Key documents for the sub-category on composting processes

  • muench
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Key documents for the sub-category on composting processes

For more information about why I am creating this new thread, please see here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/10-gen...d-sub-category-level

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This thread is a "sticky thread" which means it will always remain at the top of this sub-category.
It contains a recommendation and orientation for newcomers regarding the most important 5 documents in the thematic area of "Composting processes".

Recommended top 5 documents in the thematic area of "Composting processes", in reverse chronological order:

(1)
Appalachian Trail Conservancy (2014). Backcountry Sanitation Manual, 2nd Edition. Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Green Mountain Club, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, USA
www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/2130

This manual introduces a new, simple, and safe method of composting human waste in the backcountry: the moldering privy that is kind of a composting toilet. Its design saves money and labor. The A.T. Primary emphasis has been placed on composting systems, because they have been the most successful in the majority of backcountry situations. Besides the moldering privy the manual describes further composting systems and includes case studies.


(2)
Berger, W. (2011). Technology review of composting toilets - Basic overview of composting toilets (with or without urine diversion). Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany
www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/878

This publication explains the design and use of composting toilets which are either manufactured or owner-built. It also briefly describes external composting in a unit which is separate from the toilets (usually located in the garden).
Composting toilets should not be confused with urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs). In the latter type of toilet, only drying takes place but no biological composting activities occur. Composting toilets can be designed with or without diversion of urine; urine diversion simplifies the management of the leachate and can be implemented if there is a demand for urine as a fertiliser.


(3)
SOIL (2011). The SOIL guide to ecological sanitation. Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), Sherburne NY, USA
www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/1421

This first edition of The SOIL Guide to Ecological Sanitation focuses on urine diversion toilets (also called UD toilets or dry composting toilets). For composting of human wastes see pages 79-114 (Part 4, 5 and 6 of the downloadable document). The document offers an operation guide for offsite composting and technical specifications for the offsite composting facility.


(4)
Morgan, P. (2007). Toilets That Make Compost - Low-cost, sanitary toilets that produce valuable compost for crops in an African context. Aquamor, Zimbabwe and Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden, ISBN 978-9-197-60222-8
www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/195

This book describes how to make a range of toilets that also make compost. The compost is useful in the vegetable garden and can also be used for growing trees. The simplest are low cost pit toilets and a builder is not required once the householder has learned the basic methods of construction. The more complex toilets use a method known as urine diversion and a builder will be required to construct this type.


(5)
S. Rothenberger, C. Zurbrügg, M. Sinha, I. Enayetullah (2006). Decentralised urban composting in middle and low income countries - User's manual. Eawag-Sandec and Waste concern, Switzerland, ISBN 978-3-906484-36-5
www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/835

This book describes approaches and methods of composting on neighbourhood level in small-and middle-scale plants. It considers issues of waste collection, composting technologies, management systems, occupational health concerns, product quality, marketing and end-user demands. The reader is led step by step through the planning, implementing and operational stages of a decentralised composting scheme.

From the same authors as key document Number 5 there is a related publication:
Rouse, J., Rothenberger, S., Zurbrügg, C. (2008). Marketing Compost - A Guide for Compost Producers in Low and Middle-Income Countries. Eawag, Switzerland
www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/702

You can find further important documents and website links dealing with this topic here: Please provide your feedback. What do you think of this selection?

Regards,
Elisabeth

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • Wolfgang Berger
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Re: Key documents for the sub-category on composting processes

Hi,
There are two practical orientated books on composting in English language, which I can recommend for beginners:

The Rodale Book of Composting: easy methods for every gardener by Martin, D. and Gershunny, G. (ed.), Rodale Press Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 1992

Compost by Thompson, K., Dorling Kindersley Limited, London, 2007

Both books include DIY systems for different kinds of composting e.g. vermicomposting.
Good to start on a small level too.

Best regards

Wolfgang

Wolfgang Berger
BERGER BIOTECHNIK GmbH
Bogenstr. 17
20144 Hamburg, Germany
tel. +49(0)404397875
fax +49(0)40437848
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  • muench
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Re: Key documents for the sub-category on composting processes

Thanks, Wolfgang! Do these books speak about garden composting or do they also include information on composting toilets? If "garden composting" only, do they consider the addition of fecal matter (from toilets; perhaps also content of baby nappies, cat litter, bedding used for small pets like guinea pigs?) - including a discussion on what would happen to the pathogens during composting?

I've also really enjoyed the review that Joe provided about FAO's publication about FAO's farmers compost handbook, see here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/70-com...ces-in-latin-america

Am contemplating adding that document into the list of Top-5 (even though the target audience is probably not really farmers, as Joe pointed out, even though the title makes it appear as such).

I am also contemplating if this sticky post needs to be split into two, namely:
  • One for composting toilets
  • One for composting that occurs in gardens or at semi-centralised compost plants, e.g. those operated by municipalities
I have actually just re-arranged our threads so make things in this category a bit clearer:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/70-composting-processes

The structure and explanations here on the forum now look like this:

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Composting processes
Includes composting toilets as well as composting in separate units, piles, boxes or similar.

Composting toilets in general (not wet composting, not Arborloos)
This sub-category is about composting toilets in general, except for those using wet composting or Arborloos (they have their own sub-categories)

Vermicomposting digesters for flush toilets, with filtering of effluent
This category is about the technical systems of "wet composting" where a digester, reactor or vessel receives inflows from flush toilets

Arborloos
An Arborloo is a simple kind of composting toilet for rural areas where composting takes place in a shallow pit below the toilet seat or squatting pan and leaves are added after each use.

Vermicomposting for various types of waste streams
This category is about composting various types of ‘wastes’ (e.g. sewage sludge, fecal sludge, organic solid waste) using worms

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What do you all think of this?

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Community manager of this forum via SEI
(see: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
Wikipedian, co-founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation

Location: Frankfurt, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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  • Wolfgang Berger
  • Wolfgang Berger's Avatar
  • Long-term forum user
  • Publisher and author of a specialist book and various publications on composting toilets; owner of Berger Biotechnik since 1985; project staff of research projects;
  • Posts: 36
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Re: Key documents for the sub-category on composting processes

Dear Elisabeth,

Both books focus on composting garden residues and are very good introductions for beginners to gain first experiences. Human urine and animal manure are recommended for composting, but not human feces. Beside fundamental information, both publications show innovative solutions under different conditions. I recommend to start with composting of organic kitchen and garden waste, before handling and operating with feces. So a relationship and an understanding of the process can grow without risk.

Best regards

Wolfgang

Wolfgang Berger
BERGER BIOTECHNIK GmbH
Bogenstr. 17
20144 Hamburg, Germany
tel. +49(0)404397875
fax +49(0)40437848
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.berger-biotechnik.de
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