Humanure

If we recycle our own waste products, fertilizer production would automatically keep up with population growth.

Now if you think about it, that actually does make sense.

More on the potential for a revolution in the sewerage system in the ever fascinating ‘low-tech’ magazine. I might add, by the way, that if you dont read it regularly, you are missing out.

And for the record no, please dont go pooing in your compost heap, its not big, its not clever, and it might just kill you, or get you arrested – or perhaps both, which would be most awkward.

Now if you think about it, that actually does make sense.

More on the potential for a revolution in the sewerage system from the ever fascinating ‘low-tech’ magazine.  And no, please dont go pooing in your compost heap, its not big, its not clever, and it might just kill you.

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12 thoughts on “Humanure

  1. I regularly make a contribution to our compost and now my 3 year old daughter has started insisting I hold her over the compost bin when she needs a pee! This is only going to get trickier?

    Hair and nails usually make it in there too and if you have natural fibre carpets or wood floors then your hoover bag full dead skin can be tomorrow’s brassicas or pea.

    Any thoughts on poo, though?

    1. Well my philosophy is all contributions welcome, as long as they are not human droppings 🙂 Urine of course is fantastic for compost, although I did hear that male urine is much more useful than female urine – dont know why though!

  2. In some of my more lucid moments, I worked on an industrial sewage sludge composting site. It certainly can produce nice healthy, but I’d hesitate to encourage people to do it without certain safeguards. Of particular worry are contracting lymes disease, various bacteria infestations including E.coli 0157 (although in properly managed compost heaps these should be killed off) and highly levels of aerosol bacteria which gives you diseases like ‘farmer’s lung’. That said, it can be done on a much smaller scale than a sewage works and the evidence suggests it is as good at treating the harmful microbes.

    1. Joe, you win the prize for most excellent nerd knowledge! And for re-educating me, as I had wrongly thought (from back when I used to listen to the Archers) that farmer’s lung was fictitious – now I know better.

  3. Maybe low tech magazine needs to think a little more about this one. Firstly we do recycle human poo as fertiliser it is referred to euphamistically as “bio solids”(I believe) and can be found in large grey heaps on farms all around these isles. Secondly there is an almighty assumption in their arguement that the nutrtion contained in the poo is the same amount as the nutrition required to make the plants which make the food which make the poo. This simply can’t be true as the whole point of poo is that it has been stripped of some, most or all of its nutrients for use in the body, where it effectively becomes locked up. Therefore the poo must have fewer nutrients than the original food plants and can not replace the nutrients taken from the soil by those plants especially if you factor in loss of the poo nutrients to run off, weeds etc. Sorry but I reckon PNK is the only answer, maybe I should set up a blog and explain why I th.

    1. Well said Matthew – though I’m not sure it is correct to say that biosolids are used widely – there are some fairly strict rules about its use in agriculture.

      I agree that it cannot be true to suggest that we could grow enough food just using sewage sludge. As you say, that cannot logically be true.

  4. I’ve been blogging since 2007 – written about dozens of subjects, and yet all anyone wants to read is a measely post about poo.

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