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Composting toilet

BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
Has anyone ever done anything like this. Watering urine is bad enough but putting composted solid waste around fruit trees is gross. It's a no from me 


  • My instinctive reaction was the same as yours, but it is completely illogical.
    I use the bedding from my sheep shed, well rotted, on the veg garden without a qualm, and as we live in an isolated rural location we have a septic tank which processes all the waste from the house and discharges into a small stream, which runs through the garden. This is quite inoffensive, clear, clean, happily used by wildlife and waters a beautiful natural, boggy wilderness to boot.
    We ourselves drink water from a spring that starts higher up the hill on land grazed by sheep. It is lovely clear water, untreated and no-one in the family has ever suffered the slightest upset. In fact, when my daughter moved to Manchester she had to buy a water filter, as the water there made her ill!
    We are only animals and our waste should be safe to use after treatment, provided that treatment is designed to kill potentially dangerous bacteria and properly used.
    I'm not in favour of the urine round trees idea a) because I'm female (!) and b) could get smelly in dry periods and c) could be detrimental to the trees if the same ones were used a lot.
  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    I suppose I'm more easily horrified by it because I'm born and bred on a housing estate and know little about country life
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 23,648
    There was an extensive discussion on this a good while back. I'm sure it's in the archives somewhere.
    I also seem to remember, as is often the case, it wandered way off piste.(pun not entirely intended)
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    A pretext for me to plug one of my favourite books:  "Liquid gold - the lore and logic of using urine to grow plants".  I'd question the bit in the article about using the urine "later", as "Liquid gold" says that only freshly-voided urine should be used.  As soon as it is exposed to air, the nitrates in urine begin turning to ammonia, which gives stale urine its characteristic smell.  In this form, the nitrogen is unable to be taken up and used by plants.   This can be avoided by adding the fresh urine to a source of carbon, such as straw, sawdust or cardboard, or just pouring it onto soil.

    An occasional dose of urine in the compost bin promotes the breakdown process, especially if the contents are on the dry side.  I have two plastic dustbins in my compost corner, full of corrugated cardboard and wee, one to fill and one to rot.  They don't smell and I use the resulting pulp as an autumn mulch on my veg beds.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,978
    Ignorance is bliss, it’s true.

    I used to be a bookbinder and book restorer and the history of bookbinding is littered with references to the use of bodily excretions in the production of magnificent works of art.

    How do you turn a fresh, wet animal skin into a piece of leather as soft as a glove? Nowadays, of course, no surprise, they use vats full of chemicals, but in the past (and the recent past) they used urine and dog faeces.

    How does that lovely gold lettering stick to the leather of a book? With the aid of a liquid “glue” called glaire that is made from, among other things, urine.

    Here is a nice article describing the collection of dog faeces. It’s “pure” magic.😁

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,465
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,103
    Can’t see as it’s any problem, what do you think happens to the contents of a septic tank when it’s been emptied. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • TopbirdTopbird Mid SuffolkPosts: 7,461
    What do you think the slurry used by farmers for muck spreading is made of?.... You know - the stuff that stinks to high heaven  and is sprayed over the fields to improve fertility before they grow crops in?

    OK - it's not human waste anymore - but it used to be. That's what they did with the 'night soil' collected by the night soil men from towns in the days before mains drains.

    And lots of people use farmyard compost or manure from the GC in their gardens (including veggie patches) - what do you think that is? 

    I would have absolutely no problem using properly composted material. I'd really rather like a composting loo at the end of the garden for when nature calls while I'm working outside. Unfortunately a 'proper' set up is not cheap and not worth the pennies just for me to use.

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,103
    I suppose people don’t mind using farmyard waste, it’s come from non meat eaters, but the septic tank contents are just left limed then spread, or is that just down here? 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,967
    edited October 2019
    It was just over 50 years ago that our Geography teacher advised us, “Don’t eat lettuces in Belgium, boys, they fertilise them with night soil.” Sound advice. I have heeded it to this day.

    It was the same one who told us that while holidaying on the shores of Lake Como some “foreign Johnny” threw an empty bottle into the lake. “It ruined the view.”
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