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  •  I didn't realize how far ahead of the curve (1+ / 0-)
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    my relatives were!  They had an outhouse when I was small - a two-holer!  My brother, cousin and I used it for a clubhouse.  They had indoor plumbing by then, so the smell wasn't overwhelming.

    Only problem I see with "composting" toilets would be the stench.  It ain't pretty and having it inside a house would be disasterous, no matter what you did to sweeten it up.

    I do agree that recycling human and animal waste is the way to go.  The "lagoons" they create for large animal farms could be capped and the methane captured, same for commercial sewage treatment plants.

    The ONLY reason none of these answers is being pursued is because the oil companies want to wring every nickel out of US they can while they simultaneously buy up all the technology that will become viable in the next several years.

    •  Actually ... re stench ... (2+ / 0-)
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      mataliandy, Leo in NJ

      the composting toilets (both 'simple' and 'sophisticated') basically eliminate this issue.

    •  Our experience with smell (2+ / 0-)
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      A Siegel, Horsefeathers

      We have been living with a composting toilet for 2 years. Our smell experience went like this:

      1. Install toilet.
      1. Use toilet.
      1. No smell. Yay!!!
      1. Hmmm, now there's smell.
      1. Why is there smell?
      1. Ah, the stack pipe is too short (not long enough for chimney effect).
      1. Add pipe extender.
      1. Yay! No smell again!
      1. Open the upstairs window when all other openings are closed, window creates strong draft - down the stack pipe into the house. Ugh. Smell. (This would be unique to our little cabin, others are unlikely to experience it.) Close window until further notice.
      1. It gets cold outside, warm inside, chimney effect reverses, turns into downdraft. Ugh. Much smell.
      1. Detach stack pipe, insert small 12-volt muffin fan (like for cooling a computer), install light switch to control fan. All is well with the world once again.
      1. It gets very cold for an extended period of time and the pipe in the crawlspace under the cabin is insufficiently insulated. Pipe freezes. Liquid effluent cannot leave. Note, there is no water in this system, it's liquid sewage concentrate... Stinky beyond your wildest imaginings.
      1. Get under house in sub-zero temps, in the middle of the night (hubby did this, not fecophobic me) and cut out the pipe, replace it with a new one, insulate the hell out of it.
      1. Go away long enough for pipes in house to freeze. All of them. At least this time the cutting can happen indoors...
      1. Decide on a simpler, freeze-proof method for waste handling.

      Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

      by mataliandy on Fri Sep 14, 2007 at 04:08:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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