Tag Archives: Humanure Handbook

Humanure Compost Toilets at a Music Festival

Humanure Compost Toilets at a Music Festival

The commentary on this one is unanimous: Compost toilets worked wonderfully, even at a 500 person music festival.  I wonder what to do when you have a festival somewhere that doesn’t have a spot for a compost pile nearby…perhaps a pile that stays on a flatbed?

Compost toilets don’t smell.  Use sawdust.  It masks the smell best, and it smells good as it is.

Compost toilets don’t use nasty chemicals like what is found in your typical porta-potty.

There’s little to no bugs.  After several days of using porta-potties, the smell and amount of bugs is pretty nasty.

This video was five years ago…I wonder how many other events have taken on this system… if this doesn’t sell you on how great humanure composting is, I don’t know what will.

Compost Toilet System (video)

Compost Toilet System

In the spirit of humanure composting, I started looking at other videos on Youtube besides those created by the master Joseph Jenkins to see what’s happening.

After reading Humanure Handbook twice, it was interesting to see this system in place and wonder where they adapted it from.

My main question is simply why they go to all the trouble of having dozens of buckets sitting around with small quantities of material in them when they could just build two 5’x5’x5′ compost bins and do it that way instead.  Either way, composting is composting and it’s great to see this going on.

Also, regarding their compost toilet, she mentions the only odors being from when there’s too much urine…this can simply be solved by adding more cover materials.

I started humanure composting recently, and my main challenge has simply been collecting enough cover materials (sawdust, specifically).  Once I can get a good sawdust hookup, I can finally devote myself entirely instead of every once in a while.  Unless you have a good supply of cover materials, the process will not work.

I’ve even started feeling funny when I use the toilet now… I’ve been viewing each dump as an opportunity lost, so I know I’m hooked!  After only adding one 5 gallon bucket’s worth of humanure to my compost pile, the temperature shot up to just shy of 130 degrees within a few days and stayed there, which is simply awesome.

By the way, if you haven’t read Humanure Handbook it will truly throw your head for a spin, which is always needed.  The first chapter is super heavy and a great reality check, and the best is how thoroughly researched it is to back it up.  It’s right up there with Rubbish! as being my all-time favorite book for sure.  I guess I should write a full-on book review to really hit it home how essential this book is…

Ecological Sanitation in Haiti, by GiveLove.org, 2010 and 2011

Ecological Sanitation in Haiti, by GiveLove.org, 2010 and 2011

This video is a beautiful demo of how sanitation needs to be handled.  One 3’x6′ bin a month for 1,000+ people?

Think about that- no water contamination, no need to exert any kind of energy other than collecting your woodchips, carry the buckets and adding them to the compost pile.

This is the future.

Starting a New Humanure Compost Pile (video)

Starting a New Humanure Compost Pile

Watching this video makes me wish I lived outside the city with a bit more space!  The creator of this video is the founder of The Humanure Handbook, which is a classic guide on creating great compost from human manure.  If you haven’t read this, I strongly suggest checking it out even if you don’t plan on building a system.  His observations and insights are great, such as calling the human race a disease on page 1… dude’s spot on.

Humanure Soil Making (video)

Soil making machine Humanure . Anyone watching this will be flabbergasted!.MP4

Although they don’t talk about the specifics of the process, the video is cute all around.

I’m not surprised the bags they’re using aren’t breaking down so easily. They mention that they’re made of potato, but who knows what else? If you’re going to purchase a biodegradable bag for your waste and you want it to actually work the way you’re imagining, ensure that it meets U.S. Composting Council standard ASTM D6400. Otherwise, it’s just a plastic bag with a spray-on coating…in other words it never breaks down fully and was a waste of your time and extra money. “Oxo biodegradable” bags in stores are huge culprits of this, amongst others.

Back to the video! Nicely done.