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Compost

The community comes into contact with environmental action most frequently through initiatives at local community and government levels to reduce waste through recycling.

Recycling is the last stand in the waste stream minimisation practices which start with:-

  • "refuse", and move through less stringent measures as
  • "re-use" and
  • "reduce" to the last step
  • "recycle".

    Compost is the corrolary within the the site to the off-site waste removal within material categories such as glass/metals/papers/ and recyclable plastics. Compost on-site deals predominantly with biological materials.

    Within buildings, effective recycling including compost depends on conveniently positioned internal recepticles for segregated wastes and a clear destination for on-site compost.
    In residential situations this includes vermin proof and odour sealed containers in relation to kitchen activities.

    Waste treatment

    In waste treatment terms, compost also has a role. While non-septic wastes can be dealt with in biological systems (refer section on waste waters); septic wastes can either be disposed below ground in conventional septic, sand filter or aerobic systems treatment and discharges (refer Health Commission standards); or can be treated for re-use through compost toilets.

  • Compost

    Toilets


    Commercial systems are available, technical details are provided by the manufacturers, such as Clivus Multrum, Dowmus, Roto-loo, Natureloo, as so on.
    On-site constructed systems can also be developed.

    The purpose of compost toilets is to retain septic wastes and treat these in-situ in the chamber with microbe action to convert the solids to garden fertilisers.
    Moisture in the chamber is treated by evaporation and vented, or by drain to a solar enclosure and evaporated. Odours are controlled by reduced pressure in chamber and enclosure creating a continuous airflow from building interior to upper air vent outlet out of the chamber.

    Some commercial systems feature single chamber with throughflow of wastes from toilet to fertiliser removal hatch; others rotate a number of drums where active waste is separate from chamber open to fertiliser removal hatch.

    Compost toilets normally have a sizeable height difference between toilet floor level and external lower fertiliser removal level. The small volume Biolet is the exception. Larger systems therefore are either suited to sloping site locations, or where the toilet floor is raised above outside ground level.

      This practice has used a number of these various approaches:-
    • The D'Estrees bay project has a separate above ground on-site
      constructed compost toilet.
    • The Redcone project has a Biolet accessible from the greenhouse.
    • The Lobethal cottage and design for the Purnong house have
      raised floor levels to accommodate multi-drum Rotaloo installations.
    Because the compost system deals with septic and solid wastes; in most projects a separate sullage 'grey' water treatment and re-use system is also designed in.

    End of section