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Old 01-02-2013, 10:38 AM
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Default Composting Toilets?



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May be building a small cabin on my folks acreage soon. Thinking of putting a composting toilet in it. How do these work? Do they require power, water? Can you use them everyday?
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:38 AM
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my parents have one in there lake cabin. I don't know a lot about it except that it seems to be a lot of work for my Dad. It uses water, and electric. The compost bin is below the floor (under the cabin) which is accessed through a trap door on the floor. The bin needs to be slightly heated in winter (light bulb)

We have always used the out house during the day, and toilet at night. He's had this one for 10 years or so. So there may be newer ones out now.
Old 01-05-2013, 02:06 PM
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There are many models to choose from electric and non electric (solar/turbine) models contained and separate models. Your choice really depends upon the number of people using it and if you can heat the room/unit year round to aid in composting and the mitigation of potential odor.

If you have electricity available and is about $500 more expensive I think an incinerator toilet is probably a safer bet since there is no limitations on the number of people using it and the potential odor issue is mitigated.
Old 01-05-2013, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manygunz View Post
May be building a small cabin on my folks acreage soon. Thinking of putting a composting toilet in it. How do these work? Do they require power, water? Can you use them everyday?



They don't get much simpler than this. No power, no water.




And get the Humanure Handbook (free download)...packed with info you will need.


http://weblife.org/humanure/pdf/huma...rd_edition.pdf
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:28 PM
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We have a Biolet composting toilet that we've been using for at least 10 years. Ours uses electricity for the mixing arm, and there's also a heater to help evaporate urine. The biggest problem we've had is handling excess urine and that rarely occurs. There's a vent pipe that vents out odors and moisture.

I'm thinking of getting a Nature's Head composting toilet in the future, as that unit actively separates the urine, and it uses a 12 volt fan. Our house runs mostly on 12 volts so that model would work better for us.

We also have a good old fashioned outhouse, but the Mrs. refuses to use it, especially during the winter....what a wuss!
Old 01-05-2013, 10:49 PM
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There was one at a camp I spent time at. A local guy with a small farm used the compost.
It had no power or water. It was a basic wooden out-house 'room' structure lined with mesh to stop flies.
Inside were steps to a platform with a hole with a toilet seat fitted. Under the hole was a shipping barrel/drum. One one side of the seat was toilet paper, on the other was a container of sawdust with a scoop. After use, it would covered -generously- with sawdust. Once 3/4 full, the barrel would be removed, sealed and left for ~2 years.
Apparently, pee slows down the rate of decomposition, so this would have to be considered. In this case, people just 'went bush' for pees.
This was the most basic of set-ups, a walk away from camp and with a water container outside the outhouse for hand washing, but it worked well, and the guy with the farm said it composted fine and didn't resemble it's original ... nature.
Alternatives to sawdust can be wood shavings, shredded papers or even poor quality soil.
The material used to cover, diet, type of toilet paper and urine could all alter the composting time, so I would do some research before risking opening a barrel too early!
You can aid the process by use of that Enzyme stuff, which is used for cleaning drains and septics.
Old 05-22-2013, 10:09 AM
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Default Nature's Head composting toilet

Does anybody here have a Nature's Head composting toilet? If so, what are your likes and dislikes?

I'm thinking of getting one. It doesn't use water, and (according to the company's marketing literature) it doesn't smell. An added bonus is that it is very small.

The Nature's Head does require some electricity for its ventilation fan. The company's Web site says, "Mushroom vents, solar vents, and clamshell type vents are commonly used for venting to the exterior." I think I would use a solar vent.
Old 05-23-2013, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketco View Post



They don't get much simpler than this. No power, no water.




And get the Humanure Handbook (free download)...packed with info you will need.


http://weblife.org/humanure/pdf/huma...rd_edition.pdf
Excellent resource!
Old 05-23-2013, 06:36 PM
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Dry Composters are "good sheet"

IIRC, Mother Earth News published a few articles on the dry composting toilet. I read "Stop the Five Gallon Flush" and "Humanure."

I personally examined one at a rest stop in Pennsylvania. (No gasps, please) I stuck my head down the 'chute and took a strong wiff. No bad smell. Just woodsy leafy smell. And it was a big chamber (smart!).

What M.E.N. and others suggested was that you have a large composting chamber (or external heap). Most commercial units try to be as compact as possible, using power to augment nature. That is a mistake. My friends who built a new country home and installed such, were greatly disappointed.

I'd take a close look a Clivus Multrum, and size up from that.
http://www.clivusmultrum.com/green-building-bronx.php

"Cleverest" design I saw featured a chute with an adjustable diverter. There were two carts below the diverter. After one cart filled up, the owner shifted the diverter to the other cart. Then left the first cart compost in place until the other cart filled up. When the other cart filled up, haul out the first, and dump into the external compost heap for finishing. Return cart. Change diverter. Repeat process. (owner claimed to need to dump a cart every 6 to 8 months)
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:21 AM
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Thanks to lyn for the info about the Loveable Loo, and thanks to jetgraphics for the info about the Clivus Multrum.

The Clivus Multrum is too big and complicated for me.

The cost of the Loveaable Loo is certainly attractive, but, IMO, it is lacking in aesthetics. (Yes, I'm a hard-core prepper but, being female, I'm not willing to abandon aesthetics completely!) Plus, the Loveable Loo requires a steady supply of sawdust, and I'm not sure I could arrange for that.

Given the research I've done to date, my favorite compost toilet is the Nature's Head. It requires peat moss, and I could lay in a huge supply of it for a reasonable price. Does anybody here own a Nature's Head?
Old 05-24-2013, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketco View Post



They don't get much simpler than this. No power, no water.




And get the Humanure Handbook (free download)...packed with info you will need.


http://weblife.org/humanure/pdf/huma...rd_edition.pdf
I've been at shelters up in the Whites where the caretaker works the compost, turning it, etc. Not sure all that is involved, but it handles the outhouse waste pretty good. No smells either. There was no electricity involved.

thanks for the links!
Old 05-24-2013, 01:45 PM
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When we started building our house, we looked at buying a composting toilet. I got literature from a couple different manufacturers.

Our building permit required that we first put in a septic tank and leechfield, before doing any form of 'alternative' sewage systems. Part of me is still concerned about needing to pump the septic, and clogging the leechfield.

After living here a while, and meeting folks; we saw composting toilets is use.

Now we have the bucket inside a throne setup. They work great.

If you setup a few new raised beds each year, but leave them empty. Then every few days take the bucket and empty it in a new empty raised bed. When a bed is full, broadcast oats in it. And begin filling your next raised bed.

A year later, you can begin using the first one for veggies.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:42 AM
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I can't attest to the mechanized ones, but we have had a homemade one at our land the past year and it works great. It's just a bucket with sawdust in it, placed beneath a wooden box with a toilet seat over the hole to make it more comfy. We do our business, then throw in a couple handfuls of sawdust to cover it.

There are no smells. If anything, it smells like fresh cut trees because of the sawdust.

Thanks for the raised bed idea, ForestBeekeeper.
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:19 PM
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We've used a compost toilet for about 13 years, now. They are easy to make and use:

http://www.velacreations.com/waste/o...ng-toilet.html
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:59 PM
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We've used a compost toilet for about 13 years, now. They are easy to make and use:

http://www.velacreations.com/waste/o...ng-toilet.html
Very nice setup
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:13 PM
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We've used a compost toilet for about 13 years, now. They are easy to make and use:

http://www.velacreations.com/waste/o...ng-toilet.html
Very nice site! I'm enjoying your flow through worm bin. That is ingenious! May I ask what you used as screen on top of the red strings?
Old 05-26-2013, 10:34 AM
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Very nice site! I'm enjoying your flow through worm bin. That is ingenious! May I ask what you used as screen on top of the red strings?
The red strings are the screen. There is only worm compost above them.
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