[permaculture] Schematics for composting toilets

Dick Pierce dickpiercedesigns at gmail.com
Thu Oct 30 16:40:29 EDT 2008

The Sunny John by John Cruikshank in CO is certainly on my list and a
well-proven design. And the Humanure Handbook is a good bible.

I'd also add Carol Steinfeld's web site. She has several books out on the
subject and is a long-time expert - Composting Toilets and Liquid Gold. Try
www.ecovita.net or
or www.*carol*-*steinfeld*.com <http://www.carol-steinfeld.com/>. I recently
used a schematic from her site for a low cost urine-diverting composting
toilet. It works great, was simple to put make/put together.

I'd put in a plug for urine diversion along with composting toilets.
Especially if you are considering an "empty-it-yourself-bucket" system - the
urine is by far the bulk of the stuff, and it can slosh nastily as you move
the bucket to its dumping spot. Urine is very strong in nitrogen - hence the
ammonia odor - and just great for the compost pile or diluted (5-10 to 1)
for spraying on lawns or gardens. It turns out to be bad stuff, however,
when put in the soil as in a septic system - there nitrates build up to
toxic levels and can get in the ground water. Children are particularly
sensitive to high nitrogen levels. So getting urine mixed with a good supply
of carbon - leaves, wood shavings, etc. - is the best and most productive.

You can buy a whole, citified, indoor unit, or just the urine diverted and
build your own box for a bucket or bin, with a 5 gal. container for the
urine via a hose a separator in the toilet bowl, or you can try building
your own - same wood box but with a square bucket and a squarish funnel (I
got one at Ace Hardware for under $2.00) bolted to one side for the urine
diverter. Limited use so far, but it works great - volume trials at PDC
class starting this weekend. The instructions for the box are on the ecovita

A friend in Boston built the box and the purchased a diverter and used a
small plastic bin for poop with a little sawdust - he went 6 months, between
PC classes, with 4 adults using it every day and only emptied the bin to
show the next class an odorless, dry, cake-like substance made up mostly of
sawdust it seemed. Several empties of the urine jug made the compost pile
very happy and quick over the time.

I hope this adds to your lore.

Dick Pierce

On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 8:59 PM, cuauhtemoc landeros <
descendingeagle at hotmail.com> wrote:

>  Can anyone recommend a source of schematics for different styles of
> composting toilet systems.
> Thanks
> Cuahtemoc
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DickPierceDesigns at gmail.com
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