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Report, 1996

Hinder och möjligheter för källsortering av humanurin: intervjuundersökning bland lantbrukare, fastighetsförvaltare och boende i Ale kommun

Schmidtbauer, Pia


Seventy years ago, night soil from Göteborg, Sweden, was transported on barges up along the Göta River. Farmers in the surroundings of present Ale kommun used the night soil as a fertilizer. Now recirculation of plant nutrients from urban to rural areas is discussed again. This time the discussion is limited to recirculation of source separated human urine as a valuable fertilizer. Source separated human urine is an alternative to sewage treatment in sewage plants. In Sweden, a couple of pilot projects with human urine have already started, where house owners collect their urine, which is then used as a fertilizer by a farmer in the neighbourhood. Many local authorities are getting interested in this way of treating sewage. This study was made in Ale kommun, close to Göteborg, Sweden. Farmers, property managers and tenants were interviewed about their view of source separated human urine. The three groups interviewed were chosen because they represent the categories primarily involved in a future sewage system change. A qualitative method was used and the interviews were more like a conversation than strictly formal. Fourteen farmers, five property managers and ten tenants were interviewed. The farmers in Ale kommun in general have a positive attitude to using human urine in their production. They think that night soil from the urban areas must be returned to the fields in one way or another. They themselves would feel more satisfied by using human mine as a fertilizer than using the common manufactured fertilizers. The farmers have the knowledge about circulation of plant nutrients. But they are afraid of what unsuitable substances are poured into the toilets. An understanding between them and the tenants is required for a system with source separated human urine. The farmers' working situation, especially during spring, makes it hard for them to see how much of the manufactured fertilizers they would be able to replace by human urine. If it was made possible for them to hire labour, his would not be a problem. Nobody wants to drive into town and collect urine with their present equipment. Government regulations seem to be necessary. The fanners still believe that it would be easy to organize some separation of human urine, with one group responsible. Among the property managers there were both those who knew about the plant nutrition content in human urine and those who did not know about its worth at all. The most sceptical ones belonged to the smaller companies. The building sector seem to have gotten concerned about environmental questions only this year. A grass root-perspective is obvious, since they hardly want to act without interested tenants. The tenants think that source separated human urine would be more natural than the "rubbish" spread out on the fields today. They believe in recirculation. The usefulness of source separated human urine is not that obvious, though. It is not apparent for everyone why one talks about separating urine. There is a big need for knowledge about recirculation of plant nutrition


kretslopp; källsorterad humanurin; lantbruk; intervjuundersökning; lantbrukare; boende; fastighetsförvaltare

Published in

Teknisk rapport / Avdelningen för jordbearbetning, Institutionen för markvetenskap Uppsala, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
1996, number: 5
Publisher: Institutionen för markvetenskap, Avdelningen för jordbearbetning, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Agricultural Science

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