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9 votes
Accepted

Can solid dog waste be safely added to a backyard composting heap?

You've hinted at the main concerns with putting poop in a compost pile. Will putting dog poop in the compost pile spread disease? This could happen either in the act of moving the dog poop, while ...
Jean-Paul Calderone's user avatar
9 votes
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How difficult is it to build your own dry, self-composting toilet?

I've lived in a house with a DIY composting toilet, and we've since purchased one that's Australian certified(called EcoFlo) to be the toilet in the house. It looks prettier, but it seems to work the ...
Ⴖuі's user avatar
  • 1,307
8 votes

How difficult is it to build your own dry, self-composting toilet?

I am about to start the project. Here are the charges I plan: 4h - build an extra composter, in order to have 3 composters like advised here, where A minimum three bin system is recommended. 12h -...
J. Chomel's user avatar
  • 1,417
8 votes
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Should leaf composting be separate from food waste?

In a temperate climate where deciduous trees drop their leaves for the winter such leaves are nearly the perfect compostable material. Trees drop them to mulch the ground for one season and then ...
Jean-Paul Calderone's user avatar
7 votes
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Is it absolutely necessary to agitate/rotate a compost bin?

The bigger the composting pile is, the least turning it needs, because most of the pile remains sheltered from the dry / temperature-changing outside. If you want to have a compost at your place with ...
J. Chomel's user avatar
  • 1,417
7 votes

Can I compost vegetable oil?

Yes -- with caveats. It will decompose. Even motor oil will decompose. (Don't use this as a way of disposing the used stuff. It has lots of ungood things besides oil by the time it's used.) ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
7 votes
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Any problem with storing compost in a sealed container for several weeks? Alternatives?

When you seal everything airtight the contents of your bin will start to decompose anaerobically. There are no big problems with this, but there are a few downsides: anaerobic decomposition is slower ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes

Composting bones in a worm bin

I'm not sure if the bones still contain meat, so I'll answer for both. Meat It's certainly possible to add meat to your worm farm, but many people warn against this because of the risk of attracting ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes
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Why is composting of food waste "better" than burning it?

Composting has many benefits beyond dealing with waste The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists several benefits of composting: Compost reduces and in some cases eliminates the need for ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
6 votes
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What is the difference between biodegradable and compostable plastic?

The problem is that different people use different definitions for biodegradable and compostable. What people usually agree on is the following: Biodegradable means that a plastic can disintegrate ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
5 votes
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Can I compost vegetable oil?

You can compost vegetable oil but when doing aerobic composting the disadvantage is that oil will reduce the amount of air that can get in your compost heap. If you add too much oil and/or don't ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
5 votes
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What is the environmental impact of toilet paper processed at a water treatment plant?

In a municipal scale sewage system toilet paper is barely detectable. It gets soggy very quickly and disintegrates. There are huge problems with wet wipes, tampons and menstrual pads, however, as ...
Ⴖuі's user avatar
  • 1,307
5 votes

How to test whether a teabag has polyester fibres or not, without waiting for it to compost?

At the risk of suggesting something too obvious: contact the manufacturer. Hats off to Wendy from Moral Fibres for doing some research on this: http://moralfibres.co.uk/is-there-plastic-in-your-tea/
Richard Lane's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Does Sawdust for Humanure/Composting Toilet need to be Powder?

The role of sawdust/shavings in composting toilets is four-fold: Visually hide your waste so the next person using the toilet doesn't need to see it Trap gases immediately above the waste so that ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 2,844
5 votes
Accepted

What isn't recyclable or compostable?

The big challenge for recycling is composite materials. Say a "juice box" tetra pak which is cardboard lined with foil. The foil prevents it from going in the "cardboard and paper" stream and the ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
  • 1,955
5 votes
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Impact of ash from barbecue on compost heap

The problem with store-bought BBQ fuel is that they often add binders, accelerants and other things to the basic fuel in order to make it easier to manufacture/shape/pack/light/burn. Whilst the vast ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 2,844
5 votes

Is it safe to compost a pumpkin that has paint on it?

@LazyReader's answer gives some good advice about the types of paint that can and shouldn't be composted, but you could still try a couple of things if you're unsure what type of paint was used before ...
Robotnik's user avatar
  • 1,317
4 votes
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About the hygiene of my organic trash can/rubbish bin

Our system works differently (we're responsible for an outside container as well as the indoor one) but I clean it as little as possible. The inside one can be lined (unusually, we can use plastic ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 2,126
4 votes

Can I compost vegetable oil?

You can also consider using vegetable oil as fuel for diesel vehicles modified for such purposes. There may be a site for people running on vegetable oil in your area, and you could donate your extra ...
Jennifer Rae Pierce's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Worm Bin Health

The variously sized worms lower in your bin are a good sign. Apparently they are still procreating, so there doesn't seem to be an immediate danger of extinction. You mentioned that the bottom of your ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes
Accepted

Can I recycle waxy cardboard (in Greater Vancouver)?

The City of Vancouver’s Waste Wizard says put them in the green bin. They also have a hotline you can call. Why wait for an answer here?
Rina's user avatar
  • 56
4 votes

Which is best for dealing with food waste -- composting or a biogas digester?

Probably best to use an anaerobic digester first. Carbon dioxide release occurs when compounds containing carbon are oxidised. In conventional aerobic decomposition, this process is relatively direct ...
George of all trades's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

How do I revive an old compost pile?

Dig around in the compost to check the conditions and if the contents are ready to be used. Good compost looks like regular soil and has a light earthy smell. It should not smell badly or be very wet. ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes
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Are single-use PurPod coffee pods from Ethical Bean made with PLA?

The picture says 'made from coffee chaff & plant-based material', so there is something else in the pod besides just coffee chaff. After some digging I finally found this blog where it says that: ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes
Accepted

Throwing away compostable packaging

How to dispose of things depends on your local waste processing facility and what kind of waste streams they can handle, so it's always best to ask them. There are a few general guidelines though. If ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes

Is cheese wax compostable?

Babybel wax is made of a blend of paraffin and microcrystalline waxes and colouring. This paper seems to say that paraffin waxes are biodegradable, but I only have access to the abstract: The wax ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 348
4 votes

Can a compact compost heat recovery system reduce the usage of fossil fuels on household heating?

Reduce yes. Reduce markedly, no, unless you live in a passive house. A normal human eats about 12 megajoules per day. If waste food is at such a high level as 3 megajoules per day (most people on this ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 5,099
3 votes
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When is a compost considered safe if it contains restricted animal material?

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture provides a guide to composting animal mortalities which suggests that a compost pile is safe when the internal temperature is recorded above 130ºF or 55ºC for ...
Nic's user avatar
  • 2,899
3 votes

In terms of usefulness for compost, what are good alternatives to keeping chickens?

Quail Though I haven't kept them myself, I remember reading that quail tend to be much quieter than chickens (especially when compared with roosters!), require a smaller area to live and are well ...
Highly Irregular's user avatar
3 votes

What's the most sustainable way to re-use or dispose of meat scraps?

Get a pig. Or some chickens. You still need to follow some hygiene rules before feeding them meat scraps, check your local agri/health advisory office.
RedSonja's user avatar
  • 425

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