Tag Archives: compost

Portable Composting Toilets for Multi Day Events

The Cloacina Project with design and implementation from PNCA’s graduate students in Collaborative Design created an open source hardware platform for toilets, urinals, hand sinks and privacy screens for portable low cost dry toilets. Recognizing that hardware is only half the problem the PNCA students addressed the user interface by creating a training protocol, help [...]

The 90s: US starts land applying sludge, Swizterland stops

In the 1990s, Switzerland banned the re-use of sludge for any agricultural purposes because of the high heavy metal and other persistent pollutants. Austria, and Sweden also banned such re-use. The main concern was that since waste water systems combine industrial and residential waste, the treated material could be harmful to the longterm health of [...]

Diagram of Types of Composting Toilets

Ah, at last I found the simplest illustration of types of composting toilets. It’s from a review of household dry sanitation practices around the globe put out by Toilettes du Monde in France. The full article hasn’t been translated into english yet, but the summary has.

New Instructable: DIY Moisture Test

Our problem: We need to know the % of moisture in each batch of manure to determine how much carbon material (sawdust, coffee hulls, etc) to add to achieve 50-60% moisture (typical ideal moisture for aerobic decomposition). We didn’t have an oven that could accurately maintain temperatures between 221-230 F (and we didn’t really want [...]

New Temperature Monitor

I’ve re-made the compost temp sensors to conform to our original design of stabbing probes.  I was having difficulty choosing a non-conductive housing for the  probes that could give accurate measurements along its length,  until I remembered that my favorite plastic, polyethylene, is mostly transparent to infrared.  Duh, that’s why I make solar balloons out [...]

Monitoring Compost, pt.1 (what we’ve got)

There is no substitute for the complexity of human senses.  Quantitative data is cannot stand in for direct experience with compost.  But it does provide a means of directly comparing processes and feedstock mixes, as well as real-time feedback for  control.   Lacking  grad students or interns we have only robots to exploit (for now…).  To [...]

the internet of decomposers

I’ve just installed an Arduino-based temperature logger at five points in our compost pile, proving the obvious: it’s hotter on the sunny side and hottest in the middle.  Details tomorrow, but check out these sweet dashboard widgets!

Fighting the Flush: Metropolis Next Generation Competition

Mathew and I entered Metropolis magazine’s competition for “one fix that will make a positive difference in the designed environment.”  They had 292 applicants this year. We wrote up a proposal for a networked sensor platform for navigating the social and legal obstacles to locally cycling organic matter.  It closes the loop between composting toilets [...]

Emergency Sanitation Workshop This Saturday

We'll be doing a 45 minute workshop on Saturday June 2nd @ 2pm at King Elementary School as part of Resilience PDX.org
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