more groover talk? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-23-2015   #1
 
Cortez, Colorado
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more groover talk?

Although this may seem a bit rambling (and maybe it is), just bear with me, and I think you'll see there is some value in this post.

In all the groover talk, I've never read anything like what I do, so I want to tell all here, for review, comments, etc.

To start, I have a composting toilet at home (a "sawdust bucket", to be exact) and have been composting my poo for many years. Anyone who wants to know more about this ought to read "The Humanure Handbook" by Joe Jenkins. Anyway, when I got into boating and looked around at what my new boater friends were doing....and following my cheapskate/DIY instincts, I just got a gamma lid, bucket, standard toilet seat and some sawdust, and I was set! Now I know some river offices frown on buckets with Gamma lids and I understand why; in a serious wreck, it could be crushed.....however the point of this post is not to defend buckets. My point is this: SAWDUST. Though it may be hard to believe, anyone who uses a sawdust toilet at home or wherever will tell you that they do NOT stink. There are several reasons for this, all explained in the Humanure Handbook, but briefly, it balances the PH of the poo and it dessicates the poo....and dessicated poo does not stink. Of course, you CANNOT pee into a sawdust groover! It just makes a squishy mess. I see no reason why most any groover on the market couldn't be used with sawdust. The downside is that it takes up some poo space, and so you'll have less user days (so for longer trips/bigger groups, maybe an extra groover is needed), but it's much less stinky and much less messy to clean. Before the trip, I just fill my groover about 1/4 to 1/3 with sawdust, then at every use or once a day, just put the lid on and give it a few shakes; poo is heavier than sawdust, so it moves down (and so does the smell). It's kinda like a catbox....or jumbo almond roca (sorry). At home, I just dump mine in my compost pile. I realize many of you may not have that option, but you may know someone who does. Also, I wonder if the contents of a sawdust groover could be dumped at a dump station? If not, maybe a revolution is in order. IMO, there is no reason to put up with the smell or mess or to use obnoxious chemicals (for the most part). Sawdust is the way to go!

Thoughts?

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Old 02-23-2015   #2
 
Cortez, Colorado
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I now realize this post is not in the most appropriate forum. Sorry about that.
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Old 02-24-2015   #3
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I'm intrigued. You shouldn't be peeing in a groover anyways. What about TP? My guess is the groover machines don't like sawdust but I don't know that for fact. I'm also curious if critters are more inclined to get into sawdust rather than caustic chemicals.
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Old 02-24-2015   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
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Very interesting, I've looked at smell reducing chemicals before for my groover, but always end up leaving them. While the smell sucks, I'd much rather have a bad smell than having chemicals around that are dangerous if ingested or touched, eff that noise.

The real trick is whether the RV dumps would be okay with it. I actually have a composter, but it's small and the lid is narrow don't think trying to get all my groover waste in a season in there would be worth it. I suppose I could at least try it out for one trip though.

Would love to know the status of sawdust and RV dumps though if anyone has experience there.

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Old 02-24-2015   #5
 
BV, CO
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Sounds good except human poop has heavy metals and other sh*t in it that shouldn't go in compost that is going on a vegetable garden etc. Though I certainly know plenty of back to the landers who are still alive after doing exactly that.
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Old 02-24-2015   #6
 
Cortez, Colorado
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To address a couple of things:

> I put the TP in the groover, it just stays on top, cuz it's lighter than the sawdust, but you could bag it, it does take up room in a groover.

>Heavy metals, etc: I personally don't use my humanure for the veggie garden, though Joe Jenkins (author or The Humanure Handbook) has for 25+ years. According to him, properly composted poo is fine and he has faithfully sent his in for testing every year, to prove it. However, all that said, I am NOT taking up that debate. A person needs to do their own research on it.

>Another personal observation of mine is this: In 14 years of composting it at home, there has never been an objectional smell, and I've never had any critters digging in it.
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Old 02-24-2015   #7
 
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
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I use the sawdust composting system for at my small "off the grid" rustic cabin. It works well using a 5 gal bucket for the seat and a ventilated 50 gal trash can as my compost container. Mostly this system works because it gets fairly low use, 1-4 persons at a time on occasional weekends. Plenty of time for the waste to be desiccated by the sawdust. And the Gamma lid has a nice big opening for clean out.

The Eco-Safe I use on the river probably won't work this way.

On a typical multi day group trip the toilet gets really heavy use, 20 persons per day for 7 consecutive days. If I filled my Eco-Safe vault 1/3 or 1/2 with sawdust I would need to double my capacity. We would need 6 vaults instead of three for a group of 20. I' also not sure about getting that sawdust out through the 3" dia. clean out. I would have concerns that expanding wet sawdust in an overfilled vault could turn into a very solid mess.

I find that I can keep the Eco-Safe odor free by keeping it dry and using a product like Groover Tamer. (The spray works if you actually use it!)
I have a little spice jar of dry lime powder I can add if needed.
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Old 02-24-2015   #8
 
Cortez, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kengore View Post
I use the sawdust composting system for at my small "off the grid" rustic cabin. It works well using a 5 gal bucket for the seat and a ventilated 50 gal trash can as my compost container. Mostly this system works because it gets fairly low use, 1-4 persons at a time on occasional weekends. Plenty of time for the waste to be desiccated by the sawdust. And the Gamma lid has a nice big opening for clean out.

The Eco-Safe I use on the river probably won't work this way.

On a typical multi day group trip the toilet gets really heavy use, 20 persons per day for 7 consecutive days. If I filled my Eco-Safe vault 1/3 or 1/2 with sawdust I would need to double my capacity. We would need 6 vaults instead of three for a group of 20. I' also not sure about getting that sawdust out through the 3" dia. clean out. I would have concerns that expanding wet sawdust in an overfilled vault could turn into a very solid mess.

I find that I can keep the Eco-Safe odor free by keeping it dry and using a product like Groover Tamer. (The spray works if you actually use it!)
I have a little spice jar of dry lime powder I can add if needed.
Yes. Good points. The obvious drawback is the reduced capacity for longer trips or bigger groups. I've used groover tamer with good results and I've also used a liquid enzyme (which I was never able to identify) that was provided to us by Moki Mac on a Labyrinth trip once (cuz we rented a groover from them), and that worked great. Very low smell and I assume it would've been safe to dump into a compost pile, though I never verified that.
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Old 02-24-2015   #9
 
Cortez, Colorado
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Another point, which may be hard to quantify, but is very valid in my mind: On every trip, I have folks rave (no sh*t) about their groovin' experience.
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Old 02-24-2015   #10
 
BV, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumper13 View Post
To address a couple of things:



>Heavy metals, etc: I personally don't use my humanure for the veggie garden, though Joe Jenkins (author or The Humanure Handbook) has for 25+ years. According to him, properly composted poo is fine and he has faithfully sent his in for testing every year, to prove it. However, all that said, I am NOT taking up that debate. A person needs to do their own research on it.
Come on grump. Seems like arguing about shit would be the perfect subject for the Buzz in Feb.
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