Monday, February 22, 2010

Composting Toilet

Prompted by a problem in the sewer tank/line of the caravan, perhaps caused by the cold weather, I am faced with the option of tackling this problem head on, in the cold and nastiness, else to leap forward in my plans for a composting toilet. Hm.. work on a difficult to access, unpleasant, and cold sewer system without instructions or any guarantee of being able to resolve the problem, OR get two five gallon buckets, fill one with rice hulls, and thus begin the journey to being a total composter.. Bob I'd like to take door number 2, thanks.. 

So this is just what I did yesterday. I got two of my five gallon buckets and set them up in the tiny bathroom of the caravan to replace the now non-functioning toilet connected to a septic tank. Once a week or as necessary I will take the full bucket to the house site and empty it into what will become my compost pile. The system is quite simple and has already proved to be effective with regard to keeping odors at bay. You do your business in the bucket, no different than any other toilet, then cover the leavings with sufficient cover material, in my case rice hulls, to completely hide the deposit. This is enough to keep odors from developing. 

In a year or so, the compost pile will have broken down to the point of being fine, rich compost without any hint of the original source of organic matter. All without the deadly chemicals used in city sewer systems, and all without wasting one drop of potable water. Instead of being a detriment to the environment, this system will provide a boost to plants, insects, and certainly microbial life, which in turn will provide a boost to animal life as well. 

Though I am using a bare bones system currently, I am looking forward to building a fine throne in the U-home, so as to give a juxtaposition between the beautiful furniture and the function of the piece. 

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