Monday, February 22, 2010

Composting Toilet: Potty Assist

Imagine this: Two men hanging up a grey sheet and placing a small square box underneath, then lifting a composting toilet in a big hug to place it up on the grey pedestal created and shooting some hawt photos of it.

Ya'll know how I love the humanure toilet system (simple potty in a bucket & cover with leaves and compost it), so much more then the mass scale sewage treatment plants and soil wrecking septic systems in rural areas.
In general the reason I love humanure toilets the most is you can build one for under $25 (we built one for $7 here in Big Sandy Mush) - while most other systems will cost you gobs more. In reality though many people just can't get into "roughing" it with such a homemade toilet system, and this is where the fancy composting toilet steps in. I have done quite a bit of searching, reading and observing of composting toilets that are manufactured over the years - I am the kind of nerd who would drool over the SunMar Compost toilets in the Real Goods Catalogue then look at the prices and wipe away my drool, shuffling over to my regular ole' septic toilet. I actually listened to neighborhood composting toilet gossip too "you know my friend so-n-so, he has a wife and three kids and he said the compost toilet stops working in the winter cause it gets too cold, the microbes don't work" or "you have to aim your pee cause you can't pee in the poop hole" ect...
And to be honest all this talk of having to add microbes you had to buy in a jug, and aiming pee was a big turn off for me - I just rathered the simplicity of Humanure via leaves.
Till i found this baby pictured above ::: The Nature's Head Composting Toilet.
Humanure simplicity meets composting toilet design. Yeah, I know it looks like something built for the nursing home, like some kind of potty assist chair, but in the world of composting toilets this one is looking like the freaking Taj Mahal - with it's fancy stainless steal parts meant to not rust in a wet environment, and it's almost regular toilet shape.
So here's some things I like about the Nature's Head composter...
  • You can use peat moss or leaves just like in a humanure toilet (your not forced to buy microbes)
  • You can add a solar vent to it and have it utterly off grid, or vent it with a fan
  • It separates your solids and liquids, meaning no need to aim your pee (I know cause i wrote them and asked!)
  • It's made totally in the USA
  • It only needs to be bolted down, AKA you need no plumbing skills to install it
  • The whole unit costs $850, which is about 1/4 of what you pay to put a septic on your land (not to mention you can put this thing in an RV, boat, or wherever you want to go from then on. Your own to-go toilet.)
Do any of ya'll have a composting toilet, and if so can your share your gossip - the design perks and flaws?!



george Neher said...

Everything you say here is so true. People always get all bent out of shape when you say you are composting your own poop, but if you let your own poop and other meat eaters poop sit for 2 years, it is just as good as any other compost out there. Possibly better?

Anyway nice article.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey George... :)
Super glad for you to join in!
People are trained these days to throw away and flush away everything- for some environmentalists this is a point of major contention, and they think people are being horrible to the earth- but it's easy to see how oblivious people are due to lack of education. Plus our society is a lil' poop paranoid.
But everything in nature recycles itself back into something useful and all poop can turn back into soil. I think ours jus' takes a little longer to be safely composted, then say... a horse, cow or chicken.

ps- thanks

Meg said...

Funny thing, that is the exact same one I bought! I was really impressed that the plastic did not really need to air out, even though I let it sit and think in the sun for a bit anyways!

I can't give you any help on use, though. It is for my airstream (The Nestbox) but, don't hate me for this, I haven't even tested it yet! I like to have everything all together at once, like Christmas!

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Meg!

That is good to know that it didn't come with a foul plastic smell - someone else had already asked me to let them know how long the materials would need to outgas.... i will forward this over to them. :)
When you do use it, we can compare and contrast our potty assist experience. yay!

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Composting Toilets