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Old 06-11-2017, 08:38   #1
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Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

I can hear you thinking...Oh no, not another thread on composting heads! But please, just a simple question regarding them: when out cruising, where do you dump the poo from the composting loo? Do you just end up dumping it at sea, or furtively placing bagsful into a convenient bin? Or do you actually find owners of compost piles who are happy to accept your offering? There was a rather protracted thread of 12 pages, which went dormant early this year, on the general pros and cons of composting compared to other systems. My question didn't seem to be addressed directly, and I didn't want to revive an old thread.

I've just bought an older boat in the UK with a traditional sea toilet discharging directly overboard. In the places where I'll be cruising (French canals, then Greek islands), I'll need some capacity to prevent such direct discharge. As I'm loath to start putting together a complicated system of hoses, valves, and tank, especially because she is not a large cruising boat, the simplicity of a composting unit appeals to me. (I'm looking specifically at Simploo, manufactured in the UK.) But I am curious as to whether the cruiser's universe provides opportunities to discard the composted (or at least, PARTLY composted) waste as envisioned?

Thanks in advance for the enlightenment...

Don
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:36   #2
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

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Originally Posted by rabbidoninoz View Post
I can hear you thinking...Oh no, not another thread on composting heads! But please, just a simple question regarding them: when out cruising, where do you dump the poo from the composting loo? Do you just end up dumping it at sea, or furtively placing bagsful into a convenient bin? Or do you actually find owners of compost piles who are happy to accept your offering? There was a rather protracted thread of 12 pages, which went dormant early this year, on the general pros and cons of composting compared to other systems. My question didn't seem to be addressed directly, and I didn't want to revive an old thread.

I've just bought an older boat in the UK with a traditional sea toilet discharging directly overboard. In the places where I'll be cruising (French canals, then Greek islands), I'll need some capacity to prevent such direct discharge. As I'm loath to start putting together a complicated system of hoses, valves, and tank, especially because she is not a large cruising boat, the simplicity of a composting unit appeals to me. (I'm looking specifically at Simploo, manufactured in the UK.) But I am curious as to whether the cruiser's universe provides opportunities to discard the composted (or at least, PARTLY composted) waste as envisioned?

Thanks in advance for the enlightenment...

Don
We're not out cruising yet (9 months and 24 days to go), but we do have a composting head. I do not furtively place the trash bag in the bin - I simply throw it in the bin with all of the other trash that's already in there. As long as dirty diapers are permitted to go into the trash can, I have no qualms about throwing my bag in there. At least my bag smells like dirt, unlike the diaper.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:41   #3
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

We have been using an Air Head for 7 years, mostly full-time. We got it when we came back to the States and needed to be legal. The solids container we dump into a lawn bag and this dispose of it differently, depending on where we are. If we will be offshore any time soon, we store the bag on deck until then, then hold it over the side and cut a hole in it so it empties overboard. (We have stored the contents in a bag on deck for over a week without it smelling. We didn't even believe it until we did it!)

If we are near a dumpster that is responsibly emptied (i.e. in the States or somewhere that it is NOT just being dumped in the ocean) we put it in a dumpster.

We have been on islands that do not responsibly dispose of their trash, and we really don't feel good about putting this in the trash in those places. Instead, we usually find a nearby uninhabited island (not as hard as it would sound in the Caribbean or Bahamas) and empty the contents of the bag under a tree or something. We bury it to some extent. We have gone back to these places in a month or so and other than there being a greener patch of vegetation there, there is no evidence. I prefer this method (though people sometimes get up in arms online when I say we do this) to any other. I think it does the most good.

As far as finding someone willing to take it from you, people have strange feelings about compost. Rather than get into a debate about how long, at what temperature, etc. composting takes, I'll just say that we've not found anyone willing to take it for their garden (flowers or food), so we've quit trying.

I hope this helps answer your question, though experience tells me there will probably follow 12 pages that don't quite answer it but go off on a pro/con composting debate. Best of luck.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:58   #4
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

I’ve used a composter for the last five years (Nature’s Head). We are full-time for seven or eight months each year now. We dump over the side when out to sea. When travelling in more remote areas (which is most of the time) we often dump in the forest away from human traffic. And when in urban areas, we dump in a dumpster.

Easy...
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Old 06-11-2017, 11:44   #5
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

I've only dumped mine twice, so far. First time was at sea.

The other batch had about two months of "finish" time since the last deposit. All the toilet paper and clumps had disintegrated. I simply tossed the contents among some trees on my own property.

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Old 06-11-2017, 12:54   #6
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

The answer totally depends on where you are and local rules or customs.

We started out on the Great Lakes. Burry at home in the back yard or find wooded area near the anchorage to burry. Never in the Lakes. ZDZ

Now living in the Caribbean. Most harbors have no pump outs. In these places, most boats eject overboard. We have used the trash bag and dumpster method. Most Caribbean islands do not want your garbage of any kind. Mostly, we empty and clean it at sea well off shore. What is amazing is that in harbors where direct discharge is practiced the water remains clear. I can only guess that the decomposition is so rapid in warm shallow sea water that the system copes. (ST Martin lagoon and Marigot or Simpson Bay, Martinique St Ann or Marin, Gorda Sound BVI for examples. We found the Atlantic off shore between Trinidad and Tobago 93 F last June.

If you do find a Caribbean pump out it will be very expensive. $70.00 in Gorda Sound and not in operation when we were there.

By the way, remoras and tarpon eat poop.
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Old 06-11-2017, 16:07   #7
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

Be familiar with local laws and dump it the required distance offshore. It’s good clean poop just like nature intended, no chemicals.
The pee is a different matter as it must be tipped off daily and it stinks worse than the other. When you are in a populated area it will need to be taken to public toilets.

I find visitors are often fearful of my composting loo and don’t want to have anything to do with it, even though I am a bit of a hygene freak and it is spotless.

Dave
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:24   #8
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

Hi, is a composting toilet legal in areas [I'm thinking primarily of the Med] where a holding tank is required?
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:30   #9
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

Rabbi,

Just keep what you have and don't worry about it. Direct discharge of waste is the norm outside of America, Canada, Turkey and Australia. Since you're not going to any of these places... keep what you have.
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:38   #10
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

We have a Natures Head toilet. It is a Class III MSD, which means that you can't dump it overboard (even composted) within 3 miles of shore or on any inland waters. Same with the pee. Both of those rules don't make any sense,like for instance you can pee directly into the water but not pee in a bottle then pour it in. And correctly composted poop has less bacterial count than a type I MSD but you can dump it. But that's the way it is. The urine is harder to get rid of than the compost (even though it is sterile) because it is of course liquid and you end up with a lot more of it than the solids. The compost goes into a garbage bag and then the dumpster just like the other trash. The urine gets poured into a toilet if in a marina.
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:53   #11
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

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We have a Natures Head toilet. It is a Class III MSD, which means that you can't dump it overboard (even composted) within 3 miles of shore or on any inland waters. Same with the pee. Both of those rules don't make any sense,like for instance you can pee directly into the water but not pee in a bottle then pour it in. And correctly composted poop has less bacterial count than a type I MSD but you can dump it. But that's the way it is. The urine is harder to get rid of than the compost (even though it is sterile) because it is of course liquid and you end up with a lot more of it than the solids. The compost goes into a garbage bag and then the dumpster just like the other trash. The urine gets poured into a toilet if in a marina.
Jack,

And where do you think the urine goes after you flush the marina toilet? BTW: Urine is not “sterile,” not that it matters.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:23   #12
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

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Jack,

And where do you think the urine goes after you flush the marina toilet? BTW: Urine is not “sterile,” not that it matters.
You are correct. Urine is not 100% sterile but it is comparatively, and certainly much less than even "treated" sewage. And the urine is not poured into a "marine toilet" but the toilet when in a marina as I clearly stated.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:56   #13
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

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...Urine is not “sterile,” not that it matters.
No, it’s not sterile if sterile means 100% bacteria-free. Nothing is; not your skin, your mouth and not even the human brain. In fact, the average 200# man carries around about 6# of microbes and bacteria. As you well know, urine by comparison is actually quite clean.

If sterility is the concern, then for heaven’s sake don’t let anyone go for a swim off their boat. The contamination coming off the typical human body is many factors worse than the load deposited in urine .
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:43   #14
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

I've heard (unconfirmed) that there are no pump outs in the French canals. If true, I am hoping that most bates use shore facilities, but guessing that may be wishful thinking.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:33   #15
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Re: Composters: Where do you dump the Poo?

Better not pee in your scuba wet suit! Better not pee overboard!
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