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My compost toilet, for better or worse.

 
pollinator
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Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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Compost Toilet: Pros, cons, and modifications.

If you have not yet read my posts explaining my current living situation and homestead please follow the links below.

Tiny Home
Our Homestead
How we got land to farm for free

When I first built this, we just used a bucket situated underneath. The bucket was wider than a standard 5 gallon bucket and it was easy for both of us to use, but both wastes would mix together. This meant a lot more saw dust, and no matter how much you put in it would still pool at the bottom of the bucket and go stagnant quickly.

I had read a post on here of a much more elaborate diy toilet, so I just simplified my version and made it a short project. Credit for some of what I did goes to that guy or gal, it was awhile back that I read the post so I don’t remember.

I used a 5 gallon bucket for the funnel, and used a heat gun to soften the plastic and cut it to its base form. After a few attempts and fails I got the shape right, and from there used to heat gun to mold it into a better shape and to fit it in my toilet box.

Shaved and trimmed the funnel to fit well with the bucket, and curled up the back to prevent spills. I tried to just heat and mold the bottom of the pee diverter into a funnel like the original poster of this idea, but my skills lack in the plastic molding dept. So I took a mini plastic funnel and heated it up and molded it over the hole id made, then used a quality silicone caulk around it and let it cure. It does not leak at the funnel.

The box is made from a single 4’x8’ sheet of ½ inch birch plywood, and stained with linseed oil.

There is a black plastic bag that lays flat on the floor under the bucket and piss jug. This is to catch accidents if someone misses the funnel or bucket, which has happened. Misses are just something we have gotten used to once in awhile, I am sure with more trial and error and more destroyed buckets I could get it just right but the time… So we just deal with it being slightly more inconvenient than a flushing toilet. The benefits of living this way are huge, and a little taboo about your bodily waste shouldn’t steer you away from your dreams and the possibilities that come with owning a tiny home or not needing plumbing or septic. The money saved is far superior to any inconvenience of this lifestyle.
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Travis Schulert
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Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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Some more pictures.
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Travis Schulert
pollinator
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Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
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The funnel bucket is just caked with dirt because we used it in the garden. Thats not what you think it is smeared all over it haha.
 
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hey travis...

the system looks very good. how do you process the solids?

i would like to have the funnel lead outside the house into a watering-can to dilute and use right away.
 
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Am having a hard time figuring this thing out.  I can't see a 'funnel' in the pictures.  I see an orange container for the front (pee) and the white bucket at the back, but where did the gallon jug come from and what is feeding into it?  I don't understand the 'cover' over the jug photo.  Could someone label these pictures to point out the special features?  Maybe my visual discrimination is just bad..
 
pollinator
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Denise Cares wrote:Am having a hard time figuring this thing out.  I can't see a 'funnel' in the pictures.  I see an orange container for the front (pee) and the white bucket at the back, but where did the gallon jug come from and what is feeding into it?  I don't understand the 'cover' over the jug photo.  Could someone label these pictures to point out the special features?  Maybe my visual discrimination is just bad..



I think you have it backwards.

The orange bucket is at the back, for solids.

The modified steel bucket is being used as a funnel, with a hole punched in it. It feeds into the gallon jug; you can see the bottom of it above the jug in the second to last picture.
 
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Travis Schulert wrote:Compost Toilet: Pros, cons, and modifications.
...

When I first built this, we just used a bucket situated underneath. The bucket was wider than a standard 5 gallon bucket and it was easy for both of us to use, but both wastes would mix together. This meant a lot more saw dust, and no matter how much you put in it would still pool at the bottom of the bucket and go stagnant quickly.

I had read a post on here of a much more elaborate diy toilet, so I just simplified my version and made it a short project. Credit for some of what I did goes to that guy or gal, it was awhile back that I read the post so I don’t remember.

I used a 5 gallon bucket for the funnel, and used a heat gun to soften the plastic and cut it to its base form. After a few attempts and fails I got the shape right, and from there used to heat gun to mold it into a better shape and to fit it in my toilet box.

The money saved is far superior to any inconvenience of this lifestyle.



This is great! I recently visited a permaculture farm in Chiapas that had a molded toilet that specifically separated liquids and solids and the workers explained how wonderfully beneficial it was in the composting process. When asked if the toilets were readily available, they mentioned that the toilets had to be ordered from Mexico City. I was wondering if anyone in the U.S. was making similar toilets. I personally don’t mind the DIY makeshift one like you’ve created but I know several people who might be more open to compost toilets if it had the look and feel of a more “normal” toilet. They used burnt ashes from sugar cane waste instead of saw dust.

We have outhouses where I am now in Mexico and I prefer them to the 2 toilets we have that we dump used water into to “flush.” It still seems like a waste of water, a valuable resource here.

I may have to try a similar DIY setup like yours.

Thanks for sharing!
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Compost toilet
Compost toilet
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Composting toilet system from the back
Composting toilet system from the back
 
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Adding a small amount of charcoal (that will become biochar) to the bucket along with the cover material makes a tremendous difference with regards to smells in a bucket system.  Just something to keep in mind as a possible, very simple, addition.
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