Humanure Composting Simplified

We’ve been using the humanure composting system since 1996. At the field school, we’ve simplified it down from a sawdust toilet. Now it’s a forest duff toilet. The goal was to use only materials we could gather on site. Now we cover fresh deposits with duff; the mixture of leaves and dirt that makes up the forest floor. To cover material on the pile, we cut weeds with a scythe and put them on the pile. The water we use is rainwater. A regular sawdust toilet is sustainable. Our variation is sustainable and uses no outside inputs. Simple, effective and green.


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  • Brian

    How long have you been running on the duff formula? Just the last few days?
    I imagine the system works wonderfully with all the amazing mycological systems at play in the forest floor, but I am curious to hear updates on it’s performance. I also would prefer to use such cover material instead of sawdust.

  • We’ve been using duff instead of sawdust since 2008 at the field school. It seems to work just as well as sawdust, except that it’s often bulkier so we switch the buckets more quickly.



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