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Old 02-27-2018, 12:28 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
There is a learning curve is all. Kids adapt well.
Oh Ok. That's a relief. My daughter is just learning how to use the potty and she will also train on the composting toilet. My son will pee outside for most of it I'm sure, but his other business is another matter lol.

I told my daughter we would be getting rid of her training potty soon, and boy did she throw a fit. I will have to get her a stool or build one on the outside of the composting toilet box. She is 3 but super tiny.
Thanks for relieving my mild stress I was having about the toilet!!!
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:49 PM   #42
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I'm just saying kids tiny butts don't necessarily position themselves in the right place on the throne to get things into the proper containers.

Your daughter should like getting a big people's training potty.

I had a son that could end up with all the urine on the floor while sitting on the toilet. Good times.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:57 PM   #43
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Has anyone else had to train their very young ones on a composting toilet? Any tips?
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:55 AM   #44
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Wanted to add a few points and some data to the conversation. Ultimately the choice is probably somewhat subjective and somewhat objective. There are objective differences and pros/cons between "composting," cassette, porta-potti, and black tank systems (I encourage people to look into cassette toilets if you are not familiar with them). I am partial to the "composting"/dry toilet concept but I haven't used one in a vehicle before.


What I wanted to add to the conversation is that the things we refer to as "composting" toilets are not outputting safe compost unless we make some extra effort to do so. What you dump out of your natures head is human waste, not harmless compost, unless you have let it age at the proper temperatures for the proper amount of time (which would require either a secondary composting chamber, a heated toilet, or require you not to use the toilet for days or weeks prior to emptying it.



This is not a hard problem to overcome if you are stationary and have a yard. When your 'dry toilet' fills up, dump it into a proper compost where the waste can actually compost (best practice 1-2 years to create real compost, but possible to make it sterile in much less time if you can sustain 115-150 degrees).


This is much more difficult for vehicle based systems. For many/most people living out of their vehicle, a compost pile is not an option unless you have a home base that you return to frequently. So the other alternatives would be to create some sort of secondary "compostation" with a heating element to sterilize the waste and speed the composting process (absolute minimum of 1 week at 115 degrees or 24 hours at 125 degrees), or to treat the contents of the toilet as "dry waste" and dispose of it accordingly (probably not legal, safe, or ethical to dump uncomposted dry waste in dumpsters, trashcans, etc).


It may sound like just semantics calling it a "dry waste toilet" instead of a "composting toilet" but its an important distinction that many people are oblivious to. The way composting toilets are commonly used in vehicles doesn't output compost, it outputs something that has the potential to compost and has begun the process of composting.


I still like them for what they are, and will still probably choose to buy or build one when I buy my bus, but its important to create a system (maybe an extra 5 gallon bucket and a 12v heating pad would do the trick?) that ensures you are actually outputting safe dry waste, or find a way to safely dispose of your unsafe partially composted waste.


See this relevant section from The Humanure Handbook

And this relevant conversation on composting toilets over at expeditionportal.com
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:57 AM   #45
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Here is the excerpt I referenced above: (from The Humanure Handbook):

Quote:
There are two primary factors leading to the death of pathogens in humanure. The first is temperature. A compost pile that is properly managed will destroy pathogens with the heat it generates.


The second factor is time. The lower the temperature of the compost, the longer the subsequent retention time needed for the destruction of pathogens. Given enough time, the wide biodiversity of microorganisms in the compost will destroy pathogens by the antagonism, competition, consumption, and antibiotic inhibitors provided by the beneficial microorganisms. Feachem et al. state that three months retention time will kill all of the pathogens in a low-temperature composting toilet except worm eggs, although Table 7.14 (also from Feachem) indicates that some additional pathogen survival may occur.


A thermophilic compost pile will destroy pathogens, including worm eggs, quickly, possibly in a matter of minutes. Lower temperatures require longer periods of time, possibly hours, days, weeks, or months, to effectively destroy pathogens. One need not strive for extremely high temperatures such as 65°C (150°F) in a compost pile to feel confident about the destruction of pathogens. It may be more realistic to maintain lower temperatures in a compost pile for longer periods of time, such as 50°C (122°F) for 24 hours, or 46°C (115°F) for a week. According to one source, "All fecal microorganisms, including enteric viruses and roundworm eggs, will die if the temperature exceeds 46°C (114.8°F) for one week." 42 Other researchers have drawn similar conclusions, demonstrating pathogen destruction at 50°C (122°F), which produced compost "completely acceptable from the general hygienic point of view." 43


A sound approach to pathogen destruction when composting humanure is to thermophilically compost the organic refuse, then allow the compost to sit, undisturbed, for a lengthy period of time after the thermophilic heating stage has ended. The biodiversity of the compost will aid in the destruction of pathogens as the compost ages. If one wants to be particularly cautious, one may allow the compost to age for two years after the pile has been built, instead of the one year that is normally recommended.


In the words of Feachem et al., "The effectiveness of excreta treatment methods depends very much on their time-temperature characteristics. The effective processes are those that either make the excreta warm (55°C/131°F), hold it for a long time (one year), or feature some effective combination of time and temperature." The time/temperature factor of pathogen destruction is illustrated in Figure 7.7.


In short, the combined factors of temperature and time will do the job of "turning turds into tomatoes."
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:25 AM   #46
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Black water tanks aren't even that bad to deal with....lots of times if you're frequently traveling on the Interstate just about every other exit has a station with a RV dump spot.

It's crazy that people pay $900 for a Natures Head or whatever the competitor is called. For less then half that you can get a black water setup that'll last for a couple weeks at least.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:46 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
SNIP...

What I wanted to add to the conversation is that the things we refer to as "composting" toilets are not outputting safe compost unless we make some extra effort to do so. What you dump out of your natures head is human waste, not harmless compost, unless you have let it age at the proper temperatures for the proper amount of time (which would require either a secondary composting chamber, a heated toilet, or require you not to use the toilet for days or weeks prior to emptying it.

SNIP...

It may sound like just semantics calling it a "dry waste toilet" instead of a "composting toilet" but its an important distinction that many people are oblivious to. The way composting toilets are commonly used in vehicles doesn't output compost, it outputs something that has the potential to compost and has begun the process of composting.


SNIP...
Thank you for pointing out that what most folks describe as their "composting toilet" should really be referred to as their human litter box! which they then bag up and toss (just like you do with your cat...) in the trash -- and YES, this is illegal in most places but somehow baby diapers are exempt so... Their's no actual composting of their human waste...

My bus will probably have what the river rafters call a 'groover'. I will make mine spiffy of course but it's just a human litter box -- I won't pretend their's any composting involved with that sh!t.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:14 PM   #48
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Thank you for pointing out that what most folks describe as their "composting toilet" should really be referred to as their human litter box! which they then bag up and toss (just like you do with your cat...) in the trash -- and YES, this is illegal in most places but somehow baby diapers are exempt so... Their's no actual composting of their human waste...

My bus will probably have what the river rafters call a 'groover'. I will make mine spiffy of course but it's just a human litter box -- I won't pretend their's any composting involved with that sh!t.
I've been using the same Eco-Safe groover on the river, in a truck camper, van, and utility trailer build for almost 20 years now. Mine is older, and the tank is translucent white. It leaves nothing to the imagination when you take it out of the ammo can, but you can easily tell when it's clean at the dump station.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:24 PM   #49
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Black water tanks aren't even that bad to deal with....lots of times if you're frequently traveling on the Interstate just about every other exit has a station with a RV dump spot.

It's crazy that people pay $900 for a Natures Head or whatever the competitor is called. For less then half that you can get a black water setup that'll last for a couple weeks at least.
I totally agree.

I like that folks are starting to realize that the actual process of composting takes way longer than those thousand dollar thrones can age a turd.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:47 PM   #50
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I think for some the water becomes the issue... if you are travelling in freezing climates and are running off-grid primitive style then a flush toilet is going to present itself the issue of freezing up.. suer you can pour RV antifreeze in but if your toilet has a supply lione now you have to deal with that freezing up.. from what I remember RV antifreeze isnt designed to be used where potable water is concerned.. some here have no water... they carry their own bottled water insualted enough to stay warm..



a "bucket-toilet" makes the most sense as its mainly solids... urine can be dumped into a jug that who cares if it freezes..



the other issue is of course space.. if you have a short bus your space is limited underneath for tanks... esp if you have diesel heaters, factory A/C, etc.. that black tank might just take too much room...



I personally domnt have experience with any of them.. as the only RVing ive really done has been in friend's fancy rigs that would be called "Glamping" and not camping...

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Old 12-02-2019, 03:50 PM   #51
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Yep, seen all of those advertisements about composting toilets and just don't buy it. Takes way too long for the deposits to mellow out for me to include one in my (now) motor home.


We've used the bucket system in our home for better than 20 years and can state that it takes a while for your daily proceeds to get completely changed. I would say about 2 years, some say a little less, some say a little more. Point is, I would not even think about zipping up a bag and throwing it into the trash bin at a convenience store or truck stop. Just disgusting!
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:04 PM   #52
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Yep, seen all of those advertisements about composting toilets and just don't buy it. Takes way too long for the deposits to mellow out for me to include one in my (now) motor home.

If done right, I think composting toilets can be effective and safe. But what a lot of people overlook, and the advertising glosses over, is that you have to be intentional about it and have a system. There is magic happening inside that bucket or $1000 dollar toilet that instantly makes your poop safe and sanitary.


You need either a lot of heat for a short period of time, or a little heat for a long period of time, to make that waste safe and jump start the composting process. And the time has to be measured from the last time you used the toilet, not the last time you emptied the toilet.


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I would say about 2 years, some say a little less, some say a little more. Point is, I would not even think about zipping up a bag and throwing it into the trash bin at a convenience store or truck stop. Just disgusting!

I agree, unless you have a system for processing the waste, its not very responsible or legal to bag it and toss it in the trash.


From what I've read 1-2 years is the time it takes to fully compost in normal conditions. Human waste can be made safe in a much much shorter time with a bit of heat to supercharge the composting process. Apparently as quickly as 24 hours (I would always use a factor of safety of at least 2x or 3x-- so lets call it 72 hours) if the compost can sustain 123 degree temps, or 1 week (lets call it 2 weeks for safety) at 115 degrees.
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:41 AM   #53
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The reality of a mobile “composting toilet” is not real. It is a fake name to make your feces you toss in a dumpster sound nice to people who do not have a clue about how septic systems work.

It takes human feces a couple of years and special conditions to realistically compost. You cannot do this in a bus.. You need a field to make composting piles. After a couple of years of human feces composting in a pile designed to keep temperatures high it is considered safe enough to spread around trees and bushes(by some people).

The reality is a mobile “composting toilet” is basically the same thing as a 5gal bucket with a trash bag. A person can spend 1k on a bucket with a seat but you are still left with a bag of feces that you will need to toss in a dumpster somewhere. I guess it will eventually “compost” in a landfill along with plastic bags and discarded walmart goods.
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:34 AM   #54
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Putting the "composting" semantics aside for a moment-



Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
If done right, I think composting toilets can be effective and safe.
So what is the process for "doing it right"?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
I agree, unless you have a system for processing the waste, its not very responsible or legal to bag it and toss it in the trash.
This is what the proponents of composting toilets seem to be selling. The diaper or kitty litter arguments are seemingly good ones, too. Again, what is the right way to handle this?



I opted for the $1000 poo-bucket, but certainly have room for a black tank underneath if I wanted to add one. Reduced water consumption, less frequent intervention and winter concerns were my main reasons, additional infrastructure was another lesser concern, and I liked the idea of a compact, self-contained system.



Cassettes were another option, but I saw these as less-capable smaller scale black systems that would ultimately need more frequent intervention.


Regardless of what most folks choose, they seem happy with their choices. In the case of the $1k poo bucket, the evangelism you clearly see around them may merely be an attempt by their owners to justify their investment. I'm not really committed one way or another, I'm just interested in what capabilities each solution brings to the table... and from my point of view composters bring the same type of capabilities as that of wood stoves (versus pellet stoves or gas fuels)- the potential to manage your own waste indefinitely, given land + time.



If I wanted to see how to really deal with waste, mobile and in isolation, I'd probably start by looking at an international space station.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:30 PM   #55
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from my point of view composters bring the same type of capabilities as that of wood stoves (versus pellet stoves or gas fuels)- the potential to manage your own waste indefinitely, given land + time.
I have seen people compost human poop on big island of Hawaii where the lava rock is to hard for in ground septic systems. They used buckets with straw as a toilet then dumped them in compost piles - let them compost for 2+ years and put the compost around orchard trees, bushes or non-edible plants. You need a good amount of space do this. And even farther if you want it a healthy distance from your dinner table. From what I have heard the leading authority on composting poo is Joseph C. Jenkins author of the guide book- The Humanure Handbook

I have also seen 3rd world places where people just go out in the field and pigs and dogs eat their poo.

Modern septic systems are a very great invention IMO
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:38 PM   #56
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Can anyone post a law saying properly bagged human waste can't be deposited in a dumpster? Name specific places it is illegal.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:14 PM   #57
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The reality of a mobile “composting toilet” is not real. It is a fake name to make your feces you toss in a dumpster sound nice to people who do not have a clue about how septic systems work.
SNIP...
Please read post #44
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:26 PM   #58
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Can anyone post a law saying properly bagged human waste can't be deposited in a dumpster? Name specific places it is illegal.
This PDF from Alberta Health Services lists the regular trash as an acceptable disposal method, so Alberta ain't it.

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3.2 Use disposable human waste containers that can go into regular garbage without emptying (place into plastic bag first to contain contents and odors).
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:35 PM   #59
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How is what is in my bucket any different than the million disposable diapers that get legally tossed in the trash everyday?
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:38 PM   #60
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How is what is in my bucket any different than the million disposable diapers that get legally tossed in the trash everyday?

not to mention all the Doggy-Doo I see peopke toss in the trash ....
im guessing its to discourage it as a regular practice.. if you can imagine many more people tossing it out then it can cause big issues.. make the law a deterrent..
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