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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. Perhaps someone can help me. I am about to build a small sawdust toilet for my farm house. I know people use sawdust or peat moss to cover it up after each deposit. I'm wondering if I can use coffee grounds or cedar chip mulch, both of which I have a free and endless supply of. What else can be used to cover up? Please advise. Thanks!
 

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I tried cedar once when we ran out of sawdust and peatmoss. It didn't absorb well and smelled pretty bad. We only had to use it over night until our sawdust delivery came (a day late). I don't know about coffee grounds.
 

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hmmm...you'd have to drink a lot of coffee.

wood chips are not dense enough to completely cover. I think it would let the smell through. We have used peat moss and sawdust.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
sancraft said:
I tried cedar once when we ran out of sawdust and peatmoss. It didn't absorb well and smelled pretty bad. We only had to use it over night until our sawdust delivery came (a day late). I don't know about coffee grounds.

Thanks for the tips. peace!
 

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caroline00 said:
hmmm...you'd have to drink a lot of coffee.

wood chips are not dense enough to completely cover. I think it would let the smell through. We have used peat moss and sawdust.
Thanks for the help. peace
 

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(formerly Laura Jensen)
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No experience here, but I'm betting coffee grounds would cover well, add moisture to compost, and add a pleasant smell as well. And they are free by the bucketful from every espresso stand (here in the Pacific NW, that's one about every two blocks). I think it's definitely worth a try, let us know how it works!
 

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The real goal is to have a dry, carbon matterial that is small in texture so it will cover with out air gaps. Any combination of stuff that fits the bill would work, cedar saw dust would cover but there is a smell change when urine reacts with the oils in the cedar, I don't like the cedar/urine smell even for animal beding.

Some things I have used: soil, shreded leaves, finished compost, sawdust, coffee grounds, heavy paper (short term) dry grass clippings. I think the horse manure after the chickens have pulverized it and it is fully dryed would work to and even plain straw has been used to control the odor of urine buckets when this is used for spraying or fertilizing. And for the turds, keep a little lime around, for when there is a problem with flies or ph adjustment.
 

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(formerly Laura Jensen)
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Why won't coffee grounds work if you're a "green," whatever that is?
 
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We have a simple bucket box compost toilet that I made for our cabin. I was using compost ed wood chips that had been dumped on our land by the county 4 years ago. It is 90% composted and works great but be carefull!!! Some times you can bring in scorpians and centipieds....Ive done it. NOW we use peat moss but the compost worked better at comtroling the stink!

good luck
cody
 

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Laura Jensen said:
Why won't coffee grounds work if you're a "green," whatever that is?
I think Southerngirl means that coffee grounds are a a "green" composting material, i.e. high nitrogen, low carbon, rather than a "brown" material (high carbon, low nitrogen). You will need a brown material like sawdust for your toilet.
 

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DayBird said:
How often do you empty and wash the buckets?

Lets see, ...I have 7 buckets, and change then usually every other day, (it may not be completely full) hubby prefers a lower top level for use, so for me that is almost 2 weeks between trips to the compost bin, the older it is the less it smells and that many buckets give a full layer in the bin and I don't have to dig an open spot for each bucket, I just dump kinda level and cover with straw or leaves or rotten card board or old wet paper feed bags. If there is a smell at the bins it needs more cover.
 

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Thumper/inOkla. said:
Lets see, ...I have 7 buckets, and change then usually every other day, (it may not be completely full) hubby prefers a lower top level for use, so for me that is almost 2 weeks between trips to the compost bin, the older it is the less it smells and that many buckets give a full layer in the bin and I don't have to dig an open spot for each bucket, I just dump kinda level and cover with straw or leaves or rotten card board or old wet paper feed bags. If there is a smell at the bins it needs more cover.

You have seven buckets and change one every other day. You leave them in your house for two weeks or are they in some kind of outdoor room?

I'm sure I'd prefer a very low top level. I couldn't imagine my hangy down parts rubbing in the top layer. I was imagining taking it out a couple of times a day.
 

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In Remembrance
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I prefer the slightly higher 6 gal buckets. They are easier on my arthritic knees. Also have more room in them. You can have more than one bucket in use at a time, just like you can have more than one conventional bathroom at a time. But, one bucket (6 gal) and two people needed emptying 2x a wk. for dd and myself.
 

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We have 4, 5 gal buckets with lids. One is used to hold the cover material and the other three are used as toilet buckets. We emptied daily because DH didn't want anything to touch.
 

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sancraft said:
We have 4, 5 gal buckets with lids. One is used to hold the cover material and the other three are used as toilet buckets. We emptied daily because DH didn't want anything to touch.
Would you want any of your "things" to touch?
 

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DayBird said:
are they in some kind of outdoor room?
they are sitting at the back of the house inside a fence, so it's like on the back porch, but there is no porch, or roof over them.

Dogs and chickens will dig in them, horses pigs and goats will knock them over. cats take naps on top and use them as litter boxes.
 
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