Waste Processing

the loo with a view

The saying is There's no such thing as waste, just stuff that's in the wrong place.

Worm farms, chickens and compost heaps can process a lot of scrap food and bio-matter.

Chickens can eat apples or blackberries. This mix gives usefully processed rich soil that can be used in the garden.

Some plant material might need to be burnt. Some is burnt to normal charcoal. Some is processed into biochar.

Paper and cardboard is an invaluable carbon source for composting and mulching.

Glass is used in bottle walls

Aluminium is a useful weather proof flexible material for arts. It is also a good thermal conductor.

Chip packets are reflective mylar that can make a solar cooker or antenna

The Biodigester

Humanure, other carnivore poop, bones, meat, poisonous weeds and some plastics is processed in a biodigester. Poop is collected in dry buckets with a cover material (coffee grounds or husks usually, or dried grass or moss) these are then initially processed in anaerobric processing tanks, these are two 200L HDPE drums with airtight lids.

The two tanks are swapped every 6 months. One filled with poop buckets and other processable biomatter. The other tank is full and digesting.

The digesting tank has its pH tested weekly. Ash and coffee grounds are added to balance the ph. The digesting drum feeds lighter than air methane through a tube to a bucket in a water filled HDPE drum. The bucket floats as it captures the gas and has a switch valve to an output tube so that the gas can be used in burners.

The processing gets quite hot, over 60 degrees Celsius, and kills the dangerous bacteria in the material. After the material has been anaerobically digested it should be safe and could be used as compost directly. However once it has been through that process it will be added to normal aerobic compost pile for another six months or so of warm composting before being used, usually on fruit trees.