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Old 18-07-2016, 15:46   #1
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Composting head - where to get rid of solids?

I'm currently anchored in Seattle, but will be in SF Bay next year. I'm considering a composting head. I've gone thru most of the treads here and it seems getting rid of the liquid is easy - pour is in the toilet on shore. They are not clear on what to do with the solids. I don't own a home, so spreading it under the flowers is not an option. And I haven't sailed out far enough to dump it overboard.

How do you legally get rid of the solids in Seattle? In San Francisco Bay area?
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Old 18-07-2016, 16:48   #2
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Composting head - where to get rid of solids?

We empty when far from shore. It is just like compost and you shouldn't feel bad bagging it in a biodegradable trash bag and placing in a dumpster. Certainly better than all the soiled baby diapers or kitty litter that goes there. Other choices include the portapotty dump spot at some marinas.

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Old 20-07-2016, 05:34   #3
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Re: Composting head - where to get rid of solids?

I don't know your area specifically, but Air Head suggests that you look for national or state parks with composting toilets to empty it into. I know there are many of them around, but again, I'm not sure where the closest one to you is. If you're concerned about being sure it is completely composted before bagging it and putting it into a dumpster, Air Head sells a second solids container with a stirrer and connections for a fan so it can continue composting after it is "full" and you switch to a second solids container. Though it may seem like a large thing to store on a boat, it's still smaller than a holding tank.
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Old 20-07-2016, 09:39   #4
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Re: Composting head - where to get rid of solids?

Having two storage tanks to assure the composting is complete is reasonable if one actually is able to empty the solid waste in a natural environment. If it is forced to be going into a marina dumpster like diapers, kitty litter, dog-poo, rotted food and other totally disgusting waste items, I'm not sure it really matters to the land fill, you know?

We were lucky that one marina we stayed at in the USA was operated by a European fellow who didn't have all the hangups on human waste that Americans have. He pointed us at an area of land adjacent the parking lot and said to put it there on that soil where it would be turned under by the marina and allowed to enrich their poor soil.
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Old 20-07-2016, 10:27   #5
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Re: Composting head - where to get rid of solids?

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I don't know your area specifically, but Air Head suggests that you look for national or state parks with composting toilets to empty it into...
This is completely reasonable, but I'd be reluctant to follow this advice. Typical non-thinking bureaucrats are likely to send you strait to Guantanamo if they catch you doing this. Probably label you a sex criminal too. Bagging and putting in the dumpster seems like a better idea.
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Old 20-07-2016, 11:12   #6
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Re: Composting head - where to get rid of solids?

If we're in a marina, then we use a standard trash bag and dispose in the dumpster. If we're cruising, then we take the bucket to shore and dump it in a remote area.

As a liveaboard couple, our cycle is two weeks between dumps. It would take at least 3 months for the waste to fully compost and it would require regular turn-over and air flow as well. So I don't think having multiple containers is an option.
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Old 25-07-2016, 12:03   #7
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Re: Composting head - where to get rid of solids?

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If

As a liveaboard couple, our cycle is two weeks between dumps. It would take at least 3 months for the waste to fully compost and it would require regular turn-over and air flow as well. So I don't think having multiple containers is an option.
Really? Do you have an Air Head? We are full time liveaboard and we get 4-6 weeks. Is your fan hooked up correctly? I'm curious to why it's such a short time, especially if it's an Air Head or a Nature's Head. They really should (and ours does) last longer than that.
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Old 25-07-2016, 14:13   #8
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Re: Composting head - where to get rid of solids?

So far I've been able to avoid dumping into a trash bin. Most of the time I've been able to dump in forested areas. Ocassionally I've dumped into outhouses. Offshore I'd dump over the side. If I had no choice I'd bag and toss in the dumpster. Much better than used diapers and feminine hygiene items.

We also average five to six weeks between dumps. Two people, full time. Nature's Head.


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Old 01-08-2016, 19:56   #9
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Re: Composting head - where to get rid of solids?

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Really? Do you have an Air Head? We are full time liveaboard and we get 4-6 weeks. Is your fan hooked up correctly? I'm curious to why it's such a short time, especially if it's an Air Head or a Nature's Head. They really should (and ours does) last longer than that.

Yes, it's an Airhead and the fan is working correctly. Dumping is needed when the waste reaches the hole that the turning handle goes through. Our waste is more liquidy thank most users would be.
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Old 01-08-2016, 20:50   #10
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Re: Composting head - where to get rid of solids?

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Yes, it's an Airhead and the fan is working correctly. Dumping is needed when the waste reaches the hole that the turning handle goes through. Our waste is more liquidy thank most users would be.

You may have some urine going into the solid tank. We have had boat visitors who are uncanny in managing to do that. We end up adding a lot of coir when that occurs. It should never be wet unless someone is weeing into it or you're not using enough coir or peat.


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Old 01-08-2016, 21:21   #11
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Re: Composting head - where to get rid of solids?

Mrs. Flare and I get just under one month on our Nature's Head, using it full time. Had three grandkids on the boat and we suspect they weren't all getting their liquids in the correct compartment.

We dump offshore or in a dumpster.
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:10   #12
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Re: Composting head - where to get rid of solids?

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You may have some urine going into the solid tank. We have had boat visitors who are uncanny in managing to do that. We end up adding a lot of coir when that occurs. It should never be wet unless someone is weeing into it or you're not using enough coir or peat.

Agreed, two weeks is not right for normal usage. Unless you're dealing with special health circumstances, you've either got a urine intake problem, an incorrect mixture of coir (or peat), or perhaps your vent isn't venting as you think it is.

These heads are really better described as desiccators. They mostly work by drying out the feces. Coir is there for aeration and absorption. Under normal operation you should not producing wet, volumous material, and certainly not that fast.



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