Posts from 2015-12-25

Stinky Corners; how to make your own composting toilet of recycled material

A fun project for the winter. Dry toilet here we come:composting toilet


Step 1: Build a square box

Make a square box in which fits a container and a watering can (we will come back to the use of the watering can) and paint it if you want to. It looks easy, but I managed to make it slightly crooked, but hey, I am learning and slightly crooked is still working. We’ve used old wood we still had lying around.

Step 2: Saw a hole for the seat

Over the square box you need to make a seat in which fits the toilet seat. We still had a piece of a kitchen top lying around and used this. We put the toilet seat on it, drew with a pencil the hole and sawed it out. Plus two little holes for the screws of the toilet seat. The new seats are great these days, because you have some leniency for the place of the holes.You also need two hinges, because in the future you want to be able to lift this whole thing up. 

Step 3: The separator composting toilet

Now here comes the cool part and the most expensive part of our dry toilet. We are trying out a separator. What does the separator do? Well it separates pee and poop (let’s call it what it is). A lot of you probably don’t know, but pee is great stuff. It is sterile for about 24 hours and there are no bad bacteria’s in it, hence why you can drink it when you have to survive in the wild. However it is not only good for spare drinking water when you need to survive, it is also great for the garden. It still contains lots of nutrients and when you dilute it about 1:10 with water you can use it straight on the veggie garden and the plants will be grateful. After 24 hours there is some chemical process going on and the pee starts to become stinky. Don’t use it on the garden anymore, but you can still throw it on the compost heap if you want to. One thing to keep in mind; if you take lots of medicine or the pill, part of this will come back in your urine, it is then maybe better to throw it on the compost heap.Another great thing of the separator is that your poop falls in the bin and remains fairly dry. Together with sawdust or ash that you throw on it after you’ve done your thing it will take out even more moisture. This is a positive thing, because it is actually the moisture that will make it stinky. When added lots of moisture to poop the decomposition will be an-aerobic and this will stink. But when it is dry, the decomposition will be aerobically which is not stinky. Well we are ready to try it out. We bought ours on the internet, just type in toilet separator.

Step 4: Putting it all together composting toilet

You need to create a little space where you can slide in the separator. We screwed in a little piece of wood with some rings in between all the way at the edge. Close the box. We used plastic cover for the kitchen table we still had, because we wanted to do something fun and not make the box to heavy. Then we added two handles (which we recuperated from an old serving tray) so we can carry it easily around if we want to. Put it all in the corner where you want it and assemble:Now the watering can comes in handy because you put a hose on the end of the separator and direct it straight into the watering can. Then at the end of each day, you add water. You can add the water through the separator so you rinse the separator and hose at the same time. Take out the watering can and water your plants. The watering can is all the way up front, but you normally pee forward and men will have to sit down for a pee, otherwise you’ll have a hard time aiming.scoop out of plastic bottleThen you need another bin for ash or sawdust. We use the ash from our woodstove, or go to the local wood place, bring a shovel and they usually give you sawdust for free (which really works better than the ash by the way). You need a little scoop to scoop the sawdust in the bin after your thing. We recycled a 5L plastic container like so: And tadaaaaa, we have ourselves a retro dry toilet corner.

Ah yes, last little thing. What to do when your bin is full?Make a separate composting corner for this. It needs to compost for about two years, because poop can hold some nasty bacteria’s. After that, use it around trees, but not on your veggie garden just to be sure.

Simply Bed & Breakfast, St. Jean de Duras, South West France

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