It’s been 18 months since I stopped adding to my first compost bin, so now it’s time to test the results.
I’ve been adding absolutely everything to the pile- all food, dead mice, weeds, compost toilet waste, cat waste- and it’s been cooking consistently the whole time. All the toilet material generates plenty of heat, and without it, the pile is quite different.
The lab needs a gallon of the stuff- I thoroughly cleaned my trowel, put on some gloves and got to work.
My main interest is to see if I’ll pass the fecal coliform tests, and I’m also curious how fertile my compost is. Being that the pile is largely toilet material and sawdust, maybe it won’t be thoroughly rich in nutrients? Only one way to find out.
Either way, all this material was kept out of the landfill and stayed right in my yard.
Close the loop!
Taking a stroll around town, I found a spot with some compost toters and decided to take a peek.
40 gallons of wasted salad… doesn’t look that slimy yet, either.
It really makes you think how much food is wasted each day…
Well that was quick- another big tray of worm castings. The yellow bin is what I pulled yesterday, and the blue tub is my main container.
Recently I posted all the contaminants I found in my last batch– this time was much better, but I still missed a few fruit labels.
Quite an improvement over the last batch!
So late this year with cleaning up outside!
Composting is the only outdoor activity I’m prompt with, it seems.
Since I’m about to empty my finished compost pile, I’m going to let these weeds sit a few days and dry out. After that, I’ll be adding to them to my new pile.
Check the link above for a semi-technical three-bin design that will result in the most hassle-free composting there is. If I had the space for a three-bin system, I’d be on it in an instant.
In other words, when you work with large bins, there’s much more room for error as opposed to a worm system or composting with a pair of trash cans.
The only aspect of this design that I deviate from is the process itself- I don’t turn compost at all, so I’d just keep the middle bin full of cover materials, add to the first bin for up to a year using cover materials from the middle bin, then work on the third bin when the first is at capacity.
It’s always exciting to see a new compost toilet video online… I’m not alone!
It really is simple- just read Humanure Handbook by Joe Jenkins a few times and get to it. It’s a great read and he knows what he’s doing…he backs the whole book with a ton of cited research.
The only area I differ from their process is that I also add my cat’s waste to the system, too.
Jenkins doesn’t make a strong claim in his book about composting pet waste- I’m willing to take the risk. I use swheat scoop cat litter and just add it to my compost toilet buckets along with my own deposits.
I let the pile sit for 18 months (instead of 12) and use the finished compost for solely horticultural purposes.