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Old 13-09-2010, 08:21   #226
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I worry then about the disposal of this as normal pump-outs are not feasible, and double bagging and just throwing into the normal waste not only is a nasty trick on the waste disposal people, it may well be highly illegal in some countries.
How would this be different from diaper disposal?
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Old 13-09-2010, 08:26   #227
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How would this be different from diaper disposal?
It is admitedly nearly 3 decades since I last disposed of a diaper, but I seem to remember rather lower percentage of waste product to surrounding tissue than would be the case in this toilet.

Don't get me wrong, I love the concept,, it is just that I have significant reservations about the applicability to how I intend to use my boat.
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Old 13-09-2010, 08:39   #228
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I get the squeamish factor, but when I consider all the incredibly toxic stuff that goes into municipal waste, a bit of biodegradable human waste and the bio material mixed with it seems like it might improve the overall landfill makeup...

And you are smart to think about how to deal before you put one in. Since you are a guy you could try the really cheap test run.

Get a 5 gallon bucket and one of the camping seat that fit on top. Line the bucket with a trash bag. put in the coir or what ever you plan to use and give it a months test. As a guy you have the option to pee into a bottle with out all the fancy hardware.

Then you would know, before you invested, if you were going to like it!
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Old 13-09-2010, 08:51   #229
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These are the issues we are wrestling with. If we opt for 2 heads, we lose the ability to convert our forepeak head to a workroom/sail locker in which case we should just stick with what we've got. I've got no problem with emptying waste while out in approved discharge areas (obviously not bagged). I do worry about putting waste which is not fully composted into the local waste facility. It makes no sense to keep our boat tidy by fouling the surrounding area.

*sigh* I suppose there are advantages and disadvantages a plenty. Just wish I knew for certain which way would be most cost effective, user friendly and environmentally responsible.
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Old 13-09-2010, 09:04   #230
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disposable diapers (for infants)

Forgive me for muddying the water, but does anyone know whether disposable diapers completely decompose in a landfill? Judging only from the amount of space they occupy in a grocery store, they must be used a lot, and I have to assume they are simply thrown in non-recyclable trash. Granted they are not filled with the same consistancy and variety of adult excrement, they are probably just as objectionable.

Childless sexagenarian.
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Old 13-09-2010, 10:11   #231
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Forgive me for muddying the water, but does anyone know whether disposable diapers completely decompose in a landfill? Judging only from the amount of space they occupy in a grocery store, they must be used a lot, and I have to assume they are simply thrown in non-recyclable trash. Granted they are not filled with the same consistancy and variety of adult excrement, they are probably just as objectionable.

Childless sexagenarian.
It takes them a long time to break down - I believe on the order of decades. They are, of course, partly plastic so in effect they have their own little bag to protect them from the forces that chew that stuff up.

In the late seventies in Sanata Cruz, California there was an out break of Polio contracted from the waters of the Santa Cruz River where it flowed out at the beach. The problem it seems was diapers getting into the river from children who had been immunized and coming in contact with children who hadn't.

Thirty years ago when I had one of those creatures you wrap up in diapers I remember the manufacturers selling people on the idea that you could remove the liner and flush it and then throw the plastic out. I suspect this lead to many clogged toilets but fresher garbage pails.
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Old 13-09-2010, 10:18   #232
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Sandy, it takes on average 500 years for a disposable diaper to break down in a land fill. Yet another reason we use cloth.
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Old 13-09-2010, 11:58   #233
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Indelicate subject. Yes. I have a Nature's Head, and I use it exclusively. I live in a 30' trailer while I am building my 32' boat. The head seldom emits odor. Note the 'seldom'. I am of the once a day at 9:05 variety [the only structured thing in my life]. At three weeks, the crank gets hard to turn. I put the partially composted crap into a contractor's garbage bag and put it into the garbage can. I go to the dump about every 6 weeks to dispose of my household trash and bottles. The methane is pretty much gone by the time I dump the tank. I was leary of taking the bags to the transfer station until I thought about all the toxins being dropped off there. Now I just take the bags and toss them in. I do not use the coffee filter approach, as it is more paper to decompose. I just open the hatch and go thru the hole. Sometimes a bit gets on the bowl, but some squirts of Simple Green and some toilet paper take care of it. It is no different than the normal use of the toilet paper. You must be religious about the urine jug, however. MUST. Otherwise it is wayy too messy when you open the top to remove the pee jug. For my uses, the storage tank gets a bit messy. I have no place to conveniently clean it out, and after 6 months of use, it could use it. At anchor, in a secluded anchorage [if you know of one] it would be easy to dunk it over side on a line to clean out the workings. Dealing with poop on a live aboard boat is always a problem. All methods have drawbacks. This works for me.
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Old 13-09-2010, 12:34   #234
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We usually get about three weeks of use, sometimes more, before it has to be dumped out. Even then when it is not totally composted it is not a big smelly mess. Musty smelling yes but not an unbearable smell at all. Kinda like an old smelly carpet. Nothing at all like the smell of a holding tank. If I have to place the incomplete composted contents into a plastic bag and dump it I see no big deal. It will still compost long, long before the plastic bag that contains it and faster than the millions of other plastic bags in all dumps. As mentioned before, a cheap Home Depot 5 gal. bucket and lid lined with a small 13 gal. white kitchen bag will hold the contents until you find a dumping place. No one has any idea what your bucket contains as you walk down the dock to the dumpster or where ever. I understand the first impression yuck factor with composting heads. But guaranteed, it will never rise to the OMG!! yuck factor with a leaking hose or the times you'll take apart a flushing head at sea. The electrical use is next to nothing and I don't even waste time calculating it into a battery budget. Composting heads are becoming more and more popular. They are sensible, easy to install, green, have tons less problems, save a lot of space, and follow the KISS rule.
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Old 13-09-2010, 12:40   #235
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*sigh* I suppose there are advantages and disadvantages a plenty. Just wish I knew for certain which way would be most cost effective, user friendly and environmentally responsible.
if you already have plumbed in holding tanks, then the most cost effective has to be staying with what you have.

The most environmentally responsible has to depend on how you are using the boat. If you are operating away fro a pump out but in a environmentally sensitive area, again no contest, the composter has to be the answer.

The answer for you will be somewhere between these two extremes and you need to analyse your intended use to find out where your requirements are on the bell curve.
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Old 13-09-2010, 12:41   #236
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One improvement I would like to see is in the urine container. One idea would be to use the previous through hull and plumb the urine container through it and perhaps have a small line plumbed from the house fresh water supply to give it a quick flush with a pint or two after each use.
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Old 13-09-2010, 12:50   #237
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if you already have plumbed in holding tanks, then the most cost effective has to be staying with what you have.

The most environmentally responsible has to depend on how you are using the boat. If you are operating away fro a pump out but in a environmentally sensitive area, again no contest, the composter has to be the answer.

The answer for you will be somewhere between these two extremes and you need to analyse your intended use to find out where your requirements are on the bell curve.


Certainly a good point. If you have a holding tank system that works well stick with it. What I find as was in my case that the system was getting old and chasing it became cost ineffective. The answer at first was a new holding tank, new heads, plumbing, labor, etc. My intial thought on the composting head was the cost between the two. I had to really talk my wife into it. But since we've installed it the apparent advantages for us have far out weighed the expense of a new holding system. The fresher smelling boat is a big hit with my wife. Now I did vent the system under my bridge deck and to be honest, not always, but every now and then getting the dingy ready can be a time for some bad jokes.
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Old 13-09-2010, 13:29   #238
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One improvement I would like to see is in the urine container. One idea would be to use the previous through hull and plumb the urine container through it and perhaps have a small line plumbed from the house fresh water supply to give it a quick flush with a pint or two after each use.
My most recent though on this (I have a Nature Head so it may not apply to others) is to drill a hole reasonably high on the urine jug, seal and feed a small hose into an overflow jug. The hose would have to remove easily from the overflow jug but still seal. It sounds like a bit of a PITA but a couple of guys and some beer can fill the tank awfully fast. It does seem silly to be using a jug when your dumping it anyway but I do like the fact that I don't need an open through hull for the thing.
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Old 13-09-2010, 14:00   #239
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spent time on a boat with a composting head-didnt like the pervasive odor problem.
and , where do you off the compost if you havent a house with a hugeous garden???? or in middle of an ocean?? not on my boat ye dont!!!!

is hazmat. nothing like fee e-coli. nothing like the smell of kaka when ye are cooking ....didnt love it as i was spozed to , according to the owner. boat STUNK....and he was spozedly using the dang thing correctly. go figger.
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Old 14-09-2010, 13:35   #240
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The only time a composting head smells is when an insufficient amount of cover material is used. That goes for a simple bucket or an expensive Air head. Many land dwellers who use the Joe Jenkins method don't even separate the liquids from the solids. They just use more cover material.
Cover materials also vary as to their effectiveness. The less effective the material the more you need to use.

It's not climate science.

If your friend's boat smells because of the head, it is because he's not using it properly.
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