A quick run-down on keeping your honey bucket clean and user friendly, as well as some helpful tips to improve your overall experience. Follow this link for suggestions for what to put in your “emergency honey bucket”
Make sure the honey bucket is dumped if and when it gets to be full or is excessively stinky; This is usually about once a day for bigger groups, and likely only once a week for smaller groups. A good rule of thumb is once per week per person per five-gallons. Of course that’s going to vary wildly depending on the person, and their diet. If the bucket has a liner (which it probably should for occasional usage), then emptying it is a whole lot more hygienic in areas little to no water access for cleaning the collection chamber (bucket) than without a liner, as the bag could be sealed with a knot and the bucket would remain fairly clean. A quick spritz of sanitizer and a wipe out and you’re good to go.
To cut down on nasty odors and prevent spreading of disease, you can cover the material in the bucket with something to keep it fairly dry, such as quick lime, wood ash or fine sawdust. Maybe even shredded papers from your day job for a little self satisfaction.
When the time comes to dump the honey bucket, you can cover it with a lid and store away until the collected waste can either be disposed of by burying it or treating it for safe reuse in a composting system
To help make sure your honey bucket is comfortable enough to use, and hold the bag in place – you can set an old toilet seat on top – or failing that you can get a pool noodle at the dollar store, and cut a slit in one side of it, and affix it to the lip of the honey bucket. This is a cheap and easy way to make a comfy seat for your makeshift toilet.
An open bucket where the waste isn’t covered by something doesn’t offer much protection to you though. Pathogens in the feces can pose potential a significant health risk. Flies are able to get at the contents unless you keep it tightly covered. There is also potentially horrifying risk that the bucket could tip over and nobody wants that to happen; a better (but semi-permanent) system puts the honey bucket inside a fixture that’s very heavy, or affixed to the floor. Unhygienic emptying and disposal practices make it much easier for bacteria to spread. For these health and general enjoyment reasons we highly recommend you keep a lid for your honey bucket.
If you’re planning on using a honey bucket for a longer period of time, we suggest switching to a two bucket system. One for liquids, the other one for solids and used toilet paper. Keep some dry material nearby that can consist of sawdust, dry leaves, dirt, or the aforementioned office shreddings. The bottom of the “pee pail” should be covered with water and emptied every day. The content is then poured onto a disused green space after diluting the urine with water. The bottom of the “poo pail” should have a layer of your dry material, and after every use, a handful of dry material should be sprinkled on top to cover the waste and keep it as dry as possible. Once the poo bucket is full, it should be emptied into a hole in the ground. Since we’re dealing with potentially infectious materials here – please exercise caution when dealing with feces.