SECONDARY TREATMENT OF COMPOST
Once your Bambooloo™ bucket becomes 3/4 full, you will need to dispose of its contents into an onsite Secondary Treatment System (STS). The Bambooloo™ toilet commode acts as a receptacle only – the actual composting and maturation of the toilet’s contents occurs in your STS. The STS gives compost enough time to break down and mature, preparing it for burial in your designated land application area. At the end of the maturation period, you will be left with nutrient-rich compost that is ready for burial/fertilization of trees/ornamental gardens. Although this sounds rather technical, like compost itself, it reduces down to something incredibly simple.
Composting is nature’s way of recycling materials. All the hard work is done by the micro-organisms inside the compost pile – your only job, is to create the conditions in which the compost can thrive.
Setting up a Secondary Treatment System
All you need for a Secondary Treatment System is 2* x 220L open-base compost bins – simple! Choose compost bins that are sealed around the sides – do NOT use flat packs as they can leach through the sides.
*Generally, 2 bins are enough to compost one person’s waste. Depending on the number of people using the system and on climate, you may need more compost bins.
Choosing a Location
- Place your STS 2m away from boundary lines, 3m away from the main property, and up to 10m away from a downwards slope that leads to a boundary line.
- Place the bins in a dry location with maximum sun exposure. Avoid flood zones and areas that tend to pond.
- If setting bins up on a slope, you will need to remove a layer of grass, level the soil, and chip in a channel on the high ground behind the bins to avoid surface water run-off washing out the base of the compost pile.
Using the Secondary Treatment System
- Dispose of your waste-containing compostable bags into one compost bin for a year
- Leave the bin that you have been using to collect compost to sit and mature the compost for a further year*
- Dispose of your waste-containing compostable bags into the second bin for one year, while the first bin matures its contents
- Once the first bin has matured the compost within, empty and bury its contents into your designated land application area
- Put the first bin back into use to collect Bambooloo™ waste for a year, while you mature the contents of the second bin
- Use the bins on the rotational basis described above
*Generally, 1 year maturation is sufficient for compost sanitation. However, if you’re in a cold climate, you may need to mature the compost for up to 2 years to ensure it becomes pathogen-free. Once the compost has broken down to roughly 50% of its initial mass, it is ready for burial. If you’re unsure that the compost is ready, simply give it more time to mature.
IMPORTANT: the Secondary Treatment System is dedicated to compost from the composting toilet only. You can add green and brown garden matter, but do NOT add foreign materials such as food scraps.
Find Out More About Composting
The above system is simple, and it works effectively. If you want to go the extra mile and learn how to get the most out of humanure composting, grab yourself a copy of the Humanure Handbook, and learn all you’ll ever need to know about it.