VERMICOMPOSTING HUMAN SOLID WASTE
In our line of work you get a lot of poo questions, after all, we sell the stuff. A subject that’s been popping out more and more is “Can I vermicompost my poo?” In short the answer is Yes.
Composting toilets have been around for years the first commercial models were available in Canada in the 80’s. Anyone who’s used an outhouse has added their “unique touch” to the composting process since time and memorial. The difference being that most people just move the outhouse every 10 years and quietly abandon that part of the property back to the woods. No matter how you use it composting produces soil.
To vermicompost Human solid waste the most important step is keeping it solid. Too much urine will kill the worms, a little bit is fine but drainage is very important in any design for a system. As with all composting, options and methods are as varied as the people who come up with them. The most basic practice is the tried and true poo in a pail plan. There is no reason you can’t add this perfectly good worm food to your indoor or outdoor bins. But…and it’s a big one, is it safe?
As usual scientific studies on this topic are difficult to find, unless you wade through large-scale solid waste management plans more suited to towns or big building projects. For the individual household personal experience and common sense will be your guide. One study from India showed a 60% reduction in pathogens such as E-coli and Salmonella after being vermicomposted. Common sense kicks in here when you see that if you are not sick your compost will not pass sickness on. To be sure you can leave the compost outside to freeze or dry out for up to a year. If your really paranoid, don’t use it to grow food stocks in.
Our Vermicomposting facility is located on land shared by the wonderful people at Northern Sun Farm Co-op who have been vermicomposting Human waste for over 20 years, no one has ever gotten ill from any food grown in this soil. That said we are not trying to make light of a serious question for many people, not to mention the “yuck” factor, we can understand this may be for everyone.
If you’d like more info on this or want to try for yourself, please contact us through our contact page or on Facebook.