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Old 12-10-2015, 22:08   #31
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
I'm not at all defensive about it. I just happen to think that if you're looking for a credible opinion about whether or not something works, or how it works, the best source is going to be someone who has actually used the thing in question.

The fact that you think someone would be carrying their bucket around looking for a field to fertilize further illustrates how little you know about the system. I guess someone might do that if they were in an area where it is possible. Most people bag it (you can use a composting bag) and throw it in the dumpster. So at most you are going to see someone carrying one additional bag as they go to the dumpster with the rest of the trash. I guess if you were really curious as to whether you should snicker you could ask them if one of their garbage bags contains the contents of their head. Otherwise I doubt you would know the difference and may miss an opportunity for a good chuckle.

Some of the most vehemently negative opinions on this subject on several different threads I have seen have been from people who state they have never used one. If that's the case then I think really the best they can say with any authority is that the idea doesn't appeal to them. Beyond that their opinion is nothing more than speculation.

For a true evaluation of how the system works, whether it performs as advertised, whether it is worth the trouble (subjective), only someone who actually has experience with the system can tell you these things with any authority. And pretty much every one I have talked to and (with only a couple of exceptions) every post I have read by someone who actually has one says that they work great, don't smell, and in their opinion they would not go back.

That doesn't mean it is for everybody, and that doesn't mean that people who are happy with their plumbed-in MSD system or their macerating toilets should give them up and go to a desiccating toilet, and I don't think anyone is saying that. But for those of us who, for reasons of our own, were already looking for an alternative to the standard MSD without going the much more primitive porta-potty route, getting credible information from experienced users about whether or not this is a viable alternative is usually the objective. Learning whether or not some people, who are happy with their current system and have no experience with these heads, think its a good idea or not really doesn't mean anything.

Good post.

I'm willing to bet that 99% of all composting converts have all delt with traditional head systems on boats.

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Old 12-10-2015, 22:16   #32
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
I'm not at all defensive about it. I just happen to think that if you're looking for a credible opinion about whether or not something works, or how it works, the best source is going to be someone who has actually used the thing in question.

The fact that you think someone would be carrying their bucket around looking for a field to fertilize further illustrates how little you know about the system. I guess someone might do that if they were in an area where it is possible. Most people bag it (you can use a composting bag) and throw it in the dumpster. So at most you are going to see someone carrying one additional bag as they go to the dumpster with the rest of the trash. I guess if you were really curious as to whether you should snicker you could ask them if one of their garbage bags contains the contents of their head. Otherwise I doubt you would know the difference and may miss an opportunity for a good chuckle.

Some of the most vehemently negative opinions on this subject on several different threads I have seen have been from people who state they have never used one. If that's the case then I think really the best they can say with any authority is that the idea doesn't appeal to them. Beyond that their opinion is nothing more than speculation.

For a true evaluation of how the system works, whether it performs as advertised, whether it is worth the trouble (subjective), only someone who actually has experience with the system can tell you these things with any authority. And pretty much every one I have talked to and (with only a couple of exceptions) every post I have read by someone who actually has one says that they work great, don't smell, and in their opinion they would not go back.

That doesn't mean it is for everybody, and that doesn't mean that people who are happy with their plumbed-in MSD system or their macerating toilets should give them up and go to a desiccating toilet, and I don't think anyone is saying that. But for those of us who, for reasons of our own, were already looking for an alternative to the standard MSD without going the much more primitive porta-potty route, getting credible information from experienced users about whether or not this is a viable alternative is usually the objective. Learning whether or not some people, who are happy with their current system and have no experience with these heads, think its a good idea or not really doesn't mean anything.
But aren't we sharing knowledge by discussing it? What kind of climate are you in? We have second hand knowledge of people installing and removing these toilets due to bugs. If you live somewhere cool and dry it might work better than if you lived somewhere hot and wet? Just because I haven't installed one on my boat doesn't mean I don't have anything to add to the discussion, which is what you said.


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Old 12-10-2015, 22:28   #33
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
But aren't we sharing knowledge by discussing it? What kind of climate are you in? We have second hand knowledge of people installing and removing these toilets due to bugs. If you live somewhere cool and dry it might work better than if you lived somewhere hot and wet? Just because I haven't installed one on my boat doesn't mean I don't have anything to add to the discussion, which is what you said.


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Not at all. I am not saying that there is nothing for you to add to the discussion. However comments like this one from your first post:

"Maybe he means his face will be green when he has to empty the pee tank or the poo and peet mix when the seas are up.

More power to you if you like to haul around your poo while it turns to compost, but I'm not giving you a save the earth medal for it."


paints a pretty negative and vivid picture of some disgusting process that, if not intended, certainly would seem to suggest you see as something only a fool would embark on.

How about when your marine head clogs up in those same seas and no one can go at all unless they go in a bucket or over the side (dangerous)? Is that better in some way?

And in every bit of literature, every forum post I have seen from satisfied users, and everyone I have talked to personally who has one, all say that for 2 people full time the average is 4-5 weeks before you have to empty the solids tank. If you have a 4-5 week window you can probably find 5 minutes to do it when the seas aren't up.

I'm just curious as to why it is so common for people who have no experience to try and paint such a negative and unsavory picture? Why try and dissuade someone who is looking for an honest evaluation of how something works if you don't actually know how it works?

And to the subject of bugs, if you keep the screens in and the vent working properly they shouldn't be a problem but if they are you can get rid of them by adding a small amount of diatomaceous earth to the solids tank. It works extremely effectively, say those who have actually used it. We plan to carry a supply of it along with our coconut coir and 13-gallon composting bags.


Looking back through the thread there have actually been responses from people who have one who say they live in hot, humid environs that don't find bugs to be a problem.
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Old 12-10-2015, 22:52   #34
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Good post.

I'm willing to bet that 99% of all composting converts have all delt with traditional head systems on boats.

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That is certainly true in our case!! (post #23)
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Old 12-10-2015, 22:56   #35
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
Not at all. I am not saying that there is nothing for you to add to the discussion. However comments like this one from your first post:

"Maybe he means his face will be green when he has to empty the pee tank or the poo and peet mix when the seas are up.

More power to you if you like to haul around your poo while it turns to compost, but I'm not giving you a save the earth medal for it."


paints a pretty negative and vivid picture of some disgusting process that, if not intended, certainly would seem to suggest you see as something only a fool would embark on.

How about when your marine head clogs up in those same seas and no one can go at all unless they go in a bucket or over the side (dangerous)? Is that better in some way?

And in every bit of literature, every forum post I have seen from satisfied users, and everyone I have talked to personally who has one, all say that for 2 people full time the average is 4-5 weeks before you have to empty the solids tank. If you have a 4-5 week window you can probably find 5 minutes to do it when the seas aren't up.

I'm just curious as to why it is so common for people who have no experience to try and paint such a negative and unsavory picture? Why try and dissuade someone who is looking for an honest evaluation of how something works if you don't know how it works.

And to the subject of bugs, if you keep the screens in and the vent working properly they shouldn't be a problem but if they are you can get rid of them by adding a small amount of diatomaceous earth to the solids tank. It works extremely effectively, say those who have actually used it. We plan to carry a supply of it along with our coconut coir and 13-gallong composting bags.
I don't think composting toilets are the panacea those of you that have them make it out to be. A small boat in a cool dry climate, it's probably a great low cost low maintenance solution. A boat in the tropics with multiple heads in remote locations, I think there are better choices.

I can tell you on my boat, I can use the toilet, push a button and it flushes like a household toilet, and when the tank gets full I can push a button and it empties. There's nothing you can say that will convince me that using a toilet, then cranking a mixer to stir up the nastyness, and then add some more stuff if the bugs get too bad, and then bag it and haul it to a dumpster, would be preferable, or better for the environment.

If anything, our boat poo's like a whale, which makes us greener
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Old 12-10-2015, 23:45   #36
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
I don't think composting toilets are the panacea those of you that have them make it out to be. A small boat in a cool dry climate, it's probably a great low cost low maintenance solution. A boat in the tropics with multiple heads in remote locations, I think there are better choices.
Actually, in remote locations, a composter is even better. There is pretty much nothing to clog or break.

With dragging 30-50 gallons of raw sewage around, if you have a pump/valve/hose failure well away from civilization and don't have the spare parts, tools and good weather to repair it...good luck with that.

As stated earlier, nothing particularly green with one system over the other.
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Old 13-10-2015, 04:33   #37
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

I don't think anyone is trying to convince anyone of anything. People who ask a question about composting heads are usually either strongly considering them or have already made up their minds. It is usually the anti-composters that show up on the thread in a hot flash and try to convince them in the other direction by making comments aimed at making them feel foolish.
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Old 13-10-2015, 08:15   #38
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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Going green, I am planning on installing a Nature Composting toilet on my CS 40 Sail boat. Has any one installed one on their boat any problems?
We don't have experience with a Nature's Head, though we ordered one at one point and it didn't it our space. Instead, we have an Air Head. (We had two at one point, one in each boat!) The only problem we have ever had is when we did not follow the recommendations. We thought we would be "smart" and get more air flow by leaving out the screen. Bad idea. The one cycle (about 5 weeks for two people full time) we tried that we got flies. But we used a natural bug killer to get rid of them, installed the screen, and have never had a problem. 5 years, full time, for several of those years our son was still aboard, so there were three of us.

And for those who say they don't have to haul their poo around, what do you think a holding tank does? It's not like we stick a ladle in the pot and stir it, like some imply. You simply close the lid and rotate a handle a few times to "flush" after each use. Those who are most adamantly opposed to composting heads, I have found, are those who have never used them. Like everything else. Listen to those who have experience with a product rather than those who THINK they know what having one would be like.

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Old 13-10-2015, 08:50   #39
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

I thought I'd post a couple of videos of the C-Head on a cool little houseboat & one from the owner of C-Heads talking about the different mediums he recommends. Since we just got ours last week we haven't decided what medium to use yet. I thought I'd ask what cruisers are using & if they're happy with it.





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Old 13-10-2015, 08:52   #40
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

I've only had my urine separating head for a couple years, so I'm still learning. I like it a little better than having a traditional holding tank... I empty about 2 gal of urine per week per person. Poo is more like every two months per person. Mine is DIY based on the C-head with a Separett bowl.

I think the idea of greener comes from not using fresh water to flush, not the issue with a boat. There are trade-offs... in some ways urine separating is better in some not, but I think my boat smells better now and it is easier for guests to use (no instructions required).
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Old 13-10-2015, 09:32   #41
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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It is usually the anti-composters that show up on the thread in a hot flash and try to convince them in the other direction by making comments aimed at making them feel foolish.
You noticed that?

But of course he heard someone tell someone else that a friend of an uncle was in a marina once when a guy stopped to tell him about a story about this guy he once knew...

There is a reason that courts don't allow hearsay.

We do though!

So before this poor guy commits to one of these disastrous things, please let's get all the rest of the folks that have no experience to pipe up with their third hand stories.

Else important info will go missing.
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Old 13-10-2015, 09:51   #42
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

Only too true - and having been on the receiving end of the contents of a holding tank it convinced me there had to be a better way - and I found my composting head. I am now a convert. Too many incorrect statements /opinions suggest little actual experience. You wont hear me pooh-poohing composting heads. I remember hearing similar statements about water makers may years ago and now these are also springing up all over the place.

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Good post.

I'm willing to bet that 99% of all composting converts have all delt with traditional head systems on boats.

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Old 13-10-2015, 10:00   #43
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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In what was it a composting head "more green"?
Well you don't dump a ton of nitrogen into the ocean and you don't dump a ton of bacteria into the ocean. You compost the waste and dispose of it on land.

I've spent a lot of time in the tropics with my airhead and never had a problem with bugs.
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Old 13-10-2015, 11:26   #44
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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Composting heads don't. It takes months, moisture, and elevated temperatures for true composting. This class of heads are desiccating heads hence the need to separate urine from feces. No way these heads can be considered green...

Good point.

When I had a composting head in a small boat I used for fairly short cruises, I was able to let the contents sit for months afterwards to fully compost

Many compost toilet owners here however speak to how they simply dump the contents overboard when full, mostly uncomposted in which case it's really acting as an expensive porta-potti.
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Old 13-10-2015, 13:47   #45
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

But... But... But...

It has the word "compost" in it, so it HAS to be "green!"

Doesn't it?
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