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Old 04-02-2015, 06:27   #346
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

Thanks for the info on the peat moss, i too have been using coir and will stick with that, it is very easy to store was my reason for coir but I had not given any thought to the unsustainability of the peat moss so thanks for the heads up. My AH came with a bag of peat moss and also a bag of sugar for the pee container. We don't use the pee container that much as each crew member has their own laundry detergent bottle to use in the privacy of their own cabin so we don't need to get up and wake others up going to the head at night so each person is responsible for their own bottle. We also don't put the tp in the toilet preferring to fold it and store it in a Ziploc bag and dispose of it ashore, something i learned while living in Taiwan as they don't flush it down the sewer, basically nothing goes in the AH that has not been processed through your intestine, it just extends our range between emptying, it really amazing how little tp you really need to do a good job.


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Old 04-02-2015, 19:11   #347
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

I like the peat moss sold in Mylar bags. Your can store extra and not worry about it getting wet.


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Old 05-02-2015, 13:50   #348
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

I used to sell composters and ran one in the company shop for many years.
I found peat moss to be a little messy because it produced a fine powder when we scooped it from its storage container to the composter. This powder settled on the floor, wood trim etc. and had to be sponged off. As a result I switched to pine wood shavings of the type used for animal bedding. Very cheap and easy to source. Don't use cedar shavings as they don't decay.
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Old 05-02-2015, 15:17   #349
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

Cedar does decay, it just takes longer.
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Old 05-02-2015, 15:32   #350
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

Someone somewhere posted about mixing in old coffee grounds. Does anyone have any experience with this? I'm thinking if we dried out the used grounds first, it might work to mix it in with the coir.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-02-2015, 15:40   #351
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Someone somewhere posted about mixing in old coffee grounds. Does anyone have any experience with this? I'm thinking if we dried out the used grounds first, it might work to mix it in with the coir.

Thoughts?
I read this in an article.

The byproduct of the portable composting toilet is a mulch made from human waste. Other items that would normally go into a traditional compost pile can also be added to the composting toilet, such as coffee grounds, egg shells and vegetable waste.

Read more: 4 Facts About Portable Composting Toilets | DoItYourself.com
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Old 25-05-2015, 18:59   #352
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

Early in this thread someone mentioned wood pellets as a possible substitute for coir etc. Has anyone tried this yet?
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Old 25-05-2015, 19:28   #353
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

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Early in this thread someone mentioned wood pellets as a possible substitute for coir etc. Has anyone tried this yet?

We tried the pine pellets, a huge bag from the feed store for $6.00. They worked but we didn't care for the odor at all.


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Old 25-05-2015, 23:01   #354
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

My daughter got wood pellet kitty Litter, I'm going to try that... I'll let you know.


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Old 26-05-2015, 04:29   #355
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

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Originally Posted by wdkester View Post
Early in this thread someone mentioned wood pellets as a possible substitute for coir etc. Has anyone tried this yet?

Not as a substitute, but I have used wood pellets as an additive to soak up excess moisture when necessary. They work OK for that, making the cleanup easier. I keep some handy just in case.


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Old 26-05-2015, 05:00   #356
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

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Cedar does decay, it just takes longer.
I've been using cedar shavings in my NH for several months. Whether they degrade or not, the resultant compost seems the same to me as with coir, peat, or sawdust. And they smell good.

I rinse the urine bottle after emptying with the cheapest vinegar I can find. It cuts the salts in the urine and keeps the bottle cleaner.

I had a problem with urine drying in the passage under the two small holes in the NH. It stank. No way to get in there with a brush to clean it out. Instead, I cut between the two holes to make a larger oval-shaped opening. Now I spray in there with vinegar every few days, and no build-up and no smell. (Question to NH: Why TWO holes? I have only one.)

Whenever I get to a boatyard, I remove the whole NH from the boat, empty it, and scrub it with bleach. Kills all the fly eggs and whitens the NH.

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Old 26-05-2015, 05:01   #357
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

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My daughter got wood pellet kitty Litter, I'm going to try that... I'll let you know.


JimK
I tried that (Feline Pine). It quickly broke down into a very fine sawdust and made it almost impossible to turn the crank.

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Old 26-05-2015, 08:11   #358
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

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I've been using cedar shavings in my NH for several months. Whether they degrade or not, the resultant compost seems the same to me as with coir, peat, or sawdust. And they smell good.

I rinse the urine bottle after emptying with the cheapest vinegar I can find. It cuts the salts in the urine and keeps the bottle cleaner.
Good ideas Jack. I'll have to try cedar shavings sometime. We have a small spray bottle of water beside the head, and give the urine track a couple of squirts after each use. We do rinse the holding bottle with vinegar every once in a while. This seems to keep things smelling sweetly, but I may try adding some vinegar to the spray bottle.
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Old 26-05-2015, 08:58   #359
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

Hello All,

We love the NH unit even though it does require some additional stirring with a hand trowel occasionally to keep everything in the mix. we have been using peet (never a problem) but thought we would try something new and bought some choir (sp).

I love how it is more powdery and seemed to keep everything in the mix better and have less stringy pieces to it but we were quickly overrun by what I describe as articulated crawling bugs (long and narrow) and some fliers. We cleaned the unit out thoroughly with bleach and went back to peet. Soon thereafter they were BACK!

We took it out and this time discovered small manufacturing holes under the lip of the seat. Perfect for a hatchery and loaded with the little guys. So we filled it up with a bleach solution and let it sit for a while. That should do it right?

Wrong, they were back before too long so this time instead of forging our own science experiment we just decided to go with what the manufacturer recommends (duh).

I went to the pet store and bought some (food grade) diatomaceous earth and put three large hand trowels worth in the unit on top and let it sit for a couple days. No more problems. Be shure to get food grade and NOT the stuff pool companies sell or anything with added (other) ingredients as you do not want to be accidentally breathing that stuff.

Note: when I purchased the diatom the clerk swore by the stuff for her yard, buys it in a 30 pound bag that is less powdery but in the head if you are careful and vent the area you won't be breathing much if any although I do suggest a mask.

After almost two years, we love this thing. Why? Because the trade off's with a conventional head are in favor of the NH and IT DOES NOT SMELL which is why I bought it to begin with.

IP Man
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Old 26-05-2015, 15:42   #360
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Re: Composting Toilet - Nature's Head

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
I read this in an article.

The byproduct of the portable composting toilet is a mulch made from human waste. Other items that would normally go into a traditional compost pile can also be added to the composting toilet, such as coffee grounds, egg shells and vegetable waste.

Read more: 4 Facts About Portable Composting Toilets | DoItYourself.com
I think you should avoid putting vegetable waste into your composting toilets, it would be an attraction to fruit flies.......which we have had several infestations of. Not high on the fun list!
We were also using a vinegar solution to spray the urine separator portion of our C-Head composter but it turns out that is also an attraction for fruit flies.....so now it is just a spritz with water and hopefully that will work to avoid the build up of minerals.

That being said, after nine months of full time live aboard cruising the fruit flies were the only issues we had.
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