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Old 20-03-2017, 09:51   #1
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composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

I come across this composting toilet idea mentioned on some outfitting threads. I have done research on composting toilets (read the humanurebook 10 years ago) and mulled the idea over quite a bit back when RV's were my thing.

What I cantunderstand is how on earth people can find an area onboard to store an organic "Pile" of hay and waste while it generates heat, sanitizes itself, and becomes topsoil.

I can only assume people are throwing a bucket down below, with a dumpster find toilet seat, and tossing hay in it between 3 mile out tosses overboard?

Perhaps a new technology has developed that allows the production of sanitized soil to be produced unaturally fast with the addition of electricity?

Is it just a nice martha stewart style idea to have some hay to toss in the bucket sort of like a litterbox?

Please enlighten me!
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Old 20-03-2017, 09:56   #2
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

Google, natures head or air head.

Technologically, fairly simple and a great option on a boat where dumping rules can be a pain.

For an RV, it makes less sense as it's cheaper and easier to dump and fewer things to fail.

Reality, few full time cruisers let it finish composting but even with a few days rest, it looks and smells like soil. The big advantage is we only needed to dump the solids every 3-4 weeks as opposed to a couple times a week.

Search the forum, there are plenty of threads.
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Old 20-03-2017, 09:57   #3
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

Yes, they are basically a human litterbox. A composter makes perfect sense when used in some areas like inland lakes and reservoirs.
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Old 20-03-2017, 10:01   #4
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Yes, they are basically a human litterbox. .
In the same way a holding tank system is a sesspool in a box.
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Old 20-03-2017, 10:06   #5
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

I have one and it's great. The people who have them seem to love them and those that don't have them seem to have bad things to say about them, generally.

I don't think they cope that well with large numbers of people though, so if there are more than one or two of you aboard, best to go for a standard marine head.
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Old 20-03-2017, 10:12   #6
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

There are quite a few fairly recent threads on composting heads, and there’s quite a bit of info out there on the web. But to take a quick stab:

No one I know uses hay. Coir (compressed coconut husk) or peat are the preferred choices. I’ve heard of people using sawdust and wood shavings, or even dried leaves, but most of us use the first two options.

The “pile” is contained in the heads. We empty ours every four to six weeks. Since most of my cruising is in remote areas, I’ve mostly emptied into the bush (well away from people). Occasionally it has gone into existing outhouses, but in urban areas it gets bagged and dumped into the garbage. Off shore it would go over the side.

These heads are more rightly thought of as desiccators. For part timers, the material can fully compost, but for us full-timers this doesn’t happen. What the system does is dry the pile, and begin the composting process. After the four to six weeks you could let it continue working in another container, and it would fully compost. Most full-timers don’t do this on board.

If you talk to people who actually have and use them, you’ll find very few of us who would go back to a standard marine head. In my case, I believe it is one of the best upgrades we’ve made to our boat.
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Old 20-03-2017, 10:22   #7
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

Natures head seems to have many quite pleased customers. Interesting. Thank you guys for the input.
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Old 20-03-2017, 10:57   #8
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
In the same way a holding tank system is a sesspool in a box.
What's a holding tank?
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Old 20-03-2017, 11:39   #9
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
In the same way a holding tank system is a sesspool in a box.

Ha ha ha!
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Old 20-03-2017, 11:53   #10
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
What's a holding tank?
Now THAT is truly disgusting

Just kidding Ken … not trying to start another poopy fight. It’s perfectly fine to poop over the side in places of good flow and/or good volume where input doesn’t exceed the eco-system’s capacity to mange. Perfectly environmentally peachy in those cases (like the Med, I assume).

But I do gotta wonder. Are you "in the closet” (so to speak) when it comes to composting heads? You’re always in on these threads. Me thinks you protest too much… Do you have a dirty little secret in the form of a composting head hidden on that Oyster?

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Old 20-03-2017, 15:05   #11
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

If a composting head is a human litter box and a holding tank is a cesspool in a box, what is an ElectroScan?
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Old 20-03-2017, 16:38   #12
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

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What's a holding tank?

An Oyster sailboat?
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Old 20-03-2017, 19:55   #13
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

Been using Nature's Head for 7 or 8 years. We won't go back. Search for issues with composting heads...you will not find many...we are not full timers yet. I like the Mylar bags of peat. Bags are waterproof.
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Old 21-03-2017, 14:20   #14
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nematon785 View Post
I come across this composting toilet idea mentioned on some outfitting threads. I have done research on composting toilets (read the humanurebook 10 years ago) and mulled the idea over quite a bit back when RV's were my thing.

What I cantunderstand is how on earth people can find an area onboard to store an organic "Pile" of hay and waste while it generates heat, sanitizes itself, and becomes topsoil.

I can only assume people are throwing a bucket down below, with a dumpster find toilet seat, and tossing hay in it between 3 mile out tosses overboard?

Perhaps a new technology has developed that allows the production of sanitized soil to be produced unaturally fast with the addition of electricity?

Is it just a nice martha stewart style idea to have some hay to toss in the bucket sort of like a litterbox?

Please enlighten me!
Enlightenment at its finest.

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Old 21-03-2017, 14:23   #15
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Re: composting toilet-->glorified bucket?

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Originally Posted by alctel View Post
I have one and it's great. The people who have them seem to love them and those that don't have them seem to have bad things to say about them, generally.

I don't think they cope that well with large numbers of people though, so if there are more than one or two of you aboard, best to go for a standard marine head.
I agree. We've been using an Air Head for 6 years, full-time cruising. Before our youngest son moved out there were three of us using one for about 2 years. While it's doable, it's not ideal. We were changing the solids container every 3 weeks (rather than 4-6 we get now). Definitely NOT for more than 3 people. Unless you have two heads. Hehe
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