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Old 11-16-2009, 05:22 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: waco, texas
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Year: 1994
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Chassis: Carpenter
Composting Toilets.

I recently saw some posts on composting toilets. Please - I want to hear more discussion. Being the Waste-Not Wagon, we view our humanure as fertilizer rather than waste. But we also plan on being on the road a lot. So there are numerous questions floating through my head:

1. For motorhome classifications - are we supposed to have a toilet? (We just insured - but haven't yet registered with the dept. of transportation). So if we need a toilet, we're gonna do the dump-in-a-bucket method.

2. If we don't need a toilet for registration - I suppose we could just hit up rest areas and gas stations, eh?

3. For others who need to remove our by-products from the bus, what do all y'all do with it? I mean, poop can build up fast - and if you're on a long haul - do you have multiple buckets and hope no one opens them?

We have some friends who go and find a patch of woods and dig a hole and say a blessing and that's that. So I guess that's always an option as well. However, I would like to see some more designs and set ups - so please pass our my way!

Bethel and the Waste-Not Wagoneers
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:41 AM   #2
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Re: Composting Toilets.

As was discussed in another post, the bucket method is perfectly valid and easy to maintain while on the road by lining the bucket with a plastic trash bag. Dump the bag just like any other trash. After all, households do it every day with baby/old folk's diapers, doggie poo bags and cat box leavings.

The key to keeping a bucket from stinking is to use some kind of cover material to absorb the moisture. I've used the pine based cat litter from "Fresh Step" to provide cover here at home (yeah, I'm doing "land trials" before putting it in the bus). I've also heard of using the cedar shavings from the pet store, but prefer the Fresh Step because it gels the moisture. An important thing to remember is to keep this as aerobic as possible... in other words, don't seal the bucket or you'll breed the stinky bacteria. The stuff needs to dry out to not stink.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:59 PM   #3
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Re: Composting Toilets.

If I were going to use the bucket method, I'd go one step further and prevent the urine from going in a bag. Not to be indelicate, but it's not hard to pee into a cup (dumped seperately) while you take a dump. That way you don't have a sloshing bag of nastiness that starts to generate beau coups ammonia smells right off the bat. Heck, look at my composting toilet design. It has a seperating funnel built in to the side of a 5-gallon bucket. You could have it drain into a 1 gallon milk jug inside the bucket (around which the poop bag will conform as it fills. Probably be easier to run a tube out the side, though, then you wouldn't have to reach in the bucket to empty the jug.

I agree about putting somethin over the poop to cover it. I use rabbit pellets (the feed -- compressed alfalfa). Not really cheap, but not too expensive, and it is absorbent. You can get rabbit food at Target, Wal-Mart, etc., which makes it readily available in places where you might not have access to sawdust or other cover material.

You can probably get by most state DMV inspections for "RV status" by sticking a cheap plastic portapotty in the bus -- until the inspector is gone. I just told my inspector that I was going to put in a composting toilet -- I was still working on the interior when she came, but she could see that it was an RV conversion, and her only real legal duty was to verify the VIN for the retitling, so she wasn't inspecting anything else, specifically. My composting toilet set-up works great. The buckets get cycled once a month (3 month cycle), and you end up with a bag of dirt, basically, which I generally dump in dumpster if I don't have access to some woods.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:02 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: waco, texas
Posts: 14
Year: 1994
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Chassis: Carpenter
Re: Composting Toilets.

thanks for all the replies.

our long term goal is to actually compost the poop for fertilizing purposes. and the urine diversion is a great idea. diluted, urine is also an excellent, nitrogen-rich fertilizer. i hate the thought of sticking such rich, free fertilizers in a dumpster!

at the farm where i live and work, we use sawdust to cover our crap. we obtain the sawdust for free from a local cabinet making business that is continually cutting up old cabinets and grinding them into sawdust. so that could possibly be a resource for you if you can find a similar business near your home.

bethel and the waste-not wagoneers
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