Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Extreme Composting II: More on Composting Human "Waste"

I came across an excellent article at www.feralscholar.org. As I've posted before, our use of flush toilets is incredibly wasteful. Ever thought about what would happen if they quit working? The following solution may just be exactly what many will need in a crisis.

Here's some food for thought:

 "The fundamental (so to speak) error in the way we have thought about human wastes for a couple of centuries is to think of them as waste at all, i.e. as dross or discard, a substance with no value — or a substance with extreme negative value (dirty, pathogenic, icky). The collection of humanure and urine into centralised processing centres to be biocidally or biotically neutralised and then dumped into bodies of water means that we have interrupted the nutrient cycle, turned what should be a circular energy diagram into a linear one. Instead of returning the excess or byproduct of our metabolic function to the soil that produced the food we ate — as every other living creature on Earth does in a healthy biotic system — we have intervened; we “flush away” our own metabolic byproducts and (in modern times) dump them far, far from the fields which fed us. We thus impoverish the soil (by removing nutrients, minerals, elements which are not replaced), and increase the cost of agriculture by having to replace artificially the missing nutrients, etc. If a herd of antelope grazing on savannah were to club together to have their manure removed by train to the coast and dumped on a beach, it would be no more absurd...." Read More

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2 Comments:

At November 21, 2012 at 9:23 AM , Blogger chrissy bauman said...

E.coli is a resilient bugger, and needs a high heat to ensure removal. Hot compost will do it. Incinerating toilet is a safer option.
Remember when all those veggies from mexico made people sick because of the E. coli contamination? it was because they were improperly composting wastes.

 
At November 21, 2012 at 9:50 AM , Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

Yes on hot composting, for sure.

Though time is the other factor. Fresh waste is dangerous, but over time it becomes safe. Competition between fungi and other microorganisms will eliminate the E. Coli eventually. I've heard 1-2 years of cold composting as a safe margin.

 

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