Composting Toilets

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crinklystarfish
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Composting Toilets

Postby crinklystarfish » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:26 am

Inspired first by Mr Jelly and Helen, and then more recently following chats with Bri - who's interested in going this route - I’ve started to have a look at composting toilets with a bit more (appropriate) interest.

In conclusion, I like the concept (or more accurately dislike it less than a conventional cassette-type toilet), but hold quite a bit of cynicism regarding marketing hype and some advice from some companies and users.

The below is a flavour of a recent email to Bri:

... I've concluded now matter how much you spend, how complex they are, or how posh they look: you just sh*t in a bucket then eventually empty it.

Whereas I can see the advantage of a 'rolling drum' in some of the designs I really don't think it's worth the extra several hundred quid and who wants a roller shaft clogged by poop anyway.


If I were going to get one I'd do a bit more research yet but - unsurprisingly perhaps - would probably end up with the very simplest form such as a Simploo or such like, using coir as a medium in the solids bucket.

You don't even want to know the system I'd use to deal with our 'liquid' waste.

Discuss...
Last edited by crinklystarfish on Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ivan C
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Re: Composting Toilets

Postby Ivan C » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:54 am

Steve, like yourself I talked at length to Jelly and Helen and came away convinced that they were convinced ( with the practical experience to back it up).
At that time we were using an un modified cassette toilet and it was a bit unpleasant to say the least. There are mods which will make a cassette (rather than a porta-potti) system much more usable.
To the subject at hand, I looked at the loo with the "stirrer" and was unimpressed by it or the general standard of the whole thing. Think self-tappers straight into grp and the sharp ends protruding inside, that sort of thing.
To describe these as composting toilets is not correct unless you leave them from last use to emptying for a period of months.
They are more correctly described as seperating toilets - it's the mixing of solid and liquid which causes the issues in a cassette. ( so said Helen)
I have a Villa Seppart for the truck- it is perfectly feasible to make one but I chose not to.
Solids go into a (stout) bin liner in a bucket, liquids go into a tank which can be emptied on it's own or along with the grey tank, both discharging below the truck.
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Re: Composting Toilets

Postby NeilandPat » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:41 pm

I love the idea of this system .

They have become very popular and trendy . It's now become almost a green statement to have one.

There are infact no greener to use than any other chemical free system which can be adopted by any cassette or black tank setup.

I guess it's about convenience.

I have met many travellers now who have are keen to tell you that they have Natures Head system. What they don't like to tell you is that they are emptying them every week. I think Natures Head suggest it takes 6 months to create compost, so emptying it weekly is in reality S@&*ting in a bucket and throwing it in someone's bin. Nice.

I don't know why they do this but I can only assume that they are not as odour free or fly free as suggested.

Here in hot humid countries things start do decompose very fast and give off odour , it's a natural process.

Another issue is having to carry the bags of wood shavings or coconut matting. At every border here in South America you are subject to an environmental inspection. If discovered they will not let it through so you would have to re source it constantly.

I know people are going to come back at me over this, but the reality is that in hot countries the last thing you want is to have a large bucket of decomposing feaces rotting away in you van. Hence the need to empty it weekly I guess.

You cannot avoid the bouts of upset stomach when travelling, it's part of the journey. On these occasions the introduction of excess water into the system will instantly render the drying process destroyed.

I love the idea of them , I really do , but they are not without their issues like any other toilet system. None are as clean and convienent as the loo in your home.

If it suits you and works for you then it's the right choice, I do however believe that there is an element of "The Emporers New Clothes" about them.

Neil

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Re: Composting Toilets

Postby Ivan C » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:32 pm

I can't disagree with anything Neil has said - it re-enforces my point about them being seperating rather than composting toilets.
It also touchs on what is key for any system - your waste will smell, the key is to vent it to outside in such a way that you don't smell it, a bit like having the vents on your septic tank a distance from the house.
You don't want air from inside the toilet body, or cassette, to vent into your bathroom so a good fan is essential, along with a waterless trap in the liquid pipework.
As for the niceties of dumping the bag in a bin, it's exactly what responsible dog owners are encouraged to do.
My "cover" material will be cat litter, made for the purpose, just a slightly bigger cat!
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Brian-reynolds
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Re: Composting Toilets

Postby Brian-reynolds » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:42 pm

Thanks for starting this thread Steve, it is something I am giving great thought to, for use in both the truck and for use in the barn, where my normal domestic loo is situated quite a length from the septic tank, thus using quite a bit of water......

I have been reading about a "Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet" which seems to be the mutts, but have you seen the price!

£940!!! How the hell can they warrant that price? Good as it may well be....

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Natures-Head-C ... 267&sr=8-1

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Re: Composting Toilets

Postby NeilandPat » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:49 pm

Please don't mis understand me guys.

They are very good and have their place.

I wanted just to point out that they are not without issues as is any toilet system

Neil

Ps I guess if your become vegan it might speed the process up a bit

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Brian-reynolds
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Re: Composting Toilets

Postby Brian-reynolds » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:12 pm


Ivan C
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Re: Composting Toilets

Postby Ivan C » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:29 pm

Brian-reynolds wrote:Thanks for starting this thread Steve, it is some

I have been reading about a "Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet" which seems to be the mutts, but have you seen the price!

£940!!! How the hell can they warrant that price? Good as it may well be....

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Natures-Head-C ... 267&sr=8-1

Brian, I had a good look around a new one and was not impressed, either by the "stirring" mechanism or by the general standard of construction.
Take a look at the Villa Separatt, much better IMHO.
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Re: Composting Toilets

Postby Rusape » Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:53 pm

If you are able to justify the expense, then the only way to go IMO is incineration.

Cinderella offer a gas version that uses approx 110g of gas per burn cycle. Each cycle lasts about 45 minutes and creates about a spoon full of ash. Clean, odourless, inoffensive.

55l Lpg tank gives about 245 cycles.

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NeilandPat
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Re: Composting Toilets

Postby NeilandPat » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:58 pm

Rusape.

Love it. Not really heard of them

Just got to make sure you never run out of gas.

Do they make a noise for 45 minutes and do you have to separate the liquids

Neil


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