the compost toilet

Papa says he likes waiting until minor emergencies occur before taking care of the messy jobs. Having the sewer freeze up before replacing the RV toilet with the composting toilet would certainly count as one of those projects! Eewww!

But now it’s done, and a compost toilet now sits in our bathroom. Papa made it out of a 5 gallon pail with an oak box and standard toilet seat built over it. The pictures below don’t show the finished product because Papa has some trim work and doctoring left to do, but you get the idea.

When you lift up the seat you see two slits, one on either side, which allow you to pull the pail out to empty it.

I know a lot of people use compost toilets, but I was honestly afraid of the smell. Who wants a pail of poo in the bathroom, right? But the amazing thing is, that sprinkling in some peat moss once or twice a day eliminates the smell! You could walk in there and honestly have no idea what is hiding behind that box.

The waste will be emptied into a steel 50 gallon barrel where it will turn to compost. Theoretically, the humanure can be used on vegetable gardens, but seeing as I plan to expand the flower garden this year, I think we will start there. The idea of my you-know-what sitting around my food is not very appealing.

Anyway…. we did it, it works, and now we can move on from a necessary, yet yucky topic to something nice.

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7 responses to “the compost toilet

  1. Having lived in Egypt, where people farm using human and any other waste to grow vegetables, I would encourage you to follow your instincts and not fertilize your vegetables with it. Amoebas are very common in Egypt and we had to wash all of our produce with a bleach-water solution (and not eat greens where the water is inside the veins and can’t be washed out) in order to protect our bodies from the unsanitary (but very effective) farming practices.

  2. Peat moss! Brilliant! I have read about sawdust but I love the idea of using peat moss too. We are researching homemade composting toilets for our homestead. Thank you for this excellent post Naomi.

    • Peat moss works great. We bought ours as the garden season was ending, when it went on sale. We will have to do an update on the toilet though, as we are brainstorming a way to separate fluids from solids.

  3. Oh wow. I think that is an area I will find myself being the most squeamish. :)
    Even though I have a 20 yo daughter in diapers, it seems different when it is “mine”. I didn’t know that about the peat moss either. Thanks for the info.

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