Easy, Basic "Sawdust" or Composting Toilet - Your Best Version

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by QBVII, May 7, 2006.

  1. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2005
    I'm reading about "sawdust" and composting toilets.
    Seems like the homemade variety works better and smells better than the expensive models.

    Since we will be heading back to KY soon, I'd like to "try my hand" at making one.

    Would those of you who have made your own please tell me how you made it (from buckets or an old discarded toilet), how it works, what you compost it with, and how you dispose of the deposits....etc.

  2. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    We used a sawdust toilet for a year, a while back. It was made according the directions in the Humanure book -- those are pretty easy to follow. We usually used purchased peat in it, a 16 oz. can full after each use. It helps if guys can go out in the woods for #1, so it doesn't fill full of liquid so quickly. Then we had a big compost bin just for the contents of the bucket. It was usually dumped daily, rinsed, and left outside in the sun for a few days -- we had three or four buckets to rotate. Sometimes my husband would bring the same bucket back in without rinsing and airing it out, and that was the only time we had an odor problem.

    I've been working on designing a small house which would have a sawdust toilet, and rather than have it in the house, it would be in an 'outhouse' attached to a deep porch on one end of the house (there would be a deep porch on both the east and west ends of the house). That would prevent us from ever having to worry about odor or flies in the house, and yet would be convenient enough, since we could stay under a roof to get to it.


  3. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    New Brunswick
    That sounds like a really good arrangement Kathleen. I think I have seen traditional Japanese houses like that. They also have the toilet in a separate room from the bathtub and sink.
  4. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

    Apr 10, 2006
    we have a sawdust toilet, I made it two years ago. It is in the house, there is no odor problem at all. We find it as easy to use as any other toilet. Except that it needs to be emptied. I am feeling good every time I add sawdust instead of flushing good water down. I went by the Humanue book, but branched out a bit, it fits in a niche and there is room for a sawdust bin with a lid integrated with the toilet. that way there is no sawdust bucket standing around. We do have a standard flush toilet , too, but we like the sawdust better.
  5. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2006
  6. Goldwave

    Goldwave Active Member

    May 2, 2006
    That reminded me when I was a kid, my parents once bought an old Victorian house that had the original toilet in a little closet on the back porch off the kitchen (pull-chain style). It was actually pretty fancy, although nonfunctional by the time I came along!