Worms, worms, worms... (vermi-composting for faecal matter)
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TOPIC: Worms, worms, worms... (vermi-composting for faecal matter)

Re: Worms, worms, worms... 24 Jun 2012 14:51 #1726

  • canaday
  • A biologist working toward sustainability
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Featured User
May 2014
Hi Everyone,

Very interesting discussion. Congratulations on the users at David's site being so enthusiastic.

I would like to fine-tune Christian's suggestions of using interchangeable containers to overcome the space limitations of this 2-chambered UDDT:

// I suggest using woven polypropylene sacks (as commonly used to transport grains, flour, sugar, fertilizer, etc.) This allows for water to evaporate out and for oxygen to filter in. These sacks are also extremely available and inexpensive. Earthworms may also find their way in.

// These sacks can be placed in baskets or plasic bins (with holes for ventilation cut into them). I recommend containers of about 40 liter capacity, as the sacks fit snugly into them, with the edge flapped over the rim. This holds the sack open and allows it to be accurately placed in the fecal "line of fire".

// Another option is to have a chute (for example, made from an up-side-down bucket with its bottom cut out) that the sack can be tied around.

// After the temperature is stably within the acceptable range from earthworms, these sacks can then be emptied into a chamber for vermicomposting.

The use of interchangeable containers also allows for much more control of smell and flies. Yes, this involves more frequent Operation&Maintenance, but it is not at all disgusting or terrible to change the sacks. People have to realize that things do not disappear by magic, so we have to deal with them (as opposed to out-of-sight-out-of-mind dumping of sewage into rivers). More info in my paper on simple UDDTs in Issue 6 of Sustainable Sanitation Practice on Toilets (www.ecosan.at/ssp).

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday in the Amazon
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America

Re: Worms, worms, worms... 28 Jun 2012 11:13 #1760

  • Wolfgang Berger
  • Publisher and author of a specialist book and various publications on composting toilets; owner of Berger Biotechnik since 1985; project staff of research projects;
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remains only to add:
Compost animals, such as Red Worms (Eisenia foetida), need for their digestion and the production of clay-humus compounds periodic additions of minerals such as rock and basalt powder. Further the pH is very important and can be raised by addition of natural lime, also called calcium carbonate or carbonate of acidic (slaked) lime, or marine algae, if the pH should develop below the neutral range of 7. To lower the pH, marc and wood ash from untreated wood are suitable. Quicklime (calcium oxide) is harmful for compost animals.

Best regards
Wolfgang Berger
Bogenstr. 17
20144 Hamburg, Germany
tel. +49(0)404397875
fax +49(0)40437848

Re: Worms, worms, worms... 29 Jun 2012 09:13 #1771

  • emmanuel
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Hi Chris,

do not forget that eisenia foetida worms are not "digging" worms. So I think that you have to prefer large baskets with a low height than the opposite.

I did the experience in my composting toilet not to put additionnal componants like minerals and see how the worms react. After 3 years of experience, there is still few worms but not as the first year. So vermicomposting can be done without adding worms nuttriments but not for many years.


Emmanuel Morin
Emanuel Morin
Ecodomeo - France

Re: Worms, worms, worms... 03 Apr 2014 03:46 #8086

  • nazimuddin
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Dear Alan,

Thank you for the very interesting information, particularly in the 8 points. Could you please provide me the references of the information that you have written in those points.

Best regards
Sayed Mohammad NAZIM UDDIN
PhD Researcher/Project Manager

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Re: Worms, worms, worms... (vermi-composting for faecal matter) 05 Apr 2014 10:21 #8112

  • Billy
  • interested in productive sanitation
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Hi David, you might like to have a look into using BSFG (black soldier fly grubs), if BSF are to be found in your area, which I believe they would be. Can I suggest you check out the blacksoldierflyblog.com forum, it is most instructive. BSFG and vermicomposting can go hand in hand (not literally of course!).
Don't throw it all away!
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