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#126828 - 03/09/08 03:43 AM Kitty litter for sanitation
CDVXF7 Offline

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 45
I've been reading Cody Lundin's When All Hell Breaks loose. While reading chapter 15 on sanitation it occurred to me I could use a 5 gal bucket half full of kitty litter. I don't know why I didn't think of it before. Many of us have no problem letting the cat use one indoors and many people obviously tolerate not cleaning them for days.(I hate cats and had to live with them several times in my life). I seems to me it would be easier to handle and store a trash bag full of clumped litter than liquid filled trash bags. As far as storing the litter for future use, it comes in buckets that should resist moisture better than the paper bags.

I live in a town home HOA type complex where there is limited soil for digging latrines. I'm considering planning for sanitation for 1 week. Longer than that I might have to consider bugging out or really organizing the neighbors to keep our complex from getting going back to the dark ages.

The wife approved an experiment. Maybe I'll try using kitty litter only for a few days? What say you?

#126829 - 03/09/08 03:50 AM Re: Kitty litter for sanitation [Re: CDVXF7]
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
It works fine. Leave No Trace type bombs away kits use kitty litter to absorb moisture.

#126834 - 03/09/08 12:21 PM Re: Kitty litter for sanitation [Re: AyersTG]
Nishnabotna Offline
Icon of Sin

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 512
Loc: Nebraska
Don't forget the old sawdust toilet as a latrine alternative.

#126837 - 03/09/08 01:05 PM Re: Kitty litter for sanitation [Re: CDVXF7]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Yup, works fine. I would suggest that you line a five gallon bucket with a heavy trash bag, then put the litter in. Keeps the bucket cleaner when you start running low on litter.

If you have access to a router and want your wife to really appreciate you, buy a cheap toilet seat, center it on the top of the bucket, use a pencil to mark the shape of the bucket, then use a router bit to make a groove the size of the top of the bucket in the underside of the toilet seat. That way it will sit on the bucket without sliding...

#126839 - 03/09/08 01:57 PM Re: Kitty litter for sanitation [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Mike_in_NKY Offline

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 121
Loc: KY

Thats a great idea! Too bad I already spent $20 for a toilet seat that snaps on to a 5 gal pail. I like your idea better.

I know what would happen to me if DW slid off the bucket!!

#126843 - 03/09/08 02:39 PM Re: Kitty litter for sanitation [Re: Mike_in_NKY]
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Heh - OK; here are some additional bits:

1. I line the pail with several plastic kitchen bags. Easy to remove 1 (or 2) with contents. Additional bags go in the green box.

2. "Green box" - Buckets can be tippy to some folks. I made a plywood box with hinged lid. The inside bottom is routed (easier to use 3 - 4 cleats) for the bucket to position it exactly. Inside height is such that the hinged lid is almost a crush fit on the bucket lip. The lid has a cut out (smooth edges) the same shape as the attached toilet seat (with lid), but a little larger, and smoothly radiused edges. Mentally draw a square with a circle inside it - notice the voids in the corners? Supplies go there - bagged up spare TP, additional garbage bags, sanitizer (bleach), nitrile gloves, etc. Box was primed with oil-based primer and painted with exterior gloss acrylic enamel for durability, ease of sanitizing, and aesthetics (I like green; brown may be more appropriate thematically <grin>). This box has served very well in many different settings...

3. One improvement I would make today is to use an approved privy-type seat and lid. These close up so as to prevent airborne insects from becoming vectors and arguably may reduce odors.

4. For base camps (which could apply to LTS-in-place), we have occasionally used a "bottomless bucket" - sort of a low impact modern version of a slit trench. Completely remove the bottom of a 5 - 6 gallon plastic bucket - sand or rasp to leave no lip on the bottom. Toilet seat optional (or not - YMMV). To set up, dig a shallow hole a little smaller in diameter than the bucket or about the same. Reserve the spoil. Place bucket over the hole. When the hole is "used" enough, remove the bucket and backfill hole with the reserved spoil, then relocate the bucket to another hole and so on. With thought and a minimal amount of effort this can be pretty low impact environmentally. It's inevitable that stuff spatters on the inside of the pail, so there will be an occasional clean-up required in long-term use.

5. I probably don't need to mention this, but - no pointers; setters only. All boys and some men need to have that reinforced. Tell the guys to either water a bush or sit for ALL business. With boys, it's easier to get them to pee outside. It can really irritate folks to discover yellow water sprinkled on and around the green box...

Bombs Away.


#126851 - 03/09/08 03:56 PM Re: Kitty litter for sanitation [Re: AyersTG]
kd7fqd Offline

Registered: 08/07/05
Posts: 359
Loc: Saratoga Springs,Utah,USA
Or if needed buy a portable camp toilet (my DW loves this thing)
just my .02

EDC: Samsung Galaxy Note 2,DR PSK, Swiss Army Champ, Leatherman Blast
My Blog emergencybobs.wordpress.com

#126863 - 03/09/08 08:44 PM Re: Kitty litter for sanitation [Re: kd7fqd]
LED Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Foam pipe insulation around the rim might work as an improvised bucket seat. Or maybe those similarly shaped pool floaters?

#126865 - 03/09/08 09:09 PM Re: Kitty litter for sanitation [Re: LED]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
In my opinion the main source of smell from human wastes comes from urine. Segregating the urine greatly reduces the volume of waste and makes everything easier to handle.

The urine can be held in a sealed container and applied to the garden or fields. Don't get it on the plant directly and either dilute it or apply after a rain to prevent burning. Urine is also a source of nitrates and ammonia for those who want to go the whole self-sufficiency route.

Excluding the vast majority of urine makes the need for an absorption medium much less important. Sawdust, kitty litter, shredded newspaper will all work but one of the keys to success is to make sure that the materials don't mat. You need air to flow over and through the pile. If it does the existing bacteria will process the waste in a manner that, in the end, it does not smell bad. You end up with compost that smells like fresh earth. Ventilation may be as simple as extending a pipe up. The bacteria produce a fair amount of heat and this causes the air that has gone through the pile to rise. With intake air volume controlled and exhaust air exiting well above where people are the smell is usually quite acceptable.

Of course the natural tendency is to seal these wastes into closed containers. The feeling is these sorts of materials are best kept contained and as far away and as inaccessible as possible. Problem is that when sealed away and deprived of oxygen the bacteria produce the sorts of chemical byproducts that are associated with the worse florid funk that sewage can produce. The sorts of mind-bending pong that cause grown men to flee.

The lesson is that if you let your crap breath your crap will let you breath. Fair enough trade in my book.

#126880 - 03/10/08 01:04 AM Re: Kitty litter for sanitation [Re: AyersTG]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
I like your green box idea. Leave it to you to improve on just about anything. I am sooo glad you are back!!!

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