Urban waste disposal

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Duxman
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Urban waste disposal

Post by Duxman » Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:44 pm

Aside from the Zeds and the Raiders, disease and waste is the probably the next biggest killer out there in a PAW.

I understand that in a Rural situation - there are outhouses, and lots of places to dig latrines and stuff.

But what if you are in a townhouse complex in Suburbia (or an apartment complex for example) where there is little or no earth to dig.

What would you do with all your waste products (crap, dog crap, garbage - that is unrecyclable etc.)?

Do we revert back to London during the middle ages where we throw the trash into the streets?

Is there a creative solution?

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Post by phoenixmastm » Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:55 pm

Take it about 10 miles away and burn it. Less air pollution around you guys, plus the air is cleaned by plants and such, so it will most likely not be around long. The only problem is that the ashes will have to be buried, and not near fresh water supplies.
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Post by Duxman » Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:04 pm

What if walking 10 miles away is not an option -

I.e. streets are not safe - from Zeds, Raiders etc.

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Post by pict » Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:33 pm

Ten miles is quite a distance to walk, carrying a bucket o'poo and a sack of trash. The calorie expenditure would make this a wasteful (I couldn't help myself :D ) activity. I just don't see it happening. By the time people decide it must be done, the task will be overwhelming. Then it will just be left to rot.

Prepare yourself, for the filth. Walk in the middle of the road. You'll avoid the trash piles (and won't have to jump as far, every time some one yells "chamber pot"). Pomanders containing fruit rinds, will help mask the smell.

Humans a basically lazy, or energy effiecient if you prefer. Even if you make the effort, your neighbors probably won't.

In iron age villages, trash was disposed of in midden pits. A hole was dug in some communal area, and when it was nearly full a fresh one was dug. These pits are a great source of information, regarding the lifestyles of our ancestors.

London was a giant garbage bin. Human waste and trash piled along the streets. This will probably be the order of the day, in the PAW. Another good reason to bug out, if there is any substantial population. Disease will be rampant.
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Post by Vindex » Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:08 pm

Ever go down to the local pond to catch frogs and tadpoles when you were a kid? I bet you noticed occasional bubbles coming up from the muddy bottom.

Those bubbles are methane.

In India, they are experimenting with ponds of human waste as a source of methane for cooking fuel.

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Re: Urban waste disposal

Post by Brash » Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:11 pm

Duxman wrote: Do we revert back to London during the middle ages where we throw the trash into the streets?
You haven't been to London recently have you? Nothing much has changed. :lol:
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Post by Jamesmundo » Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:21 pm

The current number one threat to heath in the world is lack of clean drinking water. This would be far more of a problem in the PAW, and proper treatment of sewage would be extremely important.

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Post by Grace » Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:23 pm

Apart from this being another good reason to get out of cities, the bits you can't recycle (and you can recycle quite a bit if you try hard enough and make a compost bucket), I think burning it in the nearest wide street is a good idea. Not too dangerous, and you're not using up much energy, especially if you're cooped up in your house/apartment/what have you.
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Re: Urban waste disposal

Post by KotaLu » Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:25 pm

Brash wrote:
Duxman wrote: Do we revert back to London during the middle ages where we throw the trash into the streets?
You haven't been to London recently have you? Nothing much has changed. :lol:
Too funny... unless you are not kidding... then EEEWWWW!!! :D
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Post by Ben » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:22 pm

I can post on how to make a biodigester. That way you can collect methane from your poop for cooking and such.
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Post by Duxman » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:27 pm

That would be excellent Ben. Go ahead and enlighten us.

Bugging out from this area because of traffic concerns is going to be a nightmare. Roads will instantly turn into gridlock.

My plan is to wait out the disaster by bugging in. Got a lot of supplies I wont be able to carry.

Hence the waste disposal needs.

Having a nearby "community dump" sounds like a good idea.

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Post by Ben » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:00 pm

Here are some plans.

This is his write up.

This is different then the ones I have worked with but mine required a couple of concrete culverts so this may be easier to construct without having 10 people and a back hoe. :wink:

To actually use it you put the waste product with water to make a slurry. Yes you are making poop soup. You then pour it into the digester. There will be a loop seal (much like a sink or toilet) so that oxygen does not get inside. You need it to be oxygen poor so that methane is formed. The sediment that forms at the bottom is really rich in nitrogen so you can use that as fertilizer. The methane is basically LP Gas so you could connect it to an oven or grill that uses gas. The methane will burn hotter though so there is some risk depending on the stove.

Presuming you cook everyday I don't know that you will poop enough for your gas needs but with a few animals you will have more than enough. It is scaleable for a growing community but it is best to build based on what you think you will need and then build another as you need instead of cramming it all in the same digester. As far as food waste, anything like beans will result in more gas. Imagine that.

I have worked with a group that builds these in Mexico and the author of the PDF design does so in PI. I don't know how well it works the further north you get. I don't see this working when the poop is frozen. I know there is something similar used on ranches but it is something you would need to build now while you can get equipment. The plus side it that will work in all weather.

If that seems like too much work or not worth it due to local climate there is always the option of composting toilet.
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Post by nivek » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:37 pm

A sanitary outhouse is a big step in the right direction for public hygiene.

Link to plans from the AT

My dad's family used one in town in Indiana in the 50's. They even overlapped it with indoor plumbing in case the whole toilet thing didn't work out.

The methane digesters are way cool, but at least dig an outhouse if you are going to be in the same area for a while without toilets.
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Post by Feuerlied » Sun Jan 21, 2007 1:02 am

I think as far as waste goes, you should dig a pit a mile away to throw waste into. But for the most part I don't think you really should have much waste. What are you going to have to throw away? Plastic bags from the supermarket? Plastic lining from ham? Twinkie wrappers? There really wouldn't be trash in the PAW.

But as far as human waste goes you should just use an outhouse. Dig a hole, poop into the hole, when there's too much poop in the hole then fill the hole up.
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Post by phoenixmastm » Sun Jan 21, 2007 1:59 am

again, i was only writting down wat i thought. I really have no real idea on how the heck we would dispose of waste once power and water was cut.

But i can tell u know, we wont be keeping it around.
Up onto the overturned keel
Clamber, with a heart of steel
Cold is the ocean spray
And your death is on it's way
With maidens you've had your way
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Post by DarkHorse » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:38 am

Crap in a trash bag lined 5 gallon bucket. Either bury the bag or launch full capped bucket into neighbors yard using a catapult or trebuchet. stocking up on old detergent buckets from costo works well.

I have a septic system, so I should be okay for a while before having to dig an outhouse.

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Post by Lone Gunman » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:40 am

Basic military-style (or well, survival style) latrines are pits in the ground which, after used, are burned and/or covered completely. They have to be easily contained when set on fire and you have to make sure you do this away from other people and of course well, zombies lol. Solid waste should be buried or burned but if you're not in a rush, it can easily decompose. Make sure the latrine is WELL AWAY from water sources and food. So I'd say you'd have to make it a good 50m or so away from your campsite, so always go in pairs guys lol.

I'd say that these things could easily be dug in soft ground and I'd recommend using latrines more than relying on abandoned toilets during the apocalypse. Why? Beacuse if the water supply is down, how would you flush? It becomes a HUGE sanitation problem and only asks for trouble (the foreign smell would attract ghouls and all jokes aside, whatever the situation, shit randomly scattered around houses and streets causes serious health risks!).

Basically what you want to do is dig latrines at the beginning of your bug-in site prepartions. Like constructing your shelters or barricading a building, all this should be finished (definitely the latrine and basic barricades) well before nightfall or at least just on time for the first night in. Latrines should be at least, in my opinion, deeper than one foot. I'd say you're looking more at digging one 2ft - 3ft deep depending on how many people you have. If you have a larger group, I'd recommend digging several latrines, or at least two, each about 2ft-3ft deep. Remember shit does decompose eventually so you could use them in your bug in situations. Although also keep in mind that during an apocalypse, privacy shouldn't matter as much. Girls should of course be given I guess more...privacy, but they shouldn't be as fussed I reckon.

That is the one thing humans have to worry about. Sanitation and excretion. I mean when you gotta go...you gotta go.
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Post by unclefat » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:30 am

For Biogas production, there is this project from the danish art & design group for the 3rd world countries.

it's called supergas.

http://superflex.net/tools/supergas/

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Post by Jamie » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:41 am

Compost the human waste and organic garbage on a rooftop or some such...

The Humanure Handbook can be found online here or downloaded as pdf files here

Once you take out all of the organics, there shouldn't be much garbage left in your PAW dump run, and what there is could be burned or chucked/stockpiled in a dead neighbor's apartment or garage :wink:

Composting all of the organics makes sense as you will be turning a problem into a product...useful fertilzer to help you grow some food...

nfa

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Post by Lone Gunman » Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:47 am

Nfa good idea man. Turning it into fertilizer makes sense if you are farming, though if you're moving about, it's probably not the best thing to keep around. Burying or burning it would be optimal, I'd recommend just burying it really. That's why temporary latrines have to be quite deep. Though definitely use it to some degree for farming. I dunno how effective human waste is but in general it should be just as good as any other crap really.
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Post by Jamie » Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:39 am

If you're on the move in the PAW, just cathole your poop more than 200 feet from open/running water, and burn/leave the rest as you go...no recycling centers for people on the move in the PAW... :wink:

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Post by quazi » Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:41 am

In my experience the smell of garbage and human waste doesn't extend all that far as long as it's outside. It only gets really bad when it piles up inside with no air circulation. I really don't think it needs to be taken that far away, depending on how many people are around. Obviously if your neighbors are alive they won't want you tossing your trash into their yard. Also, the excrement from a whole community my develope a much stronger smell than just a few people.

Obviously try to piss outside. In my opinion stale urine smells much worse than poop.

I'll try to look up what they do in the rural villages up north. They can't dig outhouses because of the permafrost, and they have to empty their honeypots somewhere.

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Post by Lone Gunman » Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:51 am

In my experience the smell of garbage and human waste doesn't extend all that far as long as it's outside. It only gets really bad when it piles up inside with no air circulation. I really don't think it needs to be taken that far away, depending on how many people are around. Obviously if your neighbors are alive they won't want you tossing your trash into their yard. Also, the excrement from a whole community my develope a much stronger smell than just a few people.

Obviously try to piss outside. In my opinion stale urine smells much worse than poop.

I'll try to look up what they do in the rural villages up north. They can't dig outhouses because of the permafrost, and they have to empty their honeypots somewhere.
Haha, can't dig an outhouse. Damn there must be SOME way...hey doesn't Kevin Costner ferment his urine and drink it in Waterworld lol?
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