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Old 11-21-2005, 10:48 AM   #1
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I recently bought the Mother Earth News Third Year 1990-2000 CD. In it was a short article (1991 Issue #127, Last Laugh column, "It's Not for Everyone... A strange farewell to Roto-Rooter by Christopher Nyerges ) on some folks who, due to trouble with their sewer line's ability to handle "exorbitant amounts of toilet paper," started putting all paper in a hamper instead of down the toilet (the contents were buried periodically). They eventually started "experimenting" with the hamper and ended up adding a layer of soil to the bottom and a few earthworms. The worms bred profusely and there was never any "outhouse odor" from the hamper (the hamper smelled earthy, like rich soil). They didn't dump the hamper for 4 years. When they finally did, they first stopped adding toilet paper to the bin a month earlier and covered the top with a layer of soil. When the hamper was dumped , the odor was fresh and claylike. At the very bottom of the hamper was a dense layer of material that was devoid of worms or life. But the rest was like rich potting soil. There was no sign of toilet paper anywhere. I would think that if you full-timed, you could simply set up another bin to use while you wait for the last addition to the bin to finish composting.

In another book that I was reading, I found directions on how to set up a Worm Composting Bin , as opposed to buying one from a garden center. This way you can make it fit in your available area. You will need about 1 square foot of surface area in the worm bin per person.

Get a lidded plastic bin that measures about 1 1/2ft X 2ft and at least 8 inches high. Drill 12 (1/2") holes in the bottom of the bin, about 4 or 5 inches apart. You will need to set the bin on a tray (use scrap wood spacers) or stacked inside another bin, just make sure there is air space between the bottom of the bin and the tray. Place a piece of fiberglass window screening over the bottom of the bin and fill the bin halfway with moistened bedding (chopped leaves or newspaper strips). Release about 2 pounds of red worms on top of the bedding. These are the kind of worms that you buy for fishing. They are better suited for life in a bin than ordinary earthworms. Keep the bin in a dry place (indoors in cold regions and the hot Deep South or in a protected spot outdoors in moderate climates). Along with the soiled toilet paper (and other non-glossy paper/light cardboard), you can feed your worms leaves, grass clippings, uncooked fruit & vegetable wastes, grains (leftover rice, stale cereal, pasta, old bread), tea bags, coffee filters, coffee grounds, etc. Feed them a couple of pounds of food a week. Leave the lid of the bin slightly open for ventilation (or perhaps a couple of small holes drilled in the lid will suffice). Open the lid farther if the contents get soggy. DO NOT ADD: eggshells, fats, oils, meat scraps, dairy products, manures from dogs & cats (although manures from plant-eating pets is okay) or manures from any pet that was recently wormed.

The worms make what is called vermicompost. It's a highly concentrated, excellent soil amendment made up of compost and worm castings. This can be used on gardens (I wouldn˜t if I was composting toilet paper), houseplants or lawns. When the stuff in the bin looks like soil, then it's ready to be used on plants. Worms are sensitive to vibration so do not place the bin in front of a stereo speaker or near a major appliance. I'm not sure how they will take to traveling. I do find the idea interesting and worth a try. The amount of kitchen and paper waste we could keep out of the landfills is considerable.
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Old 11-21-2005, 10:48 AM   #2
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I recently bought the Mother Earth News Third Year 1990-2000 CD. In it was a short article (1991 Issue #127, Last Laugh column, "It's Not for Everyone... A strange farewell to Roto-Rooter by Christopher Nyerges ) on some folks who, due to trouble with their sewer line's ability to handle "exorbitant amounts of toilet paper," started putting all paper in a hamper instead of down the toilet (the contents were buried periodically). They eventually started "experimenting" with the hamper and ended up adding a layer of soil to the bottom and a few earthworms. The worms bred profusely and there was never any "outhouse odor" from the hamper (the hamper smelled earthy, like rich soil). They didn't dump the hamper for 4 years. When they finally did, they first stopped adding toilet paper to the bin a month earlier and covered the top with a layer of soil. When the hamper was dumped , the odor was fresh and claylike. At the very bottom of the hamper was a dense layer of material that was devoid of worms or life. But the rest was like rich potting soil. There was no sign of toilet paper anywhere. I would think that if you full-timed, you could simply set up another bin to use while you wait for the last addition to the bin to finish composting.

In another book that I was reading, I found directions on how to set up a Worm Composting Bin , as opposed to buying one from a garden center. This way you can make it fit in your available area. You will need about 1 square foot of surface area in the worm bin per person.

Get a lidded plastic bin that measures about 1 1/2ft X 2ft and at least 8 inches high. Drill 12 (1/2") holes in the bottom of the bin, about 4 or 5 inches apart. You will need to set the bin on a tray (use scrap wood spacers) or stacked inside another bin, just make sure there is air space between the bottom of the bin and the tray. Place a piece of fiberglass window screening over the bottom of the bin and fill the bin halfway with moistened bedding (chopped leaves or newspaper strips). Release about 2 pounds of red worms on top of the bedding. These are the kind of worms that you buy for fishing. They are better suited for life in a bin than ordinary earthworms. Keep the bin in a dry place (indoors in cold regions and the hot Deep South or in a protected spot outdoors in moderate climates). Along with the soiled toilet paper (and other non-glossy paper/light cardboard), you can feed your worms leaves, grass clippings, uncooked fruit & vegetable wastes, grains (leftover rice, stale cereal, pasta, old bread), tea bags, coffee filters, coffee grounds, etc. Feed them a couple of pounds of food a week. Leave the lid of the bin slightly open for ventilation (or perhaps a couple of small holes drilled in the lid will suffice). Open the lid farther if the contents get soggy. DO NOT ADD: eggshells, fats, oils, meat scraps, dairy products, manures from dogs & cats (although manures from plant-eating pets is okay) or manures from any pet that was recently wormed.

The worms make what is called vermicompost. It's a highly concentrated, excellent soil amendment made up of compost and worm castings. This can be used on gardens (I wouldn˜t if I was composting toilet paper), houseplants or lawns. When the stuff in the bin looks like soil, then it's ready to be used on plants. Worms are sensitive to vibration so do not place the bin in front of a stereo speaker or near a major appliance. I'm not sure how they will take to traveling. I do find the idea interesting and worth a try. The amount of kitchen and paper waste we could keep out of the landfills is considerable.
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Old 11-21-2005, 11:17 AM   #3
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And if I need some of those worms for fishing, do I need to dig in with gloves on or off?

I'll also bet that in going across the border the custom inspectors would have a ball with this one.

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Old 11-21-2005, 12:02 PM   #4
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You might get a few looks when dumping at the dump station, too.
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Old 11-21-2005, 02:54 PM   #5
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It is difficult for me to imagine "saving" used toilet paper.

Also, I do not envy the lucky worms. But then, I guess they do not complain.
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Old 11-21-2005, 03:20 PM   #6
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I'm all for protecting the environment, but that's a little farther than I'm willing to go.

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Old 11-21-2005, 03:24 PM   #7
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Geez I'm trying to eat supper here! I have enough to do recycling dog poop. Scotty.
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Old 11-21-2005, 03:43 PM   #8
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Lorna,, let us know how this experiment works out for you..Also please let us know where your camping so we don't park next to you..Also tell those people to Get A life,, quite playing with Poop papers...
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Old 11-21-2005, 05:02 PM   #9
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Great news, it must be April 1st and I missed winter.
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Old 11-22-2005, 01:23 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">there was never any "outhouse odor" </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Unless you cover the "used" paper every time with dirt, I'm not sure this could be true.
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Old 11-22-2005, 04:17 AM   #11
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Well, although I wouldn't go to those extremes unless necessary, let's not freak out here. Haven't you ever used an outhouse? Porta-potty? Composting your toilet paper sounds better than those two alternatives. I know I have been to poorer countries where the plumbing was marginal and all toilet paper went into a can. No smell as long as you dispose of it on a regular basis, probably daily. I imagine you would burn it.
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Old 11-22-2005, 05:16 AM   #12
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Normal Scot toilet paper dissolves very completely in a RV holding tank and in a home septic system. The worst thing for a septic system is lint from the clothes washer. We installed a seperate drain field at our house for the washing machine and no longer have to have the main septic tank pumped out. Before when we had it pumped it was always clogged with lint from the washer, it never had a paper problem.
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Old 11-22-2005, 07:18 AM   #13
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I posted this info for the folks who DON'T put their TP in their Black tank. I for one do not "save" my TP but I have read that some folks on this board, as well as other boards, refuse to flush TP. I think that this method woiuld be a bit more sanitary than the toss it in the dumpster (I have seen way too many garbage bags critters have ripped open). While I would like to try the worm bin method of getting rid of some of our organic garbage (veggie refuse, all those cheapie paper plates and paper towels & napkins), I wouldn't do the TP. We flush our TP (usually Cottonelle).

In the future, I think that I will refrain from posting what I think is helpful info. Too much sniping going on here lately. Must be the colder weather, but the time has come to sit back and just read.
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:21 AM   #14
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Hey Lorna, I thought it was very interesting information. Don't stop posting because of a few.
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