ameliat
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human urine - can you compost it?

I'm sure this has been asked/debated before, but can you put diluted human urine from a healthy/non med taking person in the compost pile? It should be a good source of N and I would think it wouldn't be any less safe than horse or chicken poo, but what do you guys think? Will it break down safely?

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Gary350
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Yes it works fine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRAaAkfirRU&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

toxcrusadr
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Lots of ways to go about it, from the bucket-o-sawdust in the bathroom to direct application (if you know what I mean). Doesn't have to be limited to the compost pile, under trees and bushes is just fine too.

It could make a huge difference in nutrient waste and water usage if more people did it.

You may want to have a look at peeoutside.org and also a book (and website) called the Humanure Handbook.
Tox

rot
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Not so sure about that website

..
peeoutside.org seems to have gone away.

Regarding the topic, I apply directly to the bin.
..

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rainbowgardener
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yup, good source of nitrogen and quite safe; very little pathogens in urine. Humanure is a different question and needs to be done with more care. I did have composting toilet at my previous house, but the composting toilet composted and then heated the humanure and then we composted it further outside, in a separate area from the regular compost pile.
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ameliat
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thank you all for your replies. I guess people are grossed out by it, but you would think more (some) sources would mention it. It seems a lot more practical for those of us in the 'burbs than putting a bucket in your car and trying to score some horse poo.......

toxcrusadr
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When it's dark out...

no one can see you fertilizing your shrubs, even in the suburban backyard.

Quick calculation: 300 million Americans times 2 gals per flush, times 5 flushes per day (that's conservative, I would think) is 3 billion gallons of water a day. Not only that but we use purified drinking water for this, superior to what most people on the planet can get just for drinking. It's a bit crazy.

So, I reapply directly to the soil whenever feasible and appropriate.
Tox

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Halfway
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I love all the yellow areas where the dog pee'd and killed the grass. I do pee directly on the compost pile, but I wouldn't suggest on plants. Too much nitrogen and SALT.
Zone 4a.

rot
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What's a little more?

..
I've got dogs peeing all over the place so what's a little more? I actually prefer to leak into the bin to put that nitrogen to work. I avoid that when I'm going to turn it in a couple of days. Then I just look for rodent works to pee on. Gotta mark my territory.

I hadn't considered the salt content though. I can't say I've seen much of an impact from the salt.

two cents
..

lily51
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Is this just a guy's idea for an excuse to pee outside? :)
(don't mean to be sexist, but really can't pciture a female coming up with this idea)

ameliat
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lily51 wrote:Is this just a guy's idea for an excuse to pee outside? :)
(don't mean to be sexist, but really can't pciture a female coming up with this idea)
well I am a female and have no intentions of peeing outside (I don't even allow my son that pleasure :D) My issue is, my grass is a mess and we treat it so I am not comfortable putting that in the compost and the books I read always seem to mention fresh manure as a good N source, but that isn't practical for me.

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rainbowgardener
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Well those of us without what my mother used to call "picnic attachments" (for ease of p'ing at a picnic I guess) probably aren't very likely to go out and p on our compost piles. :) But I have been known to p in a jar at times and take it out, either for the compost pile or for marking my territory to keep critters away.

Fresh manure of whatever variety isn't good for your garden, only for your compost pile. It would burn your garden if not mixed with carbon sources and composted, besides being smelly and yukky. And if you are talking about humanure, as I mentioned above with the composting toilet, you do need to be very careful with that, since there are a number of parasites and diseases that can be passed on that way.
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toxcrusadr
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Agreed that peeing directly on grass or plants can be a heavy shot of nitrogen. One thing about dogs, they tend to release whatever they're releasing in one little spot. Whereas an intelligent human (even a guy) can spread it out over several square feet. I haven't seen any burning in my fescue lawn doing it this way.

The nitrogen issue as well as salt is also very dependent on your soil type and climate. Sandy soil in a temperate (wet) climate is going to allow these to leach away rapidly. Clay soil or a dry climate, your mileage will vary.

I have clay soil, 30" of rain per year, and a lot of areas mulched with shredded yard waste (mostly wood chips) around trees, shrubs and perennial plants. I avoid the actual base of the plant, but any otherwise bare mulched area is fair game, and the problems we have with our plants (different thread!) are not at all related to nitrogen or salt.
Tox

2cents
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Let's just say I know a guy.....who often takes a leak in the garden.
Right off the deck into the veggies,,,,,stay away from root crops, and leafy greens.
Never noticed a difference in the plants as long as it isn't directly on young shoots(too hot>nitrogen I guess)

toxcrusadr
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Interesting tidbit from Wikipedia:
Urine typically contains 70% of the nitrogen and more than half the phosphorus and potassium found in urban waste water flows, while making up less than 1% of the overall volume.
So, it's potent stuff and keeping it out of the waste stream has an effect.

Urea content of urine is about 9 g/L, which translates to about 4 g nitrogen (as nitrogen) per liter.

Urine doesn't have much phosphorus - about a gram per 24 hr (which would be a couple liters). Nothing to sneeze at but the N content is the big thing.
Tox

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Well.

Being a female... I have never quite mastered the art of peeing standing up nor am I confident enough in my backyard fence to risk contributing directly to the compost pile.

However, I have a very open-minded husband and soon will have a young man in the house who, I am sure, will find it ridiculously fun to pee with dad into the compost pile.

Male bonding. Who knew it could be so easy? :wink:

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I have used my pee in the garden, via compost, for years. I keep a bucket full of chopped leaves in the greenhouse, or at this time of the year a bucket of chipped Christmas trees, and use it for a couple of weeks and then it goes into the compost pile. Personally, I think it's ridiculous to flush pee down the toilet and waste the natural fertilizer nature intended to be used where it was consumed. (P.S.-after more than forty years of marriage my wife still doesn't know why I'm able to stay outside for such long periods of time during the day without using the inside facilities. She thinks I have an extraordinary urinary bladder and, I think, it's best if we keep this a secret!)
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ameliat
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vermontkingdom wrote: (P.S.-after more than forty years of marriage my wife still doesn't know why I'm able to stay outside for such long periods of time during the day without using the inside facilities. She thinks I have an extraordinary urinary bladder and, I think, it's best if we keep this a secret!)
thanks for the morning laugh and congrats on 40yr of marriage!

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It was only relatively recently, after discussion with the hubby about how I'd appreciate it if he were to . . . hmm . . . contribute . . to the compost heap, that he opened up and admitted that he avails himself of the bushes around the north side of the house when he's working out in the garage. Mind you, this is not even behind a fence! Dense bushes, yes, but seriously? Not even a fence?

Such a guy thing!
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toxcrusadr
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Odd Duck wrote:Dense bushes, yes, but seriously? Not even a fence? Such a guy thing!
There's a reason you didn't already know he was doing that. Some of us are *very* good at it. :P
Tox

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PEE in the compost!

Thats funny because about 6 months ago I was thrown off a forum for 30 days for using the word Pee on a family forum which seemed to be something from the 1930's!! Its not even a four letter word. When you get horse sawdust or straw that is where the pee is absorbed and is the best thing for nitrogen in the garden. If mexico only used pee they would have fine crops but they run some of their sewerage into their gardens and have many problems! Pee is great in a compost but if you want something better get urea which is a white bb type pellot . Its great to scatter through the garden and stores nicely! The blood meal also has a nice amout of nitrogen! I guess blood meal and urea are considered organic! Sometimes organic is confusing because natural things like lime stone should be considered organic! Chicken manure is the hottest I guess because thee is alot of pee mixed in! Maybe a baby chicken is called a PEEPEE because of that! Ha! Ha!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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Just seems silly to waste it, ESPECIALLY when we are using potable water to help waste it... :roll:

HG
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toxcrusadr
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Agreed...it's almost as crazy-sounding as buying fertilizer for the lawn, strip mining it back off with the mower, bagging it up and paying someone to dispose of it.
Tox

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Ain't that the unadulterated truth of it, tox? :roll:
Scott Reil

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American's have way too much disposable income. :D
No where in the world do intelligent folks think of throwing away so many things of value. :cry:
Urine is an excellent addition to the compost pile ! :wink:

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Yes you can add urine to the compost, I collect urine from both my dad and myself in a bucket and apply it undiluted directly on my many compost piles, it is a very good source of nitrogen as well as most importantly for me a very good organic compost activator.
And it is a good organic fertiliser albeit very strong, I dilute it 1 part urine to 30 parts water.
It is also undiluted a very good organic herbicide , I also apply it on top of my compost to kill any unwonted plants that are growing on top of my compost pile.
Also my dad and I are both vegetarians which means no risk of exec pathogens for the compost to deal with.

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I am very new to these forums...

and let me say... this topic was a WONDERFUL way to get to know you all a little better!!!

such a delightful mix of humor and real, genuine knowledge...

thanks for exposing me to it!

Tom

toxcrusadr
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All right, there won't be any exposing around here! This is a public forum! Please step behind the bushes!
Tox

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You do have to admit the subject is rather humorous but none the less series.

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I keep a "pee" can in the garage, it's a large coffee can. We pee into it, fill it the rest of the way with water ( at least 1:10 ratio) and pour directly onto the heavy feeders. If I want to kill weeds, I pee direcly on them several times.

(We have no neighbors :-)

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very amusing thread ! Only on gardening forum right?
Not sure if i would have a separate bucket to pee in...the vistors might stop coming around ....hehehe but...
My parents live in the country and they have a bio-cycle which composts everything that comes outs of the house no.1s, no.2s and bathroom, laundry and kitchen waste etc. This then waters the fruit trees via a dripper system. (it gets a little chlorine added to kill some germs before this) Not safe to drink though.

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My toddler can't (won't) pee in the potty yet but he knows to pee on the pile when we go outside. I thought outside would make potty training easier and more fun but I'm afraid he isn't grasping the toilet concept.

Anyways, urine is a nice nitrogen boost to the pile espcially when you have too many browns. It also helps keep the pile from drying out on hot summer days.

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I was studying compost tea online several days ago, looking for new ingredients to spice up my old recipe. One site mentioned that a cup of urine is an excellent nitrogen source for compost tea. I thought about it, briefly, but I don't think I have the chutzpah to pee in a cup, carry the urine outdoors, and pour it in my tea :oops:
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Stella, you could cut out a few steps. Pee outdoors into the tea. :>
:lol:
Eric

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Hmm I have a question.. what about smell? I realize other fertilizers smell pretty bad, but human urine has a very distinctive smell, doesn't it? If you have a small compost heap in a confined area (small yard) wouldn't the smell be pretty bad?

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rainbowgardener
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Perhaps if you overdid it, like all the output of a family went in there, temporarily exceeding the pile's capacity to absorb it. But since I have been known occasionally to pee in a jar and take it to my compost pile (we of the female persuasion just really can't do the pee on the pile routine), I can say with confidence that a small amount of pee added to a working pile is instantly absorbed and quickly broken down and does not change the odor.

I don't know about the compost tea, not having experience with that. I would guess it would depend on the volume of tea relative to the volume of pee :)
(Vt: Vp >10 = OK ?).
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stella1751
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:Stella, you could cut out a few steps. Pee outdoors into the tea. :>
:lol:
Eric
Laughed out loud at this one, Eric, even though it makes perfect sense :lol:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

toxcrusadr
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Dark summer nights are good for this no matter your persuasion. And if you can't hit the pile, anywhere in the yard will get it back into the soil where it belongs rather than down the sewer. 8)
Tox

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Gary350
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hanikai wrote:Hmm I have a question.. what about smell? I realize other fertilizers smell pretty bad, but human urine has a very distinctive smell, doesn't it? If you have a small compost heap in a confined area (small yard) wouldn't the smell be pretty bad?
I keep several 5 gallon plastic buckets full of compost material in my work shop. I pee in the buckets there is no smell at all for about 2 days then it smells like ammonia. Same smell laundry ammonia. I keep a top on the buckets I don't want to loose any of the ammonia it supplies the nitrogen to the compost. Once the compost gets a little wet and a strong ammonia smell I start peeing in a different bucket. I stir the urine compost mix about once a week. In the summer when the temperature is pretty hot compost turns to a very dark almost black color in a month or so and it looks like potting soil. Is volume reduces by about 1/2 then I dump the buckets into a 30 gallon plastic trash can with a top. In the winter compost action is a little slower but it still works. An electric drill type paint mixer works good to stir the compost.

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Pee of people not on meds. What kind of meds would come out and do harm?
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