Sunday, September 6, 2009

Poop Station

Here is our homemade poo composter, compooster? It's really a pretty simple system. We have Humanure style toilets inside the skycastle, basically 5 gallon buckets, we poo in these (we urinate in separate containers), we line the buckets with newspaper, in the bottom of the bucket is a paper plate, and after each sitting/deposit, we put a layer of newspaper on top, it helps to flatten the deposit a bit too. When the buckets are full enough, usually about half full is sufficient, we take them outside and it goes into the poo composter.

The outside component consists of 2-55 gallon plastic barrels mounted on a wooden a-frame. The barrels have a door cut into the side. The top barrel has a shaft that contains metal tines that chop up the poo and paper. Mountain Man Bob mounted a large, heavy flywheel on the outside of the top barrel, it is attached to the shaft, that makes turning the shaft much easier, this flywheel is the wheel from a heavy wire spool.

You will notice the "brake" around the top barrel, it is a couple of rubber bungie cords that stop the barrel from rotating, only the shaft and tines inside it rotate. When it is sufficiently chopped up, we dump the top barrel into the bottom barrel to finish composting, it doesn't take very long to get finished compost this way.

Bob built a makeshift shelter around it, for a bit of shade, he also took some of the long grasses we have growing around and wove them into the sides of the shelter, mostly for aesthetic purposes.

The top barrel contains fresh poo so it smells but only when the door is open, the bottom barrel does not smell at all, the ants have found their way in to the bottom barrel, they don't seem to be hurting anything so we have left them alone for now. There is also a colony of dung beetles living under the barrels, they seem happy enough, I suppose they will clean up what ever might accidentally spill out.

Here is a video of the poo composter, enjoy. Warning, there is a bit of "colorful" language in this video, it is appropriate for the subject matter being discussed.
I edited the video to make the sound louder.