How it works
You use it just like a normal loo except there’s no flush and instead after a poo you would throw down scoop of wood shavings/sawdust. There’s a urinal for those who like to wee standing up and the sit down toilet has a urine separator. It’s about achieving a balance between nitrogen (quite a bit in poo but too much in wee) and carbon (lots of that in wood shavings), in the same way that compost heap works best with a balance of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’. Too much nitrogen and the whole thing turns nasty and smelly, that’s why we separate the wee. We don’t collect this up it disappears down a pipe and gets dispersed into the ground. The poo, toilet paper and wood shaving and a billion micro organisms get busy and hey presto – we’ve made our own nutrient rich fertiliser
The poo/fertiliser thing will take a number of years. There are chambers -you can see on the photo the access to the front of them The toilet sits on another. When one chamber is full we move the toilet across to the chamber next to it (not visible above). When our wonderful volunteers and visitors have filled that one up, the poo from the first gets shuffled forward with our specially shaped poo spade and we move the toilet back over the first chamber and so on. Only when all both chambers are full will we ‘harvest’ the ‘product’. I don’t know long long this will take or how much we’ll end up with as we’re new to this. But I, for one, am excited.
Rest assured for the sake for public sensibilities we’ll only be using this fantastic resource on our flower beds and not on the veg. Please feel free to pop in a contribute any Wednesday!
Compost toilet update 06/02/15 – After 3 years the first chamber seems barely a half full! We’re never going to get any ‘hu-manure’ at this rate! I urge you all to do your bit, come to your local community garden and make a contribution.
Compost toilet update 07/07/16 – first chamber is full! It was an intense morning that me, Pete and Emma (playing an important supporting role) moved the pedestall to start filling the next chamber. Intense
Compost toilet update 14/7/16 – Second chmaber filling up fast. We do so many things with children now in the garden that a lot of more little folks wee ends up in the main chamber, makes things whiff and I have to chuck down heaps of sawdust to try and balance things out. Also the floor need washing A LOT! The Glamour!