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Old 17-02-2010, 18:29   #166
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Brilliant posts Knot. Very helpful. I'm totally composting from here on out.

Thanks.
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Old 17-02-2010, 20:11   #167
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Interesting article Knothead,i dont think Natures Head invented the urine seperating composter though,im pretty sure the Airhead was on the market long before Natures Head.
Steve.
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Old 17-02-2010, 20:40   #168
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I lived in a place in the late 70's that had a composting toilet. Urine was seperated in it - not for storage and disposal but beacuse its been known for a long time that you needed to do that to get proper compost. In that toilet (outdoors and large) a couple of times a year you shovelled it out but the urine perculated off through the soil. Composting crap is something that goes back a long way I think. It just stopped seeming neccessary to people when it was so darn easy to flush it away. Another technology that goes way back too I guess - Romans I believe had running water often for that purpose - but better pipes and bigger cities and before you know everyone's doing it.
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Old 18-02-2010, 11:10   #169
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Interesting article Knothead,i dont think Natures Head invented the urine seperating composter though,im pretty sure the Airhead was on the market long before Natures Head.
Steve.
I was told that NASA developed it. NASA is not allowed to hold patents.
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Old 18-02-2010, 16:44   #170
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I want to post a link to an excellent article that answers a lot of questions. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the subject.

Duckworks

Here's a relevant paragraph for those who don't feel like reading the whole thing.

This system is great for us inshore cruisers, as we get to land to do the composting, and can easily carry a weekend's worth of buckets.
(Actually, this applies equally to and hunters, campers, fishermen, people traveling with potty-training-aged kids, etc.) We also don't have salt breeze to mask unpleasant anaerobic smells. Ocean cruisers might have more trouble with this method unless they budgeted a whole lot of space for sawdust and could compost onboard. Here the Sun-Mar system might make more sense, as it is self contained and speeds the system with forced aeration and heat. It would likely still be cheaper than a marine head, as the composting system costs very little in maintenance.
However, I suspect 140 degree rolls would present problems for any system.
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Old 19-02-2010, 13:32   #171
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Liquids are a huge portion of the volume. Thus systems which don't separate the liquids in the bowl, like the sun mar, are huge, and thus useless on a boat. A months worth of buckets on a separator composter is one bucket.
With the computer fan vent led 9 ft above deck, there is no odour.
A friend used those compressed coconut fibre 12 inch by 1 inch squares for compost, available at garden shops . A 6 month supply is 1 ft square by 8 inches deep.
Offshore, you throw it overboard, whenever convenient. Probably don't need composter material then
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Old 19-02-2010, 17:05   #172
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I only use one bucket and I line it with sheets of newspaper (which composts) so that it stays clean when it's emptied. Because it's about fifty percent cover material, it's very light when it's full.

What you have to keep in mind about composting is that there's really no one right way to do it. Think about it. Everything is going to compost eventually given enough time. I could simply put the lid tight on my five gallon bucket, drill a 1/4" hole through it and leave it in the corner of my yard somewhere and in a couple of years it will have turned into humus.

As far as the pathogens go, they will die anyway. It just takes longer. I've read that you should let compost age for two years before using it agriculturally if it hasn't undergone thermophilic composting. It's really a non issue. If you are carrying the pathogens or worms yourself and thereby infecting the feces, then you really don't have to worry about catching it. You need to worry about getting rid of it.

I would imagine that you stand as good or better chance of actually making contact with pathogens during a pumpout than emptying a mostly dry and partially composted bucket of solids.
I hate marine heads. Always have and always will. They stink, they leak, they get plugged up, they have to be rebuilt, they make you drill holes in the bottom of your boat, they stink, they force you to carry all that sewage which adds up to a crapload of weight, they spill when you get knocked down whereas a bucket has a snap on water proof lid that you have to fight to get off and can probably be dropped from the spreader without spilling it's contents. Did I mention that they stink?
Seriously, I once sailed across the Atlantic and only used the head once. We were in an anchorage and it was an emergency. That's how much I hate marine heads.

I almost never pull up to a fuel dock in my boat. Even when we were cruising, I fueled from jerry jugs. It's even easier to do that now that I live ashore. Taking care of a sealed bucket of partially composted manure once or twice a month is definitely easier than carrying and emptying jerry jugs of fuel and water.

Take my word for it, it's a lot easier than having to take my boat someplace and usually in front of a gaggle of people, pump out a bunch of foul smelling sewage from a boat. Using questionable equipment that 15 minutes ago was pumping out someone elses' foul smelling raw sewage which for all I know does carry pathogens and worms. Hoping all the while that the previous user polluted a whole bunch of fresh water during the process to wash away any spillage onto the dock and into the water.

To each his own i guess, but I would challenge anybody to come up with a less expensive, more reliable, less odoriferous way to take care of a very basic function than using another very basic function. Composting.

I was a skeptic too until I tried it.
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Old 19-02-2010, 22:39   #173
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I'm in complete agreement. My composter as reported was beginning to smell. I closed the door to the head and problem gone. Then I added some more peat and a little em bokashi and the smell in the head retreated. Even when it gets a little smelly it's better then a smelly tank ... and now I've more storage space! Next haul out I'm sealing the through hulls and never looking back. By the by Em Bokashi is some reputed copmposting microorganism stuff I picked up. Don't know if it helped or it was more peat that helped but it didn't hurt!
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Old 20-02-2010, 05:10   #174
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We have been using composting heads on our boats for the last 3 years, first the Airhead now the Natureshead. I think it takes a little experimenting to get it right but ounce you do it's great.
We are currently in the Fl. Keys and I was just talking to one of the marina managers who told me FWC the Fl. water police don't consider composting heads to be legal and will ticket you for it. When I asked why he said they consider it to easy to dump overboard. Hmmm easier to dump the compost overboard or open the seacock to empty your holding tank. Anyway he said the only system they find legal has to have a place to pump out. Seems the state of Fl. really wants to keep an eye on your s...
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Old 20-02-2010, 05:17   #175
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We have been using composting heads on our boats for the last 3 years, first the Airhead now the Natureshead. I think it takes a little experimenting to get it right but ounce you do it's great.
We are currently in the Fl. Keys and I was just talking to one of the marina managers who told me FWC the Fl. water police don't consider composting heads to be legal and will ticket you for it. When I asked why he said they consider it to easy to dump overboard. Hmmm easier to dump the compost overboard or open the seacock to empty your holding tank. Anyway he said the only system they find legal has to have a place to pump out. Seems the state of Fl. really wants to keep an eye on your s...
Not good! Anybody else hear of this? I assumed if it was o.k. with the Feds it was o.k. with the states. Stupid me I guess.
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Old 20-02-2010, 05:24   #176
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Not good! Anybody else hear of this? I assumed if it was o.k. with the Feds it was o.k. with the states. Stupid me I guess.
That was the point I made with the marina manager but he said we were in State waters and the state laws overide the feds. Definetly something to look into. It wouldn't be the first time that the state of Fl. was trying to overstep it's boundaries.
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Old 20-02-2010, 05:31   #177
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That was the point I made with the marina manager but he said we were in State waters and the state laws overide the feds. Definetly something to look into. It wouldn't be the first time that the state of Fl. was trying to overstep it's boundaries.
Fine! Next time a hurricane crosses over into FL waters I'd like to suggest they don't come crying to the Feds for assistance.
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Old 20-02-2010, 06:38   #178
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We have been using composting heads on our boats for the last 3 years, first the Airhead now the Natureshead. I think it takes a little experimenting to get it right but ounce you do it's great.
We are currently in the Fl. Keys and I was just talking to one of the marina managers who told me FWC the Fl. water police don't consider composting heads to be legal and will ticket you for it. When I asked why he said they consider it to easy to dump overboard. Hmmm easier to dump the compost overboard or open the seacock to empty your holding tank. Anyway he said the only system they find legal has to have a place to pump out. Seems the state of Fl. really wants to keep an eye on your s...
So now I wondering how do they feel about Porta Potty's? You can dump these overboard as easy as a composting toilet. How would they be any different or are they illegal as well?
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Old 20-02-2010, 06:52   #179
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can vegetables be composted?

How do folks dispose of their vegetable wastes? Can they be composted too, or will they fill up the waste container too fast?

John
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Old 20-02-2010, 07:51   #180
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So far it is a word of a marina owner (who probably looses pumpout business because of composting heads), but has anyone been cited any state law yet? If it is a movement of sorts or a law in the making, perhaps we can follow the correct avenues to prevent it. Anyone from Fl want to look into this? I imagine that Nature's head and Airhead would lend support as well as the US coast guard, as they are reported to have Nature's Heads on some of their boats...
Meanwhile, the storm drains keep draining, agricultural fertilizer keeps running off, industry keep dumping and the municipal treatment facilities keep 'overfowing'....
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