Friday, February 6, 2015

Ideas on How to Build a Composting Toilet

© R. Mark Sink
Ideas on How to Build a Composting Toilet 

By R. Mark Sink

In these times, having an alternative emergency toilet is not a bad idea, especially with the ever increasing unstable nature of both the planned obsolescence of building methods, and our uncertain future brought on by our normalcy biases that everything is just fine.

Wood How To presents the idea of a stand-alone portable unit capable of receiving a standard 5 gallon bucket along with a standard toilet seat from Kohler© (sells for $20). The factory seat has a self-closing mechanism and is easy to clean.

Composting requires various mediums where some can be purchased locally. A mixture of saw dust (60%), and peat moss (40%), provides a good starting medium that can be transferred for additional mediums. There is mention of hemp stalks also as another medium, although, there might be a plethora of possible mediums available to further the processes and make use in soil restoration.

To learn more about composting this type of material, watch this video. Although you may use this methodology inside your bucket to some extent making the transfers into your own composting area that you have created more frequent. A consideration for additional compost material such as chicken manure can be combined for the ultimate garden soil once organisms have reduced the compost into a suitable growing medium.

© R. Mark Sink
Building Your Compost Toilet

In the U.S. a 5 gallon bucket (18.9 liters) range in height from 14" (35.5cm) up to 15" (38.1cm), be sure and check the height of your bucket so that it will fit into the cabinet you build. This particular cabinet is 19 inches tall. (48.26cm) The seat is slightly higher yet, so a consideration for use can be tested, and also consider who will be using the compost toilet when needed.

In my project, and leading up to this idea, I had experienced some plumbing issues, and found that having the off-the-grid unit around the house would be a major benefit. It would also get me thinking more about soil restoration and building instead of the never-ending mowing the yard which burns and wastes energy.

Unfortunately, our world is designed around wasting energy instead of utilizing the yard for much more productive means.

Underneath the factory seat there are ridge plates surrounding the oval shape that are intended to rest upon the bowl ring of standard toilets. Make sure you cut your hole in the cabinet top in parallel range of these ridges, about 1 1/2 inches (3.81cm) larger in diameter than the actual factory hole in the seat. You may want to also check the actual brand of seat you purchase for your unit. Drill two holes where the seat fastens in the back which seem to be a standard 5 1/5 on center to center (13.97cm).

Arrange the seat so that the bucket underneath can be slide into place easily with the seat not to far from the front edge, to make the seat easier to access. You may also want to allow for the lid to be on the bucket when installed or removed.

© R. Mark Sink
This cabinet is 20 1/2 inches deep (52.07cm), 19 1/2 inches wide (49.53cm), and also has a back that stands at 29" (73.66cm) tall. Legs were added along with the scrap material (this means it was extra, or left over from other work) used mostly of (1/2 inch (1.27cm) cherry plywood, solid cherry, and solid mahogany scappings.

The back was added because the seat is a bit delicate in that regard, the seat could be damaged by swinging back to far or by accident, so a back was created as support. To make use of the compost toilet, one certainly does not need to build a throne, these materials also could be just about anything that is workable to get the job done.

Assuming that our systems are not outdated in the middle of horrible economic burdens now present and covered over by the media, being prepared for the unexpected has its values, especially with all the uncertainties abound, such as electric failure, which drives the water pump to allow flushing to occur.

The power in Florida goes out several times each year like clockwork, and this is expected to continue. There is also the issue of water availability that with a little research, one immediately learns that our water supplies are in serious trouble in the days ahead, as these sources are continually being degraded.


The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, Third Edition

Prepper's Long-Term Survival Guide: Food, Shelter, Security, Off-the-Grid Power and More Life-Saving Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living

The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality

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