compost toilets

What Are Compost Toilets?

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Compost toilets are known as ‘urine separating composting toilets’.

They are designed for all users to sit down to use them, boys and girls, which enables the separation of liquid waste from solid waste. This stops all the nasty smells associated with compost loos and they really do work.

Simple Yet Effective Design

Under the seat is a large 60 litre container, into which you sprinkle a large scoop of sawdust, then the compost toilet is ready to use.

When the container is full, you simple remove the lid of the loo, lift out the container and replace with a new one. The full container is then put in a corner somewhere to allow it to decompose. After a certain, specified length of time the compost can be used on gardens as fertiliser.

Wet Waste Disposal

You have two choices to dispose of the urine. You can either build a soakaway next to where the compost loo is going to be sited or you can have the outlet pipe going into a container. This way you can water the contents down – 8 parts water to 1 part urine – and use it on your compost heap to help speed up the decomposition of your ordinary garden waste. It also acts as a general fertiliser.

Environmentally Friendly

When considering an outdoor portable toilet unit, our Compost toilets are a great environmentally friendly option. Here are some other quick facts from questions we often get asked:

Q. Is the timber used in the manufacture of the cubicles from a sustainable source?
A. Yes, 98% of the timber used is FSC accredited.

Q. What is a compost toilet?
A. A compost toilet is a dry or waterless toilet, i.e. one that doesnt use water to take the waste somewhere else; it also allows natural processes to produce natural compost, after a resting period. 

Q. Do they smell?

A. No, they dont smell. After each use, just drop a handful of ‘soak’ (straw or sawdust) into the toilet. This is because bacteria like to eat a balanced diet of carbon and nitrogen, and as human waste contains a lot of nitrogen, if they don’t get enough carboniferous material (like sawdust, straw or shredded paper) they will give off excess nitrogen in the form of ammonia, which makes the loo smelly.

Also the sawdust allows oxygen into the pile and absorbs liquids. This allows the pile to decompose aerobically to produce nitrates, phosphates and sulphates. Without the sawdust the pile will decompose anaerobically and produce methane, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide – all very smelly and not very useful.

Human pathogens don’t like conditions outside the human body, so almost all will be dead after a few hours. Only one type of roundworm egg can survive a year-long decomposition period, but even though it is a tiny risk, it is recommended using the compost on fruit trees and bushes, not on the vegetable garden.  

Q. How long does it take for the solids to compost down? 

A. It can take anything up to a year. It is necessary for the solids to be left for as long as possible before you start using it on your garden. . It needs air to help it decompose, so just leave it in the corner of your garden with the lid slightly loose and before you know it you have great compost for your plants.

Q. What are the benefits of Compost Toilets?

The solid waste is dealt with on site, and doesn’t have to be treated with chemicals in sewage farms, or end up in waterways;
saves water – you don’t have to use one resource (pure drinking water) to flush away another (fertilizer).
organic matter is allowed to go back to the soil where it belongs, improving soil structure and nutrition.
No need to use chemical cleaners or bleaches in the toilet.