Anyone have a residential composting toilet system?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Weagle weagle!, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Weagle weagle!

    Weagle weagle! Member

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    I am looking into this option for the home we are planning to build. Do you use electric or non? Are they really non-odor? Any info appreciated. For some reason I cannot get the thread search to work on my tablet:(
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Look into doing a build it yourself one. I have the Nature's Head and it is now un-installed and in the storage trailer. Sawdust bucket works better than any of the commercial toilets, IMHO if you aren't putting in a septic. I finally did get a small septic and a couple of the RV low flush toilets and am very happy not to have to carry out buckets or deal with that stinking compost toilet.
     
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  3. Ernie

    Ernie Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't spend any money on any composting toilet on the market.

    A $3 bucket from Home Depot and a toilet seat lid is what we use. All of us. All seven of us. Wife and kids all. We throw some mulch material in the bucket, then do our business on top of it, then cover it up again with more mulch. About twice a day one of the kids will take it out and dump the contents of the bucket into a compost pile.

    There's not usually an odor, but sometimes one of the kids will unload a real stinker and not cover it up properly. Then they get booed by the whole rest of the tribe for awhile.

    Even a flush toilet will leave odor behind and lingering in the air. That's what scented candles are for.
     
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  4. MDfamilyman

    MDfamilyman Well-Known Member

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  5. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Hi, thought you would find a bit more data useful. We had a biolet delux for years and it never could handle the amount of urine from two adults full time. Ours was electric and there was no odor until I went to empty the flooded compost! Once we figured out to pee outside and poo inside it got a bit better. But who wants to pee outside all the time in the mountains of montana. I have never, repeat never, met anyone who had success with the compost toilets made for residential use. However, I have also never met anyone who used the ones where the compost container was in the basement and the toilet on an upper floor. The do seem to work in the forest service places but I think those are basically outhouses with water?
     
  6. lemonthyme7

    lemonthyme7 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had a composting toilet (electric model) and always had trouble with to much moisture no matter that the electric was supposed to help keep it dried out. It was a royal (and stinky) pain to clean out because of the slushy mess. We did everything by the book and used plenty of absorbents and had an overflow tube for liquids and it still never worked like promised. I agree that a simple bucket works better than the expensive composting toilets you buy and at least with a bucket it is easily emptied. Heck, our camp toilet that we used sawdust in was better than the composting toilet!
     
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  7. Ernie

    Ernie Well-Known Member

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    Here's another advantage to the buckets too ...

    I'm 6' tall and I have long legs. If I have to sit on a regular toilet for any length of time, they're a little too low for me and my legs always fall asleep!

    Not so with my bucket. It's just the right height and is very comfortable for me to use, no matter how long I sit there pontificating on the weightier matters of the universe.

    If I were y'all, I would try the bucket thing BEFORE I tried the expensive solution. If it doesn't work then you wasted $3, but if it does work then you saved several hundred.

    Several hundred dollars can buy a LOT of rolls of toilet paper.
     
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  8. K.B.

    K.B. Well-Known Member

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    the bucket system is simple and reliable. one bucket for liquids and one for solids.

    Dilute the urine 10X or more and use on the garden or pour on mulch.

    Use dry high carbon mulch for the solids bucket and cover your business well. We use rotten conifer loam that is abundant on our property. It is very fine when sifted through a screen and it's easy to get a hundred gallons or so in an hour or two.
     
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  9. Weagle weagle!

    Weagle weagle! Member

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    We have been employing the bucket method for the last couple of months when we are out there, and it has been fine and "legal" since there is no dwelling on the property right now. I was trying to get an idea for when we live out there to be within the "law". The way I read them, a composting toilet is fine for a legal dwelling, in certain situations (which we would plan within to avoid the expense of an expensive septic system). I definitely do not want to pay that much for a messy, stinking toilet that doesn't work as advertised. Maybe we should just buy a huge old camper or motorhome to live in and fall under portable storage tank ;)
     
  10. Ernie

    Ernie Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure my commentary on this topic is going to upset a lot of good taxpaying citizens, but I'll share you the sordid tale of Ernie versus the State.

    When we moved out here to rural Texas they informed me I had to have a septic tank. No composting toilet allowed, no outhouse.

    Now a government that is going to tell me I can't poop in a bucket has gotten a little too big for its britches, in my opinion, and I'm always one to buck the system.

    So we built our cabin anyway. When they hassled me about why they did not have a septic tank permit on file, I told them it's because we don't generate any waste. We do not "go poopsies" around here, as the fine commissioner put it. We generate compost.

    There are no regulations regarding the generation of compost, only the handling of human waste.

    You're a gardener? You don't generate waste. In fact, waste is probably a dirty word in your household. Everything has a use!

    I made such a big and dramatic deal about it in their office that they backed down and that was the end of it. Apparently they may have been afraid to drag this melodramatic hillbilly into court and have him embarrass them all over a man's God-given right to poop in the manner to which pleases him.

    Unless you live in some area where they have inspectors and building codes and nosy busybodies such as that, my advice to you is to poop where you darn well please and tell the state to get out of your business. They don't even have the right to discuss the issue with you unless your neighbor complains about poop running over onto HIS property.
     
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  11. ErinP

    ErinP Too many fat quarters... Supporter

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    yet another vote for a plain old sawdust toilet.
    I did a LOT of research when looking for the composter for our house, and all I read were reviews like in this thread; unreliable, messy, stinky.
    I figured for less than $50 I could build a nice-ish sawdust toilet and it would be a much cheaper experiment if it failed.

    These are the basic plans I used:
    http://humanurehandbook.com/humanure_toilet.html
    And from them, I built this:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (it doesn't have to LOOK like a bucket!!)
     
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  12. Weagle weagle!

    Weagle weagle! Member

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    I hear you and wish I had the guts to argue. The only permits required and inspector in this county are for septic. I am positive the neighbors could care less, as long as we respect their land.
     
  13. Ernie

    Ernie Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you're concerned that your arguments might not win them over, you can always buy an old RV for very cheap and park it somewhere on your land and tell them you're using that for a bathroom because your house isn't finished.

    "Just haven't had the money to finish the bathroom plumbing in the house yet. Tough economy and all that. You know how it is. Or maybe you don't because you've got a job. Hey, are y'all hiring down at the inspector station?"

    Nothing will get an inspector off your land quicker than asking him for a job or for money.
     
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  14. BigHenTinyBrain

    BigHenTinyBrain Well-Known Member

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    I grew up with a bucket toilet, which is gross if you do not use some kind of absorbent material (sawdust is my preferred choice, but a neighbor uses old leaves). It's also good plan for an outhouse, if hving a bucket of poo inside is too much for you.
    I HIGHLY recommend the Humanure Handbook (link in Erin's post) as a good way to get an overview of different composting toilets and their positive and negative points.
    We've used commercial composting toilets on a limited basis and in my experience they always had a hint of "Old Pee" about them. We have 3 perfectly fine flush toilets and I'm in the process of converting all of them to buckets. It just seems so much less wasteful (and so much cheaper in the long run).
     
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  15. Forerunner

    Forerunner Well-Known Member

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    Here's another plug for the bucket, and the Humanure Handbook. We have both and wouldn't trade for anything...and sawdust is the magic ingredient....... but watch that Ernie character. He'll get you into all kinds of trouble with his anti-tyranny, libertarian, a-man-ought-to-be-free-to-pursue-nature's harmonic balance-unfettered nonsense. :indif:
     
  16. Ernie

    Ernie Well-Known Member

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    Of the two of us ... how did I get labeled as the crazy one? :)
     
  17. Forerunner

    Forerunner Well-Known Member

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    Time, chance and circumstance, my friend. :)

    A good line of BS delivered in timely fashion will take you far.
     
  18. Ernie

    Ernie Well-Known Member

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    You never know when a good line of BS will save the day, which is why I'm an advocate of spraying a steady stream of it all day long. :)
     
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  19. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    To the OP . . . . . . .From all these posts you know darn well that a hi-tec 3 dollar bucket will/does work.
    (my back-up poo depository is a 2 dollar bucket)

    But you need to do some serious --quiet---home work.
    What about bank money ? "required" inspections for loans., "occupancy" permits etc. etc.
    Can YOU face up to jackboot inspectors . .??

    The last thing you need/want is to be "Red Tagged"
     
  20. All I know about composting toilet systems is this , a friend built a new log home , off the grid & installed an expensive composting toilet that had a rather large collection bin in the basement . After a few months he removed it & had a septic system installed . I never really asked him detailed questions but I believe the main problem was too much liquid .