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How Composting Works

Composting is the natural process of decomposition that can be helped along by
providing the ideal conditions to help your composting toilet work at peak performance.
The ideal conditions for decomposition to occur depend on several factors: oxygen,
temperature, moisture content, and the carbon/nitrogen ratio.

Oxygen is very important in composting. Your compost should be aerated in order to
encourage aerobic bacteria growth. Aerobic bacteria are bacteria that grow and live in
the presence of oxygen and are very efficient in breaking down waste. To aerate the
compost and encourage the growth of these bacteria, the compost drum or container should be
turned three times per week (6 complete turns of the drum).

Temperature is another important consideration when composting. Optimal composting
temperatures range between 70-100 ° F (21-38 ° C). Decomposition will slow
significantly or stop completely if the compost becomes too cold (below 55 ° F or 13 °
C). If you are in an area that experiences temperatures below 55 °F (13 ° C) additional
heat is required if the composting toilet will be used continually or frequently. If used
for intermittent cottage application (3 - 4 weekends throughout the cold season) no
additional heat is required. The unit will function as a holding tank until the temperature
warms up.

Moisture is necessary to achieve good compost. Your compost should always be
damp, like your garden after you have watered it. This moisture allows the bacteria to
travel around in the compost so that they can speed decomposition by digesting the
waste. If the compost is too dry, the bacteria cannot survive and decomposition will
slow or cease. When adding water to the compost, you are aiming for damp compost,
not saturated. Too much liquid in the compost limits the amount of oxygen that aerobic
bacteria require to survive. If normal urination is not enough to maintain the correct
moisture level in the compost, we encourage you to add additional water to the drum.

Carbon/Nitrogen Ratio
Almost all organic material will compost. The proper bulking material and human waste
should be added to the composting toilet. In order to maintain a good balance between
carbon-rich materials (SUN-MAR Compost Sure Green) and nitrogen-rich human
waste only.

Off Grid And Green
Off Grid And Green


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