Humanure

You can find out quite a bit of information on this topic on the internet.  We are already really into recyling and composting but when we learned about this, we tried it out right away.  Like alot of people, we read the online book from Joseph Jenkins, The Humanure Handbook. 

We did the basic model of one five gallon bucket, another modified five gallon bucket and a toilet seat.  Total cost for two compost toilets was less than $20.  We have used them and added them to our compost piles and haven’t looked back.  We initially had a separate pile for our humanure but somewhere along the line decided that compost is compost and it all breaks down anyway. 

Regular compost takes us about 6-8 months before we can use it anyway so we just add it all together.  We keep adding to our pile and when the bin is full, we let it sit and then use it.  Everything just breaks down nicely.  Especially the compost on the bottom of the pile.  Works wonderfully.

What is humanure?  Well it is the result of decomposing or composting human urine and feces.  When we began this journey, we were using peat moss, but learned a little about that and now use sawdust.  We found a very cheap supplier that even delivers to us without a fee so we are very pleased.

It is amazing that there is no smell with this process.  Everything stays covered and there is no usage of water, except of course to wash your hands afterward but you do that anyway, right?

We have two bathrooms and there are two of us and we fill two buckets (one per bathroom) about once a week.   We then put it into our garage and let it sit (covered with a lid) and use a second bucket in each bathroom.  When the second buckets are full, we take all the compost materials and add them to the compost pile (one of three piles).  We are pretty active people and it only takes a few minutes to do this, clean it thoroughly with soap and water and in the summer we allow the buckets to sit out in the hot summer for a few hours for a more natural disinfectant and then set them up to be used again.

There is always a compost bucket toilet set up though.  We received many buckets from Craigslist for $1 each.  They each came with a lid.

My husband is already planning to remove the regular, conventional toilet from one bathroom completely because the bathroom is already small and having two toilets is taking up too much room.  We never use the conventinal toilets anyway.  It is on his to do list.  Just hasn’t gotten around to it yet.  I’m sure it will be done within the next month or so.

There hasn’t been an issue with guests.  None at all.  It just works.  After explaining to people how to use the compost toilets, they do it and that is the end of the matter. After all, we are not asking them to carry their waste out to the composter.

Just think about it.  It’s natural, uses no water, no smell, easy, super cheap, no plugged toilet isssues, no septic tank issues … what else could you ask for?

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