Friday, December 23, 2005


at the more than annual meeting it was decided by consensus that we will install a flush toilet in the kitchen. concerns about maintenance, smell, and what i would call the "icky factor" overrode the savings. because destiny's wastewater is processed on-site and the water is not treated, merely pumped from below or perhaps collected from above, the ecological impact of flush on the land is less severe than, for instance, a suburban house. furthermore, the wastewater treatment system we're installing outputs much cleaner water than a traditional septic system or mound.

it was also agreed the privys will be composting toilets. i have received a note from the state's residuals waste department that says destiny will have to apply for a solid waste management permit in order to dispose of the composting toilet compost on-site. it remains to be seen how much of an ordeal this will be or how much it will cost. the note also says the state is considering changing the rules (doesn't say how).

i'm going to do my part to encourage them to make onsite management a viable option, especially for places like destiny, which do have the potential and manpower to thoughtfully and carefully manage humanure. the current regulations do little to distinquish compost from sewage, though the two could not be more different. consumers in the united states pour a frightening volume of toxic chemicals down drains each day. you simply can't do this to a compost stream if you want it to work. the state forbids using humanure to grow food, but what could be a better incentive not to despoil one's waste stream than knowing you will be eating it some day? the nature of compost demands responsibility and consciousness. sewers encourage the opposite behavior because once down the drain or flushed waste is out of sight and mind. it encourages the belief that an expert down the line will know how to deal with the paint you just washed from your brush, or the cup of bleach you whited your whites with. most of this kind of thing isn't processed at all, simply passed downstream. though destiny is going to have a flush toilet, we will need to discourage using our drains and toilets as most americans are accustomed—as a universal trash stream.


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