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.


  1. Bob....You da man!!! necessity is the mother of invention. Nice job!!

  2. Super COOL video!! You can talk about this all you want, but with the video it makes it so much easier to duplicate and understand. Thank you, Wretha and Bob! Confidential to Wretha, please write some more stuff on your "...Bump in the Night" blog!! G

  3. G, thanks, yeah I agree the videos are the best way to show and explain everything... glad you like it.

    And, ok, I have more to post on the TTGBITT, I just have to do it. :)

  4. Technology is amazing and so is hands-on ingenuity. Good for you guys. You are doing what people can't even imagine.

  5. Keep forgetting to log in first!
    Love the video with MMB showing off his compooster! Ingenious thinking. P VC pipe for bushing. Can't wait for the sequel.

    Don't forget to introduce us to the Country Store gang!

  6. Steve, yeah, we are living our dream, sometimes I'm afraid I'll wake up and find it was all just a dream... thanks for commenting :)
    TexasMan, glad you're liking it, MMB is ingenious, he's a modern day Macguyver. The sequel will be coming soon.

    I'll see what I can do about bringing in the Country Store gang, and believe me, they are all characters! Gotta be careful though, some of the read my blog.

  7. Wretha & Bob,
    Very nice explanatory video. Who knew it could be so simple? Do y'all have a garden that you spread the compost on?

  8. Well, you are the only one I know who is brave enough to post this subject on their blog! I know I'm not........then again I live in NY state. Need I say more?


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