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Thu Jun 7, 2018, 04:50 AM

A waterless, composting toilet for frugal times

One of the things few think about in normal times but becomes of utmost importance during emergencies is a means of disposing of bodily wastes.

One of the projects I have for this summer is I intend to build a dry toilet next to the middle of the south wall of the basement. Here is a post I made in the DIY group back in April:

"DIY dry toilet for regular use or as a emergency backup

A dry toilet intended for regular use works well in conjunction with a compost pile and/or a worm farm. You can use the basic designs for a DIY dry toilet to build an emergency toilet intended to be used for just as long as needed until the problems preventing one from using the regular toilet(s) are rectified.

It is my intent to build a composting toilet in the basement to act as an emergency loo if and when needed. I know for sure I won't be allowed to use it regularly, lest I get caught, but as the boss of the house rarely goes down to the basement, she won't even know about the emergency toilet until we need it. Ha!

One could go as simple as using a 5 gallon bucket with a seat and lid made to fit on such a bucket but I don't want to go that route. I want to build something that's more sturdy and at ADA compliant height. Some people build a two seater where one pees on one side and poos in the other because it's very bad news to mix urine with solids as the smell will soon be atrocious. But I think it'd be very hard not to go #1 while going #2 so I'll build a one seater with a urine diverter.

In dealing with the urine using a diverter, most I've seen use a flexible tube running from the diverter to covered bucket. Because the smell comes from urine reacting with the oxygen in the air, it's important that the urine container is sealed well and there is a trap in the line feeding the container. When one has finished the business, they ought to flush the diverter with enough water to not only clean it but also to replace the urine in the trap with water. Diverters specifically designed to be installed on a DIY dry toilet can be bought on line.

Poop should be covered as soon as possible and many people say they have had very good results using pet bedding which can be purchased cheaply from stores such as Walmart. A 2 cu. Ft. bag that expands out to 5 c.u. ft. when opened runs about $8.00 and one couple said in their video that such a bag lasts the both of them about 2 months. If you are going to use pet bedding and plan to compost your waste, don't use bedding that has cedar as cedar resists rot. If you are going to use the dry toilet just for emergencies and put the waste in the garbage, then cedar bedding would be fine.

Some people line their poo buckets. Regular plastic garbage bags that fit in a 5 gallon bucket would work for emergencies. Those that want to compost their waste use compostable bags that are labeled compostable. As for toilet paper, most just use regular toilet paper but a few who compost their waste have said they use RV/boat TP as it degrades much more quickly. Scotts advertises that it's Rapid Dissolving RV/boat TP breaks down 4x faster then regular toilet paper.

I haven't decided on a final design yet but it probably will look something like this:



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Reply A waterless, composting toilet for frugal times (Original post)
Kaleva Jun 2018 OP
Sherman A1 Jun 2018 #1
WhiteTara Jun 2018 #2

Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 06:17 AM

1. Very interesting

I believe that planning ahead as you are doing is a good thing. I hope this year to pick up a generator and perhaps pick up the materials for the bucket version of the emergency commode.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Fri Jun 8, 2018, 03:58 PM

2. My friend who used composting toilet had 2 sides

one for just pee and the other for poop. Pee was channeled into the gardens for nitrogen and the poop was composted.

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