A “Waste” of Time in Kansas?

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Here we go again….These types of church-state clashes come up from time to time and I’m just not sure much is ever accomplished.  A little background first: the Amish presence in southeast Kansas is relatively new.  For years the Amish community near Hutchinson was really pretty much the only game in town in the Sunflower State in terms of Plain settlements. But that has changed significantly since the year 2000.  New Amish communities have been started in several other areas of the state, especially across the southeast where the agricultural climate is agreeable and there are large swaths of rural land.  When the Amish first started moving into Bourbon County in 2005 local officials kept a hands-off attitude.  But now non-Amish neighbors are beginning to make a stink over the methods (or lack of) for human waste disposal in their outhouses.  This group seems to be a more conservative community with no indoor plumbing, instead relying on “natural disposal” through the outhouses.  Locals are worried about germs.  It does sound as if local officials are trying to fashion a compromise.  Click here to read more.  They should have, however, enforced the rules when the Amish first moved in…sort of allowing them to become established and live a certain way for over five years and then change the rules is just a recipe for a problem.  What do you think?

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The Discussion

  1. Linda Bolt says:


    A good compromise would be if the Amish would use composting toilets. I first saw one of these in New Brunswick (Canada). It’s an outhouse, but you’d never know it, and it’s good for the environment. A little education would help out here, and that would be a good solution for all, I think.

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    • Linda,
      I so agree with you on both the composting outhouses and the education. I have more of a problem just with local government officials taking a “strong hand” approach instead of the far more gentle, educational route which would benefit everyone – Kevin
      Kevin recently posted..A “Waste” of Time in Kansas?My Profile

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  2. I am old enough to remember the time when everyone had outhouses and I’m positive there were plenty of germs then too. Why does the government have to stick there noises into things that don’t matter and the things that do matter they don’t do anything about? What about all the harmful chemicals we plow in our fields, release into our air and put on our food? The government needs to clean off their doorstep before they start cleaning off mine.

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  3. Lola LB says:


    About it possibly being a problem 50 years later . . . Does. not. compute. Mankind was taking care of their needs for thousands and thousands of years until the toilet as we now know it was invented sometime during late 19th century. Have we had problems resulting from before then?

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  4. Do I hear an Amen?

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  5. This reminds me of people that move into some of these beautiful housing developements, that are, by the way, near pastures, and file buco complaints about the smell “HELLO”.I have had friends that have had to re-locate their horse stables. Even though they were there years befor any of their complaining neighbors. I would love to live back on the farm again outhouse and all.

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  6. Actually, the ones complaining have cattle feedlots and own property in the same area. It is sort of difficult to buy land in the area. The two complaining also were complaining about the horses toileting on the roads and suggested “diapers” for them and complained about the lack of lights on the buggies and the fact they do not have to buy a vehicle tag for the buggies if you see where I am going with this. The county, which is experiencing severe drought, has a rule against any sort of waterless toilets but can give a variance on them. Even KDHE is resisting composting toilets and did not seem to really understand the safety of them or how they make sense. We here in Bourbon County if the drought continues will all wish we had an outhouse! Please realize that 99.9% of the population of Bourbon County have no issue with the Amish at all but it only takes a couple in this case for there to be an issue. I mean, if you were looking for an issue and watching the news……………Bourbon County is very sparsely populated and I am happy to say that soon, I will no longer be contenting with the constant string of “issues”. This is not about polluting anything and what stinks is not anything from the Amish! Composting is the answer!

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