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Composting Paper Leaf Toilet material

The Paper Leaf Toilet x is not a self-composting toilet. Being only the collective stage of the toilet system, additional outdoor compost bins are needed to sanitize our excrement, also called human manure, or, in short, humanure. The following guidelines explain how to compost humanure.

The easiest and cheapest way to make suitable compost bins is to use transport pallets. With some drilling and bolting, you can make three compost bins: one bin for the active compost (the compost pile that is being built up this year); one bin for aging compost (the compost pile of last year, which is covered and left alone); and a separating bin in which we store the cover material (to avoid contact of the aged compost with the fresh humanure).



To compost humanure, we need two things:

1. Additional organic cover material with a high carbon/nitrogen balance, such as straw, woodchips and autumn leaves, to balance the low carbon/nitrogen balance of the humanure.

2. Time

Year 1: It takes about one year to fill up one bin with the complete organic waste, including leftover food, kitchen refuse, grass clippings and garden waste, for a five-person household. Always start the active compost pile with a coarse ground cover in the bin, in order to allow oxygen to permeate the compost pile and to keep out groundwater. Build up a nice pile with the organic waste, covering anything smelly with cover material with a high carbon/nitrogen balance. When emptying your Paper Leaf Toilet ®, cover the contents with the same amount of cover material each time. And empty the humanure from the plastic bag, even when using biodegradable plastic bags, because even biodegradable plastic can only be composted in extreme environments.

Year 2: After one year, start building the second active compost pile in the other bin. At the same time, cover the built-up compost pile with an extra layer of cover material to age: this compost pile is now the aging compost pile. When you have a substantial amount of grass clippings or autumn leaves, store them in the middle bin, to be used later as cover material. Starting in the spring gives aged compost two years later, at the beginning of the growing season!

Following theses guidelines will result in the creation of rich, aged compost, and with that, you will maintain the human nutrient cycle (eating food, excreting humanure, composting, growing food, eating food, etc). The carbon/nitrogen balance in the compost, combined with the aging time, ensures that that appropriate temperatures are reached and potential pathogens are killed.

Additional note: Urine contains a large amount of nutrients as well. It is however not collected in the Paper Leaf Toilet ®. If you want to make use of the urine, connect the urine drain tube to a container. The urine can be poured into the active compost, if you use twice as much cover material with every load of solid toilet content (again, this is to maintain a good carbon/nitrogen balance).