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Old 07-09-2016, 15:30   #46
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

Thinwater its not just 3rd world countries dumping waste into local waters. Its in the US pretty much near anywhere there's a handy ocean nearby. In Recent years Miami and in the keys pipelines that pump waste a couple of miles out have ruptured near or on shore. Oops.. Other countries Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar ( wait, all 1st world countries) to name a few just don't bother with a pipeline to hide it. I think most boaters care but to make the statement "we've moved on etc etc",,, Seriously, hows the water quality in MD? Or especially Baltimore ?
Point is Most governments only care if you have enough money to have a boat....which to me makes a "composter" that at least dessicates the waste a good bit. At least a better option than bucket and chuck it, unless your strictly offshore, then it really isn't a huge problem.

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Old 07-09-2016, 16:14   #47
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

Some random thoughts.

There have been multiple threads at CF about composting heads with supporters saying they are the best thing since sliced bread and detractors saying they do not work with problems with both the function of a composting head and that they can attract insects. To a great extent a lot of the problems seem to be the result of user error with to much waste and too little (or the wrong kind) of peat/sawdust/cat litter/what ever. There is also the problem of urine getting into place where it should not go.

Most successful composting heads do have some type of device to mix the peat and waste and it is common for there to be something like a computer fan to circulate air which aids in composting. Of course not everyone has the same definition of successful. For a single user the device the OP described could work. But a common problem with even the expensive well designed composting heads is that a crew member may not be as careful as the OP in using it; not to mention guests who often ignore any instructions they are given. Not to mention as several other posters have mentioned females often present additional problems with composting heads.

While it is frequently ignored in practice there are laws about putting human waste (even if it has been mixed with peat in a composting head) in dumpsters found at marinas and elsewhere. It is also illegal in many states to empty a container with urine over the side of a boat. Is it common for both to happen, sure; can you be stuck with a serious fine if you are caught, sure.

As someone who has lived on a boat in Florida waters for the last few years I have seen pols in the state pass several laws many folks view as restricting liveaboards. A lot of those laws are the result of a few liveaboard leaving the impression that they are a negative impact on the environment.

Bottom line is the more devices like the OP made that are noticed by authorities the more restrictions will be placed on boaters by pols. Not saying I like more rules; just that my bet is we will be seeing more of them.
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Old 07-09-2016, 18:01   #48
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

This just in: over the past week 29 million gallons of sewage have been discharged into Tampa Bay. Pretending boaters are even part of the problem is a joke. That being said we bought a C-Head just to avoid the hassle of dealing with the water cops, head, hoses & tank. I thought the price was quite reasonable for a well made product that works right out of the box. And it's no more just a bucket than a regular head is just a bowl.

C-Head portable composting toilets
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Old 07-09-2016, 18:38   #49
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
So it's a bucket. Just say so. It's not hard.

As for the composting part, it takes months and it takes mixing. Just no. We're back to putting a dress on a pig. It is just mixed, partially decayed c__p in a bucket, not compost by any stretch.

Yes, a holding tank is a pig of a different sort. So is every solution. Well maintained, they all work. Personally, I find a holding tank very trouble free. I replace the joker valve every 2-3 years, replace the pump unit every 10 years, and pump out when it fills (free here), which is not so often when I use shore side facilities, which I'm sure the OP intends to. Much less labor intensive, IMO, than hauling buckets of c__p and finding dumpsters to double bag it and dump it. Hauling buckets of c__p home to finish composting does not sound better either.

But there is no question that a bucket will work. If you go climbing in the Tetons above the treeline you have to take a bag with absorbent. It's OK. but it is just a bag, not a composting head. Burying c__p in the woods is composting, but it's not a head.

We have had experience with both the standard holding tank system and also the composting head, I don't believe you have. The composting head, in our opinion, is way less labor intensive than the conventional holding tank system as well as having very little odor. This of course comes from our experience of using both systems not just one.


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Old 07-09-2016, 22:44   #50
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

The only thing the OP has to do is have some sort of latching device to secure it to his boat to make it legal. Any type of latch to secure it to the floor or walls.
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Old 08-09-2016, 00:18   #51
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

Thank you pir8ped. I'm one of the half dozen who hadn't read your post and you've helped me make my mind up.
To everyone else, it is, I think, the lesser of evils that we're looking for and depending on your circumstances you will pick what is right for you.
Here in blighty, we don't have rules for compost toilets on boats, so anything I do will be bending the law somewhat. But I think, for me, dessication is the way to go for size and convenience as true composting will take too long.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:51   #52
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
We have had experience with both the standard holding tank system and also the composting head, I don't believe you have. The composting head, in our opinion, is way less labor intensive than the conventional holding tank system as well as having very little odor. This of course comes from our experience of using both systems not just one.


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Great post. All of us with "composting heads" started with regular MSDs. You would think that would tell the detractors who invariably have never had one something. Also, the fact that they only start the composting process is really irrelevant.
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Old 14-09-2016, 09:43   #53
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
Some random thoughts.

There have been multiple threads at CF about composting heads with supporters saying they are the best thing since sliced bread and detractors saying they do not work with problems with both the function of a composting head and that they can attract insects. To a great extent a lot of the problems seem to be the result of user error with to much waste and too little (or the wrong kind) of peat/sawdust/cat litter/what ever. There is also the problem of urine getting into place where it should not go.

Most successful composting heads do have some type of device to mix the peat and waste and it is common for there to be something like a computer fan to circulate air which aids in composting. Of course not everyone has the same definition of successful. For a single user the device the OP described could work. But a common problem with even the expensive well designed composting heads is that a crew member may not be as careful as the OP in using it; not to mention guests who often ignore any instructions they are given. Not to mention as several other posters have mentioned females often present additional problems with composting heads.

While it is frequently ignored in practice there are laws about putting human waste (even if it has been mixed with peat in a composting head) in dumpsters found at marinas and elsewhere. It is also illegal in many states to empty a container with urine over the side of a boat. Is it common for both to happen, sure; can you be stuck with a serious fine if you are caught, sure.

As someone who has lived on a boat in Florida waters for the last few years I have seen pols in the state pass several laws many folks view as restricting liveaboards. A lot of those laws are the result of a few liveaboard leaving the impression that they are a negative impact on the environment.

Bottom line is the more devices like the OP made that are noticed by authorities the more restrictions will be placed on boaters by pols. Not saying I like more rules; just that my bet is we will be seeing more of them.
Actually the composting head comes under the heading of a portable toilet. Therefore the USCG will not certify it .
https://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg5213/msd.asp

Portable toilets.
Vessels having no installed toilet are not subject to the provisions of Section 312 of the Act.* Portable toilets or porta-potties that use no installed water, power, etc., are not considered installed toilets and therefore not subject to the requirements in 33 CFR Part 159.* However, regulations still exist to prohibit disposal of raw sewage within U.S. territorial waters, the Great Lakes, and navigable rivers.* Use of portable toilets in combination with a direct discharge toilet is not permitted.* Vessel owners may elect to remove installed toilets and use instead portable toilets.* For vessels having a portable toilet, all non-compliant fixed toilets should be removed unless impractical or unsafe in which case such devices should be rendered permanently inoperable.* For inspected vessels using portable systems, use only devices manufactured of a durable material, such as molded plastic, aluminum, etc., to facilitate removal ashore, securely fastened to the vessel using straps, wooden framing, or similar materials,
And this
Type III devices.
Ambient air pressure & temperature.* A Type III device that stores sewage and flushwater at ambient air pressure and temperature is not subject to formal U.S. Coast Guard certification if it meets the requirements in 33 CFR 159.53(c).* Such devices will have no U.S. Coast Guard Certificate of Approval, no U.S. Coast Guard letter, and no device label.
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Old 14-09-2016, 10:07   #54
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
Thinwater its not just 3rd world countries dumping waste into local waters. Its in the US pretty much near anywhere there's a handy ocean nearby. In Recent years Miami and in the keys pipelines that pump waste a couple of miles out have ruptured near or on shore. Oops.. Other countries Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar ( wait, all 1st world countries) to name a few just don't bother with a pipeline to hide it. I think most boaters care but to make the statement "we've moved on etc etc",,, Seriously, hows the water quality in MD? Or especially Baltimore ?
Point is Most governments only care if you have enough money to have a boat....which to me makes a "composter" that at least dessicates the waste a good bit. At least a better option than bucket and chuck it, unless your strictly offshore, then it really isn't a huge problem.

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I feel you pain, but we are getting off the point:

1. The OP has a bucket, not a composting toilet.

2. Dumping raw sewage in coastal areas is bad public health practice.
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Old 14-09-2016, 10:11   #55
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
We have had experience with both the standard holding tank system and also the composting head, I don't believe you have. The composting head, in our opinion, is way less labor intensive than the conventional holding tank system as well as having very little odor. This of course comes from our experience of using both systems not just one.


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I have no criticism for a well-designed composting system. I've designed commercial scale systems and under stand the tech. Not my preference on a boat, but I get it. I have worked with them for extended periods in cabins, so I would not say I lack experience.
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Old 14-09-2016, 10:22   #56
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

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... While it is frequently ignored in practice there are laws about putting human waste (even if it has been mixed with peat in a composting head) in dumpsters found at marinas and elsewhere.
True. However, most areas allow diapers and most make no specific mention of waste-in-a-bag (probably because it seems like an odd thing to do).

If you have a link to a regulation, please post it. I could not find anything like that.
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Old 15-09-2016, 09:46   #57
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

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True. However, most areas allow diapers
In searching for whether we could throw our Air Head's "compost" in a dumpster in one state or another we were sailing through (I think it was FL) I actually found where dirty diapers are not legal, either! Obviously this law is ignored, but also obviously it doesn't make it legal to ignore it, just common practice. This law against dumping it in a dumpster (properly bagged) differs from city to city, even. I look at it like any other law that is questionable as to whether it's enforced or not: if you're not hurting anything and no one is enforcing the law, then does it really matter? If you're not going to get into any legal trouble and ethically you're OK with it, then I see no problem. But that's a personal choice. Just my two cents. [We put ours in the dumpster when it's the best option.]
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Old 15-09-2016, 22:24   #58
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

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2. Dumping raw sewage in coastal areas is bad public health practice.
This is the ultimate problem when dealing with waste in coastal areas. People who don't understand the processes.

If you are in a marina or a 100yds off a swimming beach this statement has some truth.

Once you are more than a couple miles off the coast (still coastal), there is no science to back it up. It's a feel good measure more than anything else.
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Old 15-09-2016, 23:12   #59
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

Everything in the dumpster goes to the land fill. Everything in the land fill then finishes composting. Outcome? Flowers.
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Old 16-09-2016, 06:16   #60
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Re: My 2 Dollar DIY Composting Head

The Tampa Bay Times reported today that 151 million gallons a sewage was released in the Tampa Bay area due to the effects of Hermine.
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