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Re: composting toilet report
Well, my post seems to have accomplished its purpose.
Hellosailor, To answer your question directly and unevasively, first, you should always dispose of your waste legally. Like many legalities, there are gray areas. Jenkins goes into some depth about handling waste and disposing of waste and the law, so reading his free online book (th Humanure Handbook) which is the bible when it comes to composting, is a great first step, if you are contemplating using a composting or mouldering toilet. Let's use the term "CMT" (compact mouldering toilet) from here on to keep all the nigglers happy.
In most areas, the law states that you cannot dispose of "untreated" waste in the garbage and yes it is probably illegal to put animal or baby poop in the trash (more on this in a moment) and yes, people that throw bags of untreated waste in the dumpster, are probably breaking the law in most areas. Pouring chlorine in with the waste (add vinegar too if you really want to wipe out the bugs) and sealing it from the public is technically "treating" waste and it will be sterile once the chlorine gas has permiated the interior of the bucket. Therer will be no measurable level of live bacteria in the waste and that is the reason the law exists. It would be prudent to use some judgement and discard the bucket at a time and place where it is libel to attract the least attention like the back of a dumpster or with other items at the roadside the day of pickup. CMTs give you this kind of flexability as opposed to holding tank systems. If you are using a shiney new Homer bucket, hit it with a couple shots of spray paint to mar it and keep the curious away.
Discarding poop in the trash with respect to diapers and pet poop is not enforced because it is not practical to do so but make no mistake, baby poop especially can be dangerous. As the use of CMTs grows, it will become a problem in congested areas like Boot Key, Annapolis, St Pete, etc. There is no doubt that if current trends continue, that is, putting bags of mouldered poop in the trash, one of two things will happen. CMT will be outlawed in the basins or the dockmaster will see a source of revenue and you will be charged a discharge fee. Knowing how municipalities love revenues, I suspect the latter will be the case.
If you live in an area where the eco police are all over you all the time, then you have several options. Save the filled, odorless, compact buckets onboard until you get home and then add them to your composting mound, go offshore and dump the waste out or lastly don't buy a mouldering toilet. Very simple, easy solution. Four 5 gallon buckets will hold between 4-6 months waste using a churning type CMT and if you can't find a place or make a trip offshore in that time frame to discard it safely by pouring the contents oveboard, then you need to go with a holding tank system and hope you are better at finding a pump out station everytime before you have to dump your holding tank inorder to take a crap. Sadly, I've been there and done that, (pre CMT) but as they say, when you gotta go, you gotta go.
Discarding a $5 bucket every 5-6 weeks beats the heck our of seeking out a pump out station every week and paying $7 (for the tipless tightwads) to $25 to have someone else do it for you, not to mention the savings in maintenance and chemicals. Biodegradable 5 gallon plastic buckets are available for those concerned about that issue. Frankly all plastic buckets are biodegradable, just some take longer than others. I don't see anybody digging one up anytime within the next thousand years unless they have found a way to convert it to fuel, but who knows.
As far as urine goes, you can do a couple of things. Transfer the urine into a larger five gallon jerry jug (a week for two people) and then pour down the toilet or overboard offshore. Actually, pouring urine overboard in any active tidal area is harmless but not legal, but each owner must be the judge there. Never pour it overboard in a basin or on a river. If you are in a slip, just take it up to the bathroom and pour it out in the urinal. A fancy "green" cloth grocery bag is designed to hold two one gallon milk jugs or a two gallon jug very discretely and Campa-chem (formaldehyde free) will deodorize it completely so you won't stink up the restroom when pouring it out.
Hope this is helpful.
Last edited by fireboat52; 06-06-2012 at 04:46 PM.