Function of a site’s popularity. 500 to 2200 visitors per season. Beginning of June through the end of September.
1500/hr. Site’s are from 3-8 miles in the backcountry. 1 Wilderness site. 3 mile pack.
Plus other PPE
Hawk Metheny - Batch-bin composting systems on the Appalachian Trail
Batch-Bin Composting Systems
on the Appalachian Trail
Exit Strategies Conference
July 30, 2010
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Appalachian Mountain Club
The Appalachian Trail
• 2,179 miles long through 14 states
• Designated a National Scenic Trail by the 1968 National
Scenic Trails Act. A unit of the National Park System.
• Foot travel only
• ~2 million visitors per year
• Maintained by the Cooperative Management System .
Federal and state agencies/non-profit/volunteers
• 30 Trail Clubs
• ~270 designated overnight sites—each with a toilet!
History of Composting on the A.T.
• Batch-Bin composting systems were developed by AMC on the A.T.
in the White Mountains in the mid-1970’s in response to a sharp
increase in visitation at remote backcountry campsites. Previous
waste management systems were pit toilets, Clivus, Soltran, or
airlifting out of waste.
• Earlier systems collected both urine and feces in the same container
—required significantly more bark mulch to absorb liquids and
properly compost sewage.
• “Beyond-The-Bin (B-T-B) system developed in 1995 with 2
prototypes. Liquid separation is fundamental benefit. Full upgrade
by 1998 to 12 systems.
Pros and Cons
+ Highly effective pathogen
mortality-- over >99.99%
+ Inert, soil-like end product
+ Inoffensive outhouse odor
+Suitable for high use areas
capable of processing
substantial volume in one
+Visitor education and
+ Relatively low tech
- External mixing agent required
- Dedicated personnel
- Moderate amount of infrastructure
- Moderate initial upfront cost
Backcountry Sanitation Manual