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October 12th, 2011 MARTY SMITH | Dr. Know
 

Dr. Know: Extreme Curbside Composting

drknowILLUSTRATION: Hawk Krall
     
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To recoup the increased cost of curbside composting, could I use my green barrel as a toilet? All my human waste is 100 percent organic. I can even mount a toilet seat on top of the green can for ease of use. 

Craig D.


It’s always nice to encounter a visionary. You see, most of us crap, sheeplike, into our workaday toilet bowls with nary a thought that, if only we’d open our minds, this humdrum obligation could be a never-ending cavalcade of novelty. That’s why it’s so inspiring to see Craig here; his mind restlessly questing, probing and pushing the envelope of acceptable places to take a dump.
       That said, Craig, the short answer to your question is “no.” (The long answer is “no, you filthy, disgusting pervert.”) While you’re certainly within the bounds of reason to think that: A) We compost organic matter and B) there are few things more organic than a steaming loaf from the butthole bakery; in fact it’s not quite that simple.

For starters, your colon (especially yours, Craig) has a pretty radically different mix of microorganisms than those found in more traditional compost. Not only are these bacteria suboptimal for the composting process, some of them are disease agents that could still be active when the compost is otherwise ready to be used as fertilizer.

Incidentally, this is why your cat’s ass-grumpies are just as forbidden in the compost bin as yours are. You can compost cat litter, but it takes longer to become free of parasites (such as the notorious, if somewhat overhyped, toxoplasmosis) than commercial composters want to wait.

Given all this, I’m afraid that we’ll be putting our animals’ turds into the trash and dropping our own deuces into the crapper for the foreseeable future. As dull as that apparently sounds to certain people.

 
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