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"There is no way that having a compost pile in my back yard that I use to compost my personal waste is a health threat... But in fact, it's illegal."

So, you're fairly certain that your compost pile will generate sufficient heat to sterilize the waste. And in the interim, no critters will get in, no rain run-off will get out, no incidental pathogens are going to be transported out of the pile, or survive the process. Like, on your pitchfork while you're turning it.
You know, it wasn't so long ago that big cities were decimated by fecal contamination of water supplies, among other health problems. The current bans on sanitray waste have all pretty much evolved from "Well what can we do to make sure THAT never happens again?"

And they're designed to work for everyone. If you're good enough to work without them--they make no allowance for that. Laws get applied to everyone, especially when their purpose is to prevent plagues and epidemics.

As the Roman soldier allegedly said to Christ while carrying the cross "Son, I don't care who you are. NO PERMIT NO PARADE."
I am fairly certain that the pile will generate sufficient heat to kill dangerous pathogens. And what the heat doesn't kill, time will.

Critters, other than the desired one's, aren't really attracted to composting humanure. I only add food scraps when I empty my bucket. Which is once every two weeks. However, my compost pile is in a wire enclosure anyway.

My compost pile is covered by a roof so leachate isn't an issue.

The compost never gets turned. New material is added to a depression in the top center of the pile and then covered with clean straw, sawdust, leaf mulch or grass clippings. Or a combination of the above.
I do use a pitch fork and no, I'm not worried about transferring disease from my pile to another part of my yard where the dog and cats and chickens roam.
For one thing, I'm not diseased and I wash my hands. Whether I'm playing with compost, petting my animals or touching a door knob in a public place, I figure that I'm picking up germs. (or leaving them) So I wash my hands. Just like I do after I use my CMT or any other toilet in the world.

You have been conditioned to fear the natural. Don't be so paranoid.

Lastly, I don't need no stinking permit. ;)
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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I'm almost certainly going to put one of these in before shoving off again and take the Thetford MSD out. The problem is the small footprint area I have to work with. None of the commercially made units would come even close to fitting. Will probably build in a box and use one of the separating seats I've seen advertized. Venting should be fairly straightforward using a solar vent unit but designing some kind of trap door arrangement and a "stirrer" will require some thought. The more research I do on these, the better I like the idea.
 

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Smurphy, don't be so sure that you don't have the room for a composting toilet. The footprint of my Nature's Head is actually less overall than the old manual WC marine head I replaced. The difference is going to be the height of the composting toilet. As most marine toilets sit on a platform, this tends to make for a very tall installation when you put in your composting toilet. One of my upcoming projects is to cut and modify my platform so the composting toilet sits lower. After almost 2 years with my composting toilet, I can honestly say it works as advertised, doesn't smell AT ALL, is super easy to maintain and use and greatly simplifies the boat by getting rid of the plumbing/seacocks/pump/hose/holding tank etc. of a wet system. I'll never go back to a marine water head!
 

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Thank You, copacabana for that information. Maybe I will make a full sized mock-up of the outline of the Nature's Head unit and take it to the boat to see if it can be fit in somehow. It looks like a very nice unit and I think females would possibly consider actually using it.:) It seems to be the smallest of all the ones I've looked at. The problem is with the door leading into the head which swings in up against it and latches there. Maybe I can switch the swing of the door so it swings into the cabin but will have to think about the implications of that.

These composters are all VERY high and will require some sort of hinging foot rest. They really are the proverbial "throne."

That said, I've looked at a couple of old 12v. computer fans I have here and an old joint compound drill-stirrer which could easily be adapted to be used to construct a composter using a standard sr bucket. It would be VERY nice to get rid of hoses and seacocks.
 

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The height of composting toilets are the same height as handi-cap toilets that are in public rest rooms. When compared to a standard marine head, they are roughly 5" taller.
 

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Smurphy, FWIW, we have no foot support and no one has trouble using the head. I would look into a way to cut the platform to lower the unit before building foot supports. The nice thing about the Nature's Head is the quality of the finishing- something you might not get with a home-built unit. They look like real toilets. My wife is the first one to sing its praise- so the wife-approval factor shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Re: finding a toilet to fit a small head

C-Head makes 3 different models, you'd probably find one that fits in your head. I like the C-Head for several reasons but mostly because you can get extra liquid bottles for next to nothing since he uses the plastic jugs water comes in, the other two units sell extra liquid containers for around $40 and you need to have an extra container. And with the C-Head system you don't need an extra solids container, he provides a storage system for the waste. You need to buy an extra solids container from the other two for a hefty $225.00. So be sure to add those two products to your base price.

BTW a lot of folks have mentioned odor from the urine containers, I use bleach to clean out my containers ( two gallon plastic jugs that once contained kitty litter) and I have no problem with smell. If I leave my boat for any length of time ( a week or so)and I'm in too much of a hurry to empty the tank, then I pour a slug of bleach down and there's no smell. we live on board and have been using a composting toilet for two years. We built our own, but for our sailboat which has a much smaller head, we bought a C-Head marine toilet.
 

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Question for you "composters":
Do you through the toilet paper into the toilet? What if someone uses a lot of toilet paper, seems that could fill the unit up quickly.
 

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Some people throw paper in the composting toilet. We don't. We have a small garbage can with a lid beside the toilet and all paper goes there. I line it with a plastic bag (the air-tight kind you buy in rolls) and when it's full, I just tie the bag and it goes into the garbage. Paper takes a long time to compost and it will fill up the composting chamber quickly.
 

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Re: finding a toilet to fit a small head

C-Head makes 3 different models, you'd probably find one that fits in your head..
Let's keep this moving. Anyone else out there familar with C-Head?
Went to their web site quickly, I'm not sure what to think but the price sure looks attractive.
 

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Re: finding a toilet to fit a small head

Let's keep this moving. Anyone else out there familar with C-Head?
Went to their web site quickly, I'm not sure what to think but the price sure looks attractive.
Fireboat52 posted this a few pages back.

I 'm not sure it I am breaking any rules because I am the designer and builder of the C-Head, but I just wanted to address some of the issues that have been brought up regarding composting toilets for boats, in general.
I would send him a PM if you want specific product information just to make sure that he doesn't get in trouble for breaking some rule about posting as an advertiser.
 

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I'm almost certainly going to put one of these in before shoving off again and take the Thetford MSD out. The problem is the small footprint area I have to work with. None of the commercially made units would come even close to fitting. Will probably build in a box and use one of the separating seats I've seen advertized. Venting should be fairly straightforward using a solar vent unit but designing some kind of trap door arrangement and a "stirrer" will require some thought. The more research I do on these, the better I like the idea.
Instead of a trap door , I use a lift out lid, a stainless pot lid from the thrift store. I lift it and set it aside when giving birth to a XXXXXXXXXXXX. That lets me put a lip around the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX canal ,so no liquids can flow into the solids container.
For a stirrer , I welded up a stainless hoop, with the crank handle 90 degrees to the hoop. That way the hoop lies horizontal, so it doesn't get coated with hardened solids.

(Comments construed to be political were removed per forum rules. I can't believe that I had to do this, but as pointed out in the member complaint political commentary should only occur in Off-topic. Jeff_H)
 

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Re: finding a toilet to fit a small head

Fireboat52 posted this a few pages back.
I would send him a PM if you want specific product information just to make sure that he doesn't get in trouble for breaking some rule about posting as an advertiser.
Ya know I went to the C head web site, started watching a couple of their videos & then it hit me. Fireboat 52 is Sandy.

Duh, asleep at the switch....
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Instead of a trap door , I use a lift out lid, a stainless pot lid from the thrift store. I lift it and set it aside (political commentary snipped) ,so no liquids can flow into the solids container.
For a stirrer , I welded up a stainless hoop, with the crank handle 90 degrees to the hoop. That way the hoop lies horizontal, so it doesn't get coated with hardened solids.
I'm guessing that on the occasional visits by the opposite sex, they will never reach in and touch a lid with (SURPRISE!) poop underneath, moss or no moss.:) A lid does make a lot of sense because it is probably better at sealing out critters. I can see where there might be a "caking" problem if any part of the stirrer is directly in the line of fire. In the commercial units, the stir mechanism looks like it swings out of the way, shaped like a C. I guess the idea is to just aerate a bit, not try to macerate it.
 

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This is probably one of the best forum discussions on the subject of "composting toilets" vs "holding tank systems" that I have ever read. I hope it continues but it is also a prime example of how injecting political views can stiffle an otherwise vigorous, informative and important discussion. Twice now since I have started following this thread, it has come to a screeching halt after someone (not the same persons) felt it necessary to inject politics into it. There are lots of forums where a person can vent politically. We should be able to agree that nobody wants to sail or swim around in poop and go from there.
 

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BREAKING NEWS

I switched from peat moss to coconut coir this year .... wooo hoooo .... I'll report back at the end of the sailing season

I still don't miss my leaking holding tank, bad joker valves, pump-outs gone awry, permeated hoses, plugged hoses (outflow and vent), worries about "is the Y valve in the legal position and locked", flushing with a final cup of tap water to get rid of vegetation, and another thru-hull & seacock to worry about leaking.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Well, have confirmed my suspicion that none of the commercially made units will fit the small space on my boat so am in the process of designing a built-in system that utilizes simple spackle buckets as the base of operations, much the same as one of the systems I've seen. It will have some sort of sliding lid that can be opened after sitting which will relieve the squeamish from ever having to view the contents. Have been testing the idea at home with sphagnum peat and I've got to say I am amazed at how odor-free it is. I am wondering if these actually need a powered vent or if just an additional 1-1/2" tube leading up into the dorade box would suffice. I will try to snap some photos to post as it progresses.
 

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Excellent discussion. Thanks to all. Thinking of going C toilet on my ODay 28. I dont like pumbing or discharging to sea. Perhaps too picky, but thats me.
Boatsail1
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Some pix of built-in composter. Maybe some of the ideas will be useful to others with a small space. Boathead1.jpg

Boathead2.jpg

Boathead3.jpg

Boathead4.jpg

Boathead6.jpg

Had a picture of the 4" PVC housing for the fan but it seems 5 pix is all that are allowed to be posted. The housing is two 4"-1-1/2" reducers with a short piece connecting then. Only one side glued so as to be able to get at the fan. Fan is a 12v computer fan which needed to be ground down carefully at the corners to fit the PVC. PVC was ground out a bit on a oscillating sander to fit fan corners. The stirrer is a piece of 3/8" round s.s. That's coconut coir in the bucket.

The sliding lid is just a pc. of 1/4ply with mica laminate. same as the top and front.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Other pix: Boathead4.jpg

Boathead5.jpg

Boathead2.jpg

The urine cup, with barbed hose connector, drains into a polyethylene oil jug which can be removed by tilting the bucket. I may put in a door in the front to make access easier.
 
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