Human Compost

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by john#4, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. john#4

    john#4 Well-Known Member

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    Not that I am advocating the use of human waste for our own personal situations, but this is interesting and inspiring. Some people have ways that are safe to compost human waste, but my guess is that most of us don't. Perhaps where there was fertile soil and vegetation that turned to desert, that a turn about can take place. Plants release moisture into the atmosphere, which helps create the rains. Perhaps some of the destruction can be reversed.
    Mary Ellen

    5.
    REGULAR FOLK
    Human compost boosts harvests in Mozambique

    The more than 2,500 residents of Mozambique's impoverished village of
    Matimangwe have harnessed the power of their poo to fertilize their
    crops, and the village is now on the road to sustainable food
    production and development. Thanks to a human-waste compost latrine
    system called EcoSan, villagers have seen a major difference in the
    size of their harvests. Built with an investment of about $20, the
    EcoSan is essentially a pit latrine that gets covered with soil and
    ash once it's filled and is then left for up to eight months while a
    family moves to a new pit. As the waste is composted, harmful
    pathogens die off and a rich humus remains. Using this humus,
    farmers are able to produce enough crops for their families and sell
    the extra to raise money for clean drinking-water wells and school
    materials for their children. Says the village chief, "Our goal is
    more latrines -- no deaths, more food."

    straight to the source: The Independent, Basildon Peta, 15 Dec 2004
    <http://grist.org/cgi-bin/forward.pl?forward_id=3884>

    see also, in Grist: Compostmodern -- On composting toilets -- in Ask Umbra
    <http://grist.org/cgi-bin/forward.pl?forward_id=3885>
     
  2. GREEN_ALIEN

    GREEN_ALIEN Sunny, Wet, Tornadoey SD!

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    It is better to advocate the use of our own humanure than it is to advocate crapping in 3.5 + gallons of drinking water...
     

  3. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    agree with you alien. I know i'm flushing down some high quaility compost. The significant other doesn't want to hear my "big plan". It can't smell any worse then when the local farmers spray there fields with manure.
     
  4. john#4

    john#4 Well-Known Member

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    I’m sorry the links don’t work here. But please type them in and read them, interesting.
    And Frank, what the farmer spays on his fields just don’t small like good old shi*.
    John#
     
  5. GREEN_ALIEN

    GREEN_ALIEN Sunny, Wet, Tornadoey SD!

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    Frank,

    Cound'nt get the DW to go along with the grand plan either so I am stuck using my setup in the shop....
     
  6. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

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    There's a book out called 'Humanure' about this exact subject. (Sorry, I don't remember the author off the top of my head.) But it's very interesting reading and makes a lot of sense.

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with properly composted human waste.
     
  7. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Humanure is widely used in the US but most people don't realize it - most people buying Milorganite don't give any thought at all to where it comes from.
     
  8. Lrose

    Lrose Well-Known Member

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    We live and farm organically and use animal manure to make compost for our gardens. although One farm we know of is using human waste but we will never do it. Animals have a different rudimentary and digestive system than humans . Their food breaks down and is processed differently than ours. It has a better chance of breaking down or filtering out substances that are harmful or unwanted. There would be much more chance of passing unwanted organisms in the food chain using human waste.
     
  9. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    http://www.weblife.org/humanure/default.html

    here is the handbook. the author makes the whole thing available online, for those who cannot afford to pay for it. very interesting reading, and unusual guy who wrote it.:) i used one for several years- no smell, no flies. maybe if your wives read the book, they will come around to the idea.
     
  10. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    The author of Humanure is Joe Jenkins and it is a very enlightening book. He says that in China someone comes by to pick up your human manure every day and they do use it. Right now we are using a sawdust toilet. But my husband is leaning toward putting in a septic system because he has so much work to do and that is one job he wants to eliminate.

    When we first moved here (over 5 years ago) we had bought a SunMar composting toilet, used, for $200. And then we read the book and wanted to get rid of it as they are alot of work (as is the sawdust toilet also). I sold it on ebay for $492. to a couple from Queens who were going to be moving to the state of Maine.

    I don't think the human compost is a bad thing unless you are on medications that you wouldn't want to put in it. With the SunMar they really stress not putting anything in it that you could kill your compost with. Like cleaning products or strong meds.
     
  11. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    You can go to WalMart and buy human waste granules in 40# bags
    to put on you lawn or garden.

    I hauled human waste out of Houston Texas to Florida in a Dump Tractor and Trailer 6 years ago ( in bulk 23 tons at a time ) and they put it on golf corses down their.

    You don't know what you are buying
    in those little bags do ya ? ? ? :eek:

    .
     
  12. Marilyn in CO

    Marilyn in CO Well-Known Member

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    I just don't feel good about putting human waste on land where crops are grown........even above ground crops.....for heaven's sake not root crops...... :no: Humans do have different digestive systems than animals and it is fact that antibiotics can be found in the soil from dairy manure, so I know for sure I don't want the human kind. We will stick with our own pure/natural beef poo....just good old several times digested silage/hay/grass.....thank you very much. :D BUT, if it means starving versus using it......of course use it. Marilyn, the farmer's wife.............
     
  13. GREEN_ALIEN

    GREEN_ALIEN Sunny, Wet, Tornadoey SD!

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    Read the book years ago when it first came out. I agree, very interesting reading. It should be required reading IMO.

    For the FECALPHOBES, read the book first that way your opinions will be based in fact.

    GA
     
  14. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    Like which unwanted organisms?

    I think your science is lacking, proper composting IS the safest way to deal with dangerous organisms and medical residues.
    You say animals filter out harmful and unwanted substances, as if that would mean they keep those harmful substances out of the manure? That would mean those harmful substances are remaining in the body, thus in the meat. It just doesn't work that way.

    It isn't about how the animal breaks down/digest the food they eat, (human or cow or what ever) it is about >>how the microbes<< in the compost pile digest the waste.

    A compost pile has a temperature range that cycles, it heats up and kills off the bad microbes, that sucumb to those high temps, it cools down and kills off the ones that can't suvive below body temps, it is allowed to age and parasites expire. that might have survived the temp swings.

    Please study the process, it really works.
     
  15. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I agree that everyone should read the book. I have a copy. He'll send free copies to county building departments if anyone has trouble getting permission to use a composting toilet.

    What he says, is that after two years of composting (no, he doesn't put uncomposted human waste on the garden) there are NO surviving disease organisms in the waste. He's been having his compost tested for many years to prove his point.

    We used a sawdust toilet for about a year when we had a broken drain line to the septic system, and I would not hesitate to use one again. However, better and less work, though more expensive to set up, would be a home-built composting toilet with two large tanks. Use one side for a year, then let it rest a year before emptying. By the time the stuff has sat in the unused side for a whole year, it is well composted and shouldn't stink at all. Then compost it outside for another year to be safe, or put it on ornamental plants rather than the garden.

    Kathleen
     
  16. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Much of the "humanure" produced in the U.S. is used to enrich the soil. In fact, about 60% of U.S. sewage sludge (biosolids) produced at wastewater treatment plants is applied the land (the remainder is landfilled or incinerated). Our local septic tank pumpers apply septage to field corn and hayland.