Installing a composting toilet.

Max Rockatansky

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It is easy to just add some water and get the coco to break up, be very sparse with the water. Madame just periodically spends some time with a brick and a serrated knife and forgoes water altogether. She says doing that keeps the arthritis in her hands at bay

 
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smj

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I’m reconsidering my recommendation of the corn based kitty litter as a composting medium. Worked great up until about a month ago, now gets a strong odor after a few days use. Don’t know why the odor is kicking in, all I can figure is higher humidity and temperature. Still effective as a drying agent, but the smell........

 

Max Rockatansky

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I’m reconsidering my recommendation of the corn based kitty litter as a composting medium. Worked great up until about a month ago, now gets a strong odor after a few days use. Don’t know why the odor is kicking in, all I can figure is higher humidity and temperature. Still effective as a drying agent, but the smell........
Are you at 50% Cob and 50% coco?

 

Max Rockatansky

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@smj so far we haven’t noticed any odor. Odd. I guess we could be inured; having two cats does that.

Did notice in your pic, do y’all leave the lid shut? We don’t, bc we noticed condensation. We do not have a fan. 

 

Kris Cringle

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I'm listening to this cocoa medium discusion as this is all new to me. I'm thinking wood pellets might be a useful additive between changes as they're easy to store, absorbent and on hand (I heat with them). Thoughts? 

I'm waiting for some warmer weather to paint the 'uninstall' of this project. The uninstall is mostly making holes go away in bulkheads and hull. And planning the vent stack, wiring. I see no reason not to run the fan 24/7 on a dedicated circuit. At around 1AH per day, the small solar panel will keep up with that on the mooring. You can always pull the connection jack on the OGO if you want to turn the fan off.  

It can't be mentioned enough how much space this frees up inside the head. Found storage, especially on a boat, relieves all storage space. 

 

smj

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@smj so far we haven’t noticed any odor. Odd. I guess we could be inured; having two cats does that.

Did notice in your pic, do y’all leave the lid shut? We don’t, bc we noticed condensation. We do not have a fan. 
Yes we leave the lid closed, but with the vent fan haven’t noticed any moisture unless past the time to change, and then only slight. 
We had the same problem when we tried pine pellets as a medium. With the coir the worst odor we get is a smell of damp earth. It’s a shame as otherwise the corn cob litter was doing a great job.

 
Worked great up until about a month ago
I wonder what changed, any ideas? it’d be great if it was a one off event due to other factors.

Maybe they’ve recently changed the formula of the corn cob.

I mentioned up thread that some peat moss brands in Mexico and Central America had a chemical added that stalled the aerobic process and in fact converted the process to anaerobic. It was some time ago so don’t remember the names of the peat brands.

In Costa Rica I couldn’t find coir or peat so tried hardwood shavings and sawdust and it was a smelly disaster. Not sure why but it was consistently bad. In desperation I tried rice husks which came in 50 pound bags and thankfully that worked. It wasn’t as good as coir, peat or even crushed dried leaves but it tided us over and was really cheap.

It can't be mentioned enough how much space this frees up inside the head.
It is pretty amazing, plus cleaning the head is now a snap. The only downside to the switch was having to find storage space for 4+ months worth of coir. full time live aboarding in fairly remote places had me poop planning months in advance. 

 

Max Rockatansky

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having to find storage space for 4+ months worth of coir. full time live aboarding in fairly remote places had me poop planning months in advance. 
Three 5-kilo bricks last me 8 months, but I sift/scoop. The other bennie of sifting is that the decomp bugs balance is maintained

 
Three 5-kilo bricks last me 8 months, but I sift/scoop.
I don’t kitty litter scoop but it still makes me wonder what the hell I’m doing wrong, perhaps it’s my “brisk young bowels” to quote Stephen Maturin.

I decompress all my coir ahead of time so that takes up a bit more storage. These plastic buckets are squirrelled into nooks and crannies all over the boat. 

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Kris Cringle

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I'm gaining a lot of info without actually using the system. The composting toilets on boats group in the UK is huge. Many of the boaters are on canal boats.Many are taking composting to the next level and have holding bins and planters on the roofs of their canal boats. There are also casual users like me and van conversions and the like. Plus I love the British humor: 

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I'll save you the trouble,...hubby weighs 182 pounds. 'Stones' make him sound quite portly. In fact, I'm 13 stones plus some gravel. 

Composting household kitchen waste around here is so popular that a business sprouted and now has a pick-up service as well as a drop off station at our local waste facility. 

Someone has started a similar biz in the UK primarily for 'humanure'. The group is well advanced on the science and safety of composting human waste so you don't have to read endless - fact less debates.  

Screen Shot 2022-03-22 at 7.58.05 AM.png

 

Kris Cringle

Super Anarchist
3,260
2,894
I’m reconsidering my recommendation of the corn based kitty litter as a composting medium. Worked great up until about a month ago, now gets a strong odor after a few days use. Don’t know why the odor is kicking in, all I can figure is higher humidity and temperature. Still effective as a drying agent, but the smell........
A common theme on the UK group is DON'T use 'paper based' cat litter. Only wood based. I can't find an explanation. What does they mean? 

 

Kris Cringle

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Following the lengthy head/holding system un-install, the composting install is more agricultural. The big step is locating a vent. It's no wonder that many opt for the no-vent option. On wether a vent in a composting head has a significant effect seems debatable. 

In the end, I went with venting simply thinking that ventilation is good all around, especially on a boat. In my experience piping or ducting like the least amount of turns and the bends should be gradual or 'sweeps'. So I opted to go straight up, plus a 45 degree step, forward of the main mast.

I've been through here years before patching a large hole punched through by the centerboard linkage (a long old story), but had forgotten the thickness and the strange plywood used in the main mast area in 1960.  

IMG_3891.jpeg

The deck termination is simply the  1 1/4" PVC pipe left 1/2" proud and covered with a low clam shell vent. Sort of a dorade box idea to stay dry in anything short of sinking. I haven't screwed the OGO down yet but it will go about here. The stack will be hidden, 2" behind the mainmast when stepped.

I plugged it in and touched it off, all working. The little 1" fan is virtually silent unless you open the top and put your ear over it. I used a wooden match and blew out the flame nearby so it smoked. Yup, it actually moves some air. 

IMG_3894.jpeg

 
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