bins provided by municipalities for the specific purpose of collecting compostable materials.
The sad fact is that misinformation is holding back progress. People like HC are sitting on city councils and making decisions based on paranoia rather than science.

However, to answer your question directly. Placing the mostly dry contents of a composting head into a stout plastic trash bag and tossing it in the dumpster seems to work for a lot of people. It will still end up in the dump and be returned to the soil. And it won't be any more dangerous than all the diapers that end up there.
a. Is there something better about a cruiser depositing night waste mixed with saw dust in a waste can than disposing of sewage into a sewage treatment plant? To my mind, they are perhaps equal. Both are acceptable with some negatives.

b. The solids are not composted in the airhead of a well used boat--the design is inadequate, the temperatures too low and the rate is too high--they are only partially dried and mixed with stuff. Put the solids in my yard to compost? Like many sailors, that is 1-hour drive from the boat and I'm not trucking it home. There is no "green" disposal possibility anywhere I have ever cruised. So, while "humanure" might work for some--and I think it is an acceptable idea where there are good composting practices--it simply will not work for most sailors.

c. A properly installed marine head has zero odor; it's a matter of proper installation. There are many old systems that don't work, but likewise there are many old cars that don't run. They're not hard to fix, but perhaps it's not obvious. Proper hoses. Proper venting (large or a filter). Short hose runs. Proper design. I was on my boat today, and it worked just as well as my home facility.

d. Risk of sinking. My through hulls are in a bulkheaded compartment. I don't have siphon breaks, as the head is 4" above the water line and catamarans don't heel much. Really, no risk of sinking in my case. Yes, there are some scary through hull installations out there.

e. As for comments that everything will eventually fail, well, obviously. Air-head sell spare parts too, and from what I'm told, things do break. I over-hauled my MSD system this summer, after 14 years, and it's like new. That seems pretty reasonable. Not difficult. Like "a", this issue is probably equal either way.

f. Hauling crap out vs. pumping-out. Pumping out is really easy in most areas, like getting gas (often the same dock). Hauling crap means carrying something through the salon, down the dock, to a can, and back. And pitching the piss each day. I don't have a poo phobia, not at all. I just know which system is easier.

g. psuedo-composting head needs continuous power. Fan wears out. Danger of fire. Small, but so is sinking.

h. Psudo-composting head needs large vent; if poorly installed these can REALLY take water, drowning the above fan and wetting compost. It's happened. A vent design error on an MSD system only fills the tank, and that is rare.

Yes, a pseudo-composting toilet can work. But I don't believe the case has been made that it is better for most sailors. Some will like it, but not very many. A bucket can work and so can a smelly poorly designed MSD. I offer that most air-head buyers are reacting to a bad msd expereince, rather than choosing with a clear head.

------------

PS. I have designed commercial composting operations (yard waste, presorted household waste, rendering waste), sewage treatment plants (both refinery waste and sanitary waste) and oil and metals recycling facilities: I am neither paranoid nor ignorant.
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 01-07-2012 at 05:16 PM.
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post #285 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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No through holes

Less than 1 pint fresh water flush porcelain bowl whats not to like

Compleat system 500 dollars with a SS deck pump out and vent

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post #286 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
a. Is there something better about a cruiser depositing night waste mixed with saw dust in a waste can than disposing of sewage into a sewage treatment plant? To my mind, they are perhaps equal. Both are acceptable with some negatives.

I don't maintain that the choice of a composting head is for everyone. Cruisers who are using the head every day and don't have access to a place to deposit the compost are perhaps better off using a traditional MSD.

b. The solids are not composted in the airhead of a well used boat--the design is inadequate, the temperatures too low and the rate is too high--they are only partially dried and mixed with stuff. Put the solids in my yard to compost? Like many sailors, that is 1-hour drive from the boat and I'm not trucking it home. There is no "green" disposal possibility anywhere I have ever cruised. So, while "humanure" might work for some--and I think it is an acceptable idea where there are good composting practices--it simply will not work for most sailors.

Most sailors? I disagree. Most sailors that I know and work for wouldn't fill up a composting head in a month or two of use.

What's the big deal with carrying a sealed five gallon pail of mostly dry waste in the trunk of your car? You carry a sloshing tank of sewage around in your boat all the time. And if you're a cruiser, that's your home. You don't have to live in your car.


I don't believe that you can say that the design is inadequate. They do exactly what they are advertized to do. As you say and I agree with, if you are using it a lot and don't have a convienent place to compost it, maybe it's not the best choice for you.

c. A properly installed marine head has zero odor; it's a matter of proper installation. There are many old systems that don't work, but likewise there are many old cars that don't run. They're not hard to fix, but perhaps it's not obvious. Proper hoses. Proper venting (large or a filter). Short hose runs. Proper design. I was on my boat today, and it worked just as well as my home facility.

d. Risk of sinking. My through hulls are in a bulkheaded compartment. I don't have siphon breaks, as the head is 4" above the water line and catamarans don't heel much. Really, no risk of sinking in my case. Yes, there are some scary through hull installations out there.

e. As for comments that everything will eventually fail, well, obviously. Air-head sell spare parts too, and from what I'm told, things do break. I over-hauled my MSD system this summer, after 14 years, and it's like new. That seems pretty reasonable. Not difficult. Like "a", this issue is probably equal either way.

It's a personal choice. I gained a lot of room by removing the holding tank and I feel better about not having to have to worry about someone clogging up the head by putting too much toilet paper in it.
I don't know about how well the commercial heads hold up. But I know that if my breaks, I just need to find another bucket.


f. Hauling crap out vs. pumping-out. Pumping out is really easy in most areas, like getting gas (often the same dock). Hauling crap means carrying something through the salon, down the dock, to a can, and back. And pitching the piss each day. I don't have a poo phobia, not at all. I just know which system is easier.

I never have to visit a fuel dock unless I'm too lazy to carry five gallons of diesel to the boat. I would have to make special trips to the fuel dock just to pump out the tank. So in my case, it's a lot easier to carry a bucket the thirty feet or so once or twice a year.


g. psuedo-composting head needs continuous power. Fan wears out. Danger of fire. Small, but so is sinking.

h. Psudo-composting head needs large vent; if poorly installed these can REALLY take water, drowning the above fan and wetting compost. It's happened. A vent design error on an MSD system only fills the tank, and that is rare.

Yes, a pseudo-composting toilet can work. But I don't believe the case has been made that it is better for most sailors. Some will like it, but not very many. A bucket can work and so can a smelly poorly designed MSD. I offer that most air-head buyers are reacting to a bad msd expereince, rather than choosing with a clear head.

My composting head uses no fan. Nor does it need one. My composting head has no vent. Nor does it need one.
I have no idea why most composting head buyers made their choice. But from what I read, most people seem to be happy with their choice.

------------

PS. I have designed commercial composting operations (yard waste, presorted household waste, rendering waste), sewage treatment plants (both refinery waste and sanitary waste) and oil and metals recycling facilities: I am neither paranoid nor ignorant.
I don't believe I have ever accused you of being either. And I'm not trying to win a debate. I'm only trying to share my experience.
I may have been a little harsh with Heart's Content, but it's difficult to have discussions with people who refuse to educate themselves.

I don't disagree that it requires more effort to compost. I empty the bucket on the head that I use every day just about once a week. It definitely does require a commitment. I even spend the time to mix up a special blend of sawdust and home produced charcoal for cover material. But when I consider the thousands of gallons of water that I haven't wasted and all the great compost that I've been able to add to my poor soil. I feel the effort is a small price to pay.

I really don't disagree with you at all that a composting head may not be the most convenient choice for cruisers. I never claimed that it was.
I really am more interested in seeing people that it might work for consider the idea. Especially people who do most of their pooping on land. Which frankly, is probably most of the people who are reading this.
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post #287 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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No through holes

Less than 1 pint fresh water flush porcelain bowl whats not to like

Compleat system 500 dollars with a SS deck pump out and vent
What is the name of this product?
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post #288 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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post #289 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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SEALAND
711-M28 Marine Sanitation System

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That's pretty neat! The tanks a bit small, but with the availability of pump out boats it might be a good alternative.

Now I wonder if I can take the contents home and compost it ...
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post #290 of 443 Old 01-08-2012
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Quote:
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I really don't disagree with you at all that a composting head may not be the most convenient choice for cruisers. I never claimed that it was.
I really am more interested in seeing people that it might work for consider the idea. Especially people who do most of their pooping on land. Which frankly, is probably most of the people who are reading this.
When I consider the porta-poti I had on my last boat, the bucket head idea seems pretty reasonable; the porta-poti head has many flaws and inconveniences, but it's what make's sense on smaller boats. That boat was 27 feet and 1200 pounds; 300 pounds of MSD system would have insulted the efforts taken to save weight. I agree that your aproach makes a lot more sense than carrying a sloshing porta-poti base down the dock.

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