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Clodi

Composting Toilets. Clarification Please

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I feel I must ask the question. Are composting toilets legal? after the recent 'sabre rattling' on a recent post.

Firstly there seems to be a fair amount of ignorance on both side of the debate particularly over the subject of liquid waste (pee).

In order to correctly compost faeces it needs to have a low moisture content. This is usually achieved by having a separator, diverting the urine into a separate compartment (think cassette )which can be disposed of as you would any pee & lets admit it everyone using a thetford /portapotti knows it's pee that fills them up the quickest. I can think of no reason on earth why anyone would object about disposal of 'neat-piss' going down the elsan-point etc. Unless of course they insist on harmful chemicals being added ?

Regarding the solids.

The whole point of a composting toilet is to use the material as nature intended and produce naturally occurring Compost. Problem is people do-not compost their faecal-matter and dump bags of shit in the nearest bin. I suspect it is this that has led to the somewhat hysterical reaction by BWML to rule :

"Currently, composting toilets are not permitted in BWML marinas under the current waste transfer laws". 

If the composting system is being carried out correctly, how are any 'Waste Transfer Laws being infringed. Surely using organic compost is not against any law.

Putting bags of shit into the domestic waste is LAZY and is just as bad as emptying your full cassette into the canal or roadside drain. It does happen and it is wrong but Composting toilets per se' don't deserve to be demonised.

And yes I have a Composting Toilet on board.

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That conversion of human waste into organic compost is the stumbling point, I guess.

 

Yes, if it is done right, you get compost. If it isn't done right, you get untreated human waste. And the composting process is in the hands of untrained people

 

Richard

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Excerpt from CRT newsletter 17th November 2017;

 

Composting

Composting toilets are increasing in popularity, particularly in areas with few facilities or very busy areas that suffer from frequently malfunctioning pump-out machines or Elsan units. Composting can be a great solution.  The main thing to consider with compost toilets on boats is having sufficient space to compost solids correctly. Solids can take anything from three months to twelve months to break down into harmless compost. And as anyone who has ever lived on a boat for any length of time will tell you, space is always at a premium. You can never have enough space on a boat! 

It ain’t what you poo it’s the way that you dispose of it

As the waste from a composting toilet may not have enough time to decompose sufficiently on board the boat before it needs emptying, this waste will still need to be disposed at an Elsan/sanitary station. With the increasing popularity of composting toilets, we are hoping to pilot a facility for solid waste from composting loos as part of the London Mooring Strategy but in the meantime liquids go into the Elsan unit and solids should be bagged in a nappy bag and placed in the domestic waste bins. Please don’t dump liquid and solid waste on the towpath or into the water, knowing that it hasn’t composted properly. 

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5 minutes ago, Clodi said:

I feel I must ask the question. Are composting toilets legal? after the recent 'sabre rattling' on a recent post.

Firstly there seems to be a fair amount of ignorance on both side of the debate particularly over the subject of liquid waste (pee).

In order to correctly compost faeces it needs to have a low moisture content. This is usually achieved by having a separator, diverting the urine into a separate compartment (think cassette )which can be disposed of as you would any pee & lets admit it everyone using a thetford /portapotti knows it's pee that fills them up the quickest. I can think of no reason on earth why anyone would object about disposal of 'neat-piss' going down the elsan-point etc. Unless of course they insist on harmful chemicals being added ?

Regarding the solids.

The whole point of a composting toilet is to use the material as nature intended and produce naturally occurring Compost. Problem is people do-not compost their faecal-matter and dump bags of shit in the nearest bin. I suspect it is this that has led to the somewhat hysterical reaction by BWML to rule :

"Currently, composting toilets are not permitted in BWML marinas under the current waste transfer laws". 

If the composting system is being carried out correctly, how are any 'Waste Transfer Laws being infringed. Surely using organic compost is not against any law.

Putting bags of shit into the domestic waste is LAZY and is just as bad as emptying your full cassette into the canal or roadside drain. It does happen and it is wrong but Composting toilets per se' don't deserve to be demonised.

And yes I have a Composting Toilet on board.

I think you have answered the question. Yes they are legal and IF used correctly they are no problem. Of course you have hit the nail squarely on the head and it's a fact that most boats don't have the place or space to keep a few weeks of turds to compost down. I know of people who simply pour pee straight onto hedge bottom ( no big deal ) but it's the uncomposted solids in the rubbish bins people quite rightly object to.  There are people with boats who live aboard and compost at their moorings but in general there is no benefit to a moving boat to be had from a composting toilet if used correctly.

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28 minutes ago, Meanderingviking said:

............liquids go into the Elsan unit and properly composted solids should be bagged in a nappy bag and placed in the domestic waste bins

It will be interesting to see how that works out - I would suggest that C&RT have missed out a couple of important words (inserted in Red) and wonder what will happen to the trial when the C&RT bin men discover semi-liquid, non-dessicated slurry in the bins.

 

 

41 minutes ago, Clodi said:

Currently, composting toilets are not permitted in BWML marinas under the current waste transfer laws". 

It is not just BWML, there are now (reports of) several Marinas all taking the same stance.

Irrespective of the legality of putting the waste into a bin, as 'Private' marina BWML, or any others can make whatever (within the law) rules they see fit - if they were to say "no car tyres to be put in the skip" would that cause as much outrage as saying "no composted poo"

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38 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

I think you have answered the question. Yes they are legal and IF used correctly they are no problem. Of course you have hit the nail squarely on the head and it's a fact that most boats don't have the place or space to keep a few weeks of turds to compost down. I know of people who simply pour pee straight onto hedge bottom ( no big deal ) but it's the uncomposted solids in the rubbish bins people quite rightly object to.  There are people with boats who live aboard and compost at their moorings but in general there is no benefit to a moving boat to be had from a composting toilet if used correctly.

If anyone is interested there is a really informative facebook group Compost Toilets for Boats and Off-Grid Living.

This chap https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10158490725810587&set=pcb.1896046587344998&type=3&theater&ifg=1 

shows an excellent method of coping with the by-product..

A couple living aboard full-time, especially if they're used to living with pump-out, saving it 'till you can get to the Pub/restaurant/ McDonald's etc, will generate a surprisingly small amount of dry waste, hence the reference to the  3 bucket system.

15 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

It will be interesting to see how that works out - I would suggest that C&RT have missed out a couple of important words (inserted in Red) and wonder what will happen to the trial when the C&RT bin men discover semi-liquid, non-dessicated slurry in the bins.

 

 

It is not just BWML, there are now (reports of) several Marinas all taking the same stance.

Irrespective of the legality of putting the waste into a bin, as 'Private' marina BWML, or any others can make whatever (within the law) rules they see fit - if they were to say "no car tyres to be put in the skip" would that cause as much outrage as saying "no composted poo"

I don't think anyone is advocating putting composted poo in the skip. That's my point.

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1 hour ago, mrsmelly said:

I think you have answered the question. Yes they are legal and IF used correctly they are no problem. Of course you have hit the nail squarely on the head and it's a fact that most boats don't have the place or space to keep a few weeks of turds to compost down. I know of people who simply pour pee straight onto hedge bottom ( no big deal ) but it's the uncomposted solids in the rubbish bins people quite rightly object to.  There are people with boats who live aboard and compost at their moorings but in general there is no benefit to a moving boat to be had from a composting toilet if used correctly.

If anyone is interested there is a really informative facebook group Compost Toilets for Boats and Off-Grid Living.

This chap https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10158490725810587&set=pcb.1896046587344998&type=3&theater&ifg=1 

shows an excellent method of coping with the by-product..

A couple living aboard full-time, especially if they're used to living with pump-out, saving it 'till you can get to the Pub/restaurant/ McDonald's etc, will generate a surprisingly small amount of dry waste, hence the reference to the  3 bucket system.

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I could further add that anyone who has been unfortunate enough to have cared for incontinent relatives, or babies for that matter will know that it is acceptable to dispose of suitably bagged waste in the appropriate manner.

But that is not my point regarding Composting Toilet Systems & as far as I know Marinas have not yet banned nappies ?

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1 hour ago, mrsmelly said:

I know of people who simply pour pee straight onto hedge bottom

Erm, well of course. Only I don't use any sort of container between me and the hedge

 

Richard

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As you travel around the system, many of C&RTs waste disposal sites are skips. but I was using the term skip to include the big 1000 litre wheely bins from such as Biffa.

 

12 minutes ago, Clodi said:

I don't think anyone is advocating putting composted poo in the skip. That's my point.

I think they are.

The extract from the C&RT posting suggest putting the solids in the waste bin.

 

I have a contract with Biffa for our caravan site and it is an annual ordeal to go thru the paperwork and list everything that could be put into the bin.  We have to sign to say we have complied with the Section 12 of the "Waste Regulations 2011" legislation for Heirarchy of Waste .

Each wheely bin full of waste is weighed by the truck and we have to pay £0.20p + VAT per Kg on top of the £20+ VAT for the bin-rental and 'lift' (as they call it). Once at the sorting plant anything that is not on the declared list (how they identify whose it is I don't know) and you are in SERIOUS trouble.

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1 minute ago, Clodi said:

as far as I know Marinas have not yet banned nappies ?

Interesting question

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1 hour ago, mrsmelly said:

I think you have answered the question. Yes they are legal and IF used correctly they are no problem. Of course you have hit the nail squarely on the head and it's a fact that most boats don't have the place or space to keep a few weeks of turds to compost down. I know of people who simply pour pee straight onto hedge bottom ( no big deal ) but it's the uncomposted solids in the rubbish bins people quite rightly object to.  There are people with boats who live aboard and compost at their moorings but in general there is no benefit to a moving boat to be had from a composting toilet if used correctly.

So ,the Bottom Line is :if you are Land Based and have a Compost Heap or access to one ,use a Composting Loo. if you live on or use a Boat then stick to established methods of Sewage disposal?Pump Out  ,Elsan Disposal point etc. 

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13 minutes ago, RLWP said:

Interesting question

That's not a question, its a statement.

From a hygiene point of view, double bagging of offensive waste is essential. Strong bags not cheapo bin liners.

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5 minutes ago, cereal tiller said:

So ,the Bottom Line is :if you are Land Based and have a Compost Heap or access to one ,use a Composting Loo. if you live on or use a Boat then stick to established methods of Sewage disposal?Pump Out  ,Elsan Disposal point etc. 

Or,  " if you live on or use a Boat"  you might also have an option of a compost heap on land you own, so it really isnt just two options?  Something the other thread hadn't considered perhaps before the haranguing galloped onwards.  

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I have been composting for years my system works well and is no hassle unlike my pump out and cassette which were very hard work.

If others want to knock it let them but every day more are going the composting way

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4 minutes ago, peterboat said:

I have been composting for years my system works well and is no hassle unlike my pump out and cassette which were very hard work.

If others want to knock it let them but every day more are going the composting way

You're just the man then. Can you describe how empty your loo? I'm genuinely interested

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2 minutes ago, RLWP said:

You're just the man then. Can you describe how empty your loo? I'm genuinely interested

I have a composting bin simples The wee I have always just poured onto waste ground which is why there are lots of green patches around me ?

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44 minutes ago, LadyG said:

From a hygiene point of view, double bagging of offensive waste is essential. Strong bags not cheapo bin liners.

Erm, aren't we supposed to be reducing the amount of plastic we dispose of into the environment? And unless there is some kind of manual handling of waste at the processing site then double bagging serves little purpose imo

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I see human urine is the perfect fertiliser for cucumbers! https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7749/add75a240b11e04b005db7021b24893f0fa5.pdf

 

Diluted 10-1 The Ecologist says it's the 'ultimate organic fertiliser' https://theecologist.org/2010/sep/22/urine-ultimate-organic-fertiliser

 

Just saying....

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 I'm still  u̶n̶d̶e̶s̶s̶i̶c̶a̶t̶e̶d̶ undecided on the pros and cons.

3 minutes ago, Jennifer McM said:

I see human urine is the perfect fertiliser for cucumbers! 

Of course, the BFG has been furtilising his snozzcumbers like this for years

compressed_bfg.jpg

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13 minutes ago, peterboat said:

I have a composting bin simples The wee I have always just poured onto waste ground which is why there are lots of green patches around me ?

Do you keep the Composting Bin on your Boat or on the Bank ,could you cruise with it?

 

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30 minutes ago, George and Dragon said:

Erm, aren't we supposed to be reducing the amount of plastic we dispose of into the environment? And unless there is some kind of manual handling of waste at the processing site then double bagging serves little purpose imo

Public health takes precedence over environmental concerns.

Biffa will empty their bins in to a lorry, there is some manual handling of the bins. The lorry will tip on to a landfill site, A tractor will cover with soil. It is not a perfect system by any means. The people who drive these machines have a very unpleasant job, it would be a lot worse if there is a lot of loose faecal material in the bins. 

 

Edited by LadyG
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5 minutes ago, cereal tiller said:

Do you keep the Composting Bin on your Boat or on the Bank ,could you cruise with it?

 

It's always best to leave it in the bank to benefit from the effect of compost compounding (ccing)

Edited by rusty69
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2 hours ago, Clodi said:

 

I don't think anyone is advocating putting composted poo in the skip. That's my point.

But they do and feel its acceptable

50 minutes ago, LadyG said:

Public health takes precedence over environmental concerns.

Biffa will empty their bins in to a lorry, there is some manual handling of the bins. The lorry will tip on to a landfill site, A tractor will cover with soil. It is not a perfect system by any means. The people who drive these machines have a very unpleasant job, it would be a lot worse if there is a lot of loose faecal material in the bins. 

 

Some bins empty at recycling centres where that waste is sorted.

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