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Humanure


SH3RL0CK
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A recent article suggested we essentially revert back to the "outhouses" of yesterday.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20091207/us_time/08599194576400

 

 

While I agree that these are more energy efficient (by far), the article seems to lack mention of any drawbacks. I'm thinking if this goes into wide use, someone will eventually get sick from the bacteria. Thoughts?

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A dangerous idea. Maybe for crops like grains where the edible part is far from the ground and the humanure would be left undisturbed for quite a while. On the other hand, there's no reason not to do this with the sewer system as a whole, where there could be more stringent controls.

 

Also of note: diseases passed on via fecal contamination tend to be very deadly compared to diseases with other forms of transmission.

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Where does he get his sawdust from? I can see where having solid matter coated with sawdust might keep the bucket-emptying process more sanitary, but I'm skeptical about it eliminating the odors involved, especially if you're waiting until it's full to empty it.

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Are they more energy efficient? My toilet is powered only by water pressure supplied by gravity from a reservoir at a higher altitude. If I was to manually dispose of it, that would almost certainly mean transporting it in trucks, like regular garbage. (I live in a large apartment building.) Surely that would be more energy. I think the appeal is more in using less water and recycling the "fertilizer" directly. These are real benefits (the importance of water conservation varying from region to region), but I'm still skeptical about health issues. In places without sanitation systems, people, you know, die of cholera a lot. Plus the smell, which I'm sorry but I can't just take their word for. Plus I guess I'm just defensive about one of the few remaining activities nobody was trying to make me feel guilty about.

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Are they more energy efficient? My toilet is powered only by water pressure supplied by gravity from a reservoir at a higher altitude. If I was to manually dispose of it, that would almost certainly mean transporting it in trucks, like regular garbage. (I live in a large apartment building.) Surely that would be more energy. I think the appeal is more in using less water and recycling the "fertilizer" directly. These are real benefits (the importance of water conservation varying from region to region), but I'm still skeptical about health issues. In places without sanitation systems, people, you know, die of cholera a lot.
Obviously the benefits are more heavily weighted to those who can take advantage of the compost more readily. In my brief experience with composting, it was pretty cool to get something useful from something I was going to throw away, but it does require a lot of extra time that is hard to justify unless you like gardening a lot. But you've got to be especially careful with food you eat from a garden that uses fecal matter as fertilizer.

 

Plus the smell, which I'm sorry but I can't just take their word for.
Sawdust can be flushed through many types of septic systems with no problem, and it's biodegradable as a compost filler, but I too am skeptical about it's odor-absorbing properties. The type of sawdust I generate from weekend carpentry projects would present an airborne particulate problem as well.

 

I suppose if you had some rougher sawdust from a sawmill it might not create a dust problem, but without added chemicals I don't think it would deodorize most human feces. Some people, of course, wouldn't need anything because theirs doesn't stink.

 

 

EWWW could you imagine just going to your garden and bending over and launching a explosive diareah all over the ground???!!!

 

kinda like the penguins if you ever watched that nova special.

I was looking forward to that special but not anymore.
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