Compost toilets can provide a sanitation solution when water or electricity are not available, or when you simply want to make more compost or less environmental pollution.
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Although most of the world's humanure is quickly flushed down a drain, or discarded into the environment as a pollutant, it could instead be converted, through composting, into lush vegetative growth, and used to feed humanity. First, construct a compost toilet, and take a look at some owner-built compost toilet designs and owner-built compost bins. Read the Compost Toilet Instruction Manual.
A compost toilet is a collection device.
It is best located indoors. Sawdust (or other suitable cover material) covers the contents of the toilet, thereby eliminating odors, adding carbon, and absorbing lIquids.
Both seats up allow for a male urinal:
The toilet container should be easily removable.
The toilet materials are taken to a compost site. A four-receptacle system should require emptying about once a week for a family of four when each container has a five gallon or 20 liter capacity. When the containers are full, they're set aside (with lids) in the toilet room or other suitable location. They should never be allowed to freeze.
Below is an inexpensive and easy-to-build three-chambered compost bin made from pallets. The straw bale can act as a temporary fourth wall for the active bin.
All organic materials (food scraps, fats, oils, meat, toilet material, grass clippings, garden weeds, etc.) go into the pile and are thoroughly covered with a clean cover material (in this case, straw and rotted leaves).
More elaborate compost bins can be built, such as the author's "Humanure Hacienda" (above and below) with a roof over the center bin to keep the excess cover material dry and to collect rain water.
Introduction to the Humanure Hacienda:
Note water collection system above (rain barrel) which allows for convenient cleaning of the compost receptacle after emptying.
The toilet receptacle is emptied into the compost bin. Note that a depression has been dug into the top center of the bin contents with a pitchfork prior to emptying the receptacle. This prevents splash-back and runoff and makes it easier to keep the fresh material localized in the hot area of the compost pile.
VIDEO: Starting a new pile:
Composting Tutorial: Switching Compost Bins
The fresh compost material has now been completely covered, in this case with weeds from the author's garden. Much of the cover material was simply raked back over the fresh deposit after the depression was dug and the material dumped into the bin. A compost thermometer is kept in the pile to monitor it's microbial activity.
The receptacle is rinsed, scrubbed with a long handled toilet brush and a little dish soap, then the wash water is poured onto the compost pile. One gallon will wash two five-gallon receptacles.
Look at some owner-built humanure compost bins.
VIDEO: Digging finished compost from a bin:
Adding Humanure Compost to A Garden
The Author's Garden...
Thirty seven years of humanure compost has kept the soil fertile without the need for additional fertilizers, other than chicken manure from a flock of about 6 chickens. Photo taken in 2016:
Humanure Compost Planting Trials
The above photos, taken in 2007 after 28 years of humanure compost, are of the author's garden.