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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Summer 2017 > Compost fail, fire fear & slimy rocks

Compost fail, fire fear & slimy rocks

Cottage Q&A

THE NEIGHBOURS at my cottage have decided that it’s okay to shovel out their outhouse and pile it behind the structure. They call it “compost.” Is human crap of this order actually compost?


“Well, no,” says Melissa Ivey, a public health inspector with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit in Port Hope, Ont. “It’s sewage.”

Your neighbours are not entirely wrong. It’s possible to turn human waste into compost. (Composting toilets, hello.) But if they’re just piling the stuff straight on the ground, they’re composting the wrong way. This strategy isn’t safe for human health or environmental reasons. “What if it rains? The waste could run into the lake or contaminate the drinking water in a well,” says Ivey.

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About Cottage Life

Cottage Life’s Summer issue gets you ready to Jump in the Lake! We’ve got 21 ways for you to have fun on the water, featuring new gear, games, and expert tips for young and old, plus meet some cottagers who take their waterskiing to the next level—pyramids included! We also talked to the experts about how to choose the right dock for your cottage, and we found out what you can learn from this year’s floods (and how to protect your cabin for next time). Up your workshop game with easy, genius putterer’s hacks, and make a secret outdoor storage project. And, when the days get smokin’ hot, use our no-cook recipes to keep your cool. This issue has everything you need for a refreshing, inspired summer at the lake.