Ecological Sanitation

Composting is a revolutionary sanitation solution. With two and a half billion people in the world lacking toilets, composting can provide sanitation that is ecological, sanitary, inexpensive, and revolutionary. Compost toilets, correctly managed, are odor free, fly free, and can be located conveniently indoors. Compost toilet systems requires no drains, vents, plumbing, water, electricity, or urine separation. The main requirements are carbon-based cover material, and education/training.

Cover Material

Two simple rules must be followed when making compost: (1) Never put any organic materials on top of a compost pile (the exception being cover materials). Always add new organic material (food scraps, toilet material, dead animals, etc.) into the pile by first digging a hole in the top center, dumping your material there, raking the existing compost over it, then covering it with the cover material, which brings us to: (2) Always keep the contents of a compost pile covered with a clean cover material (like straw, hay, grasses, weeds, bagasse, leaves) when using contained composting systems such as backyard or community bins.

You must also cover the deposits inside your toilet after each use. Good cover materials inside toilets include sawdust, peat moss, leaves, rice hulls, coco coir, sugar cane bagasse, and lots of other things provided they’re a finer consistency with some level of moisture content.

Compost Bins

Good cover materials for an outdoor compost pile include weeds, straw, hay, leaves, grass, and other materials that can be bulky, dry, or green, but not woody, such as tree branches. Adequately covering compost with a clean organic material is the simple secret to odor prevention. It also keeps flies and other vermin off the compost. Adequate cover material insulates the pile, absorbs rainfall, and prevents dehydration. Dehydration will cause the compost microorganisms to stop working.

Compost kills human disease organisms (pathogens). This is well-established science, and very important. This is what makes composting such a valuable endeavor, especially the composting of humanure and other organic materials that are potential carriers of pathogens.

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