Instructions on the Application of Compost and Urine


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Instructions on the Application of Compost and Urine

Dear all,

I would like to share some instructions about how to apply bio waste derived compost (which can include solids from ecosan toilets) in conjunction with urine based liquid fertilizer. I have compiled these instructions for a small hand operated composting facility that is located in Adjumani, Northern Uganda - see the attachment.

The application rates are based on what is recommended for compost made from separately collected municipal organic waste (University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany), and I have assumed that the nutrients contained in one liter of urine correspond approximately to what is contained in one Kg of matured compost. Actual figures actually correspond pretty well for nitrogen and phosphorous, and are lower in the urine for potassium (which usually is not as decisive for plant growth).

In organic agriculture, the thinking is that you build/fertilize the soil in order that plants grow well, and this is predominantly done using compost. So, urine cannot completely replace compost as a fertilizer, in particular, it does not replace the organic/humus content of compost. Some minimum application of compost or some other carbon rich organic substance is required as a base fertilizer, and urine can be added as a booster fertilizer. Note, however, that – as far as I am aware - both urine and compost that is made from ingredients that include human feces are not accepted in most standards for organic agriculture.

The instructions suggest application rates based on these premises and depending on the type of crop or culture. They also include an example of crop rotation in the tropics. If you would like to suggest any improvements, please let me know !

Regarding the composting facility in Adjumani, unfortunately, it is not operational anymore – some years ago, a road was built considerably reducing the site and knocking off almost half of the main building of the facility. It hasn’t been used for composting since then. You’ll find more information about that on my post asking for funding to repair this facility and another (sludge treatment) facility in Adjumani:

Have a good weekend !
Hanns-Andre Pitot
M.Eng. Environmental Pollution Control
presently in Seesen, Germany

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