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Old 10-30-2016, 11:44 AM   #1
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Composting toilets?

Mornin' Everyone,

I see the mention and odd question regarding composting toilets pop up from time to time here but my searches did not yield any detailed discussion.

I though I would put it out there and see if there is enough interest to carry i discussion.

We currently live full time in a fifth wheel travel trailer. I have close to 10 years accumulated living full time in some kind of RV. Through that time my second least favorite chore has been dumping the black tank. My very least favorite task is repairing the black water system when it fails.

I had been considering moving to a composting toilet for the last couple of years but had not put the plan into motion until recently.

We have a lot out in the woods, where we spend the majority of our time, we do not have septic and it is not practical to trad the 5er into town to dump. Our solution to this over the last few years was to put in a large freestanding holding tank and pump the RV tanks into it every 6-7 days. When the big tank gets full we call the porta potty guys and they come and pump it out for about $100.

I have had to rebuild the macerator pump 3 times due to "foreign object damage". It is great fun when you are half way through dumping and the pump breaks. Close the valve, disconnect the pump, poo everywhere.... Then the fun of repairing a pump full of poo.

We had the tank plug once. What a nightmare. After trying everything I could we called the guys that pump our tank and had them come out and hood their big vacuum pump up to the RV tank to try and clear the plug ($180). No luck....

So I added 1/2 gallon of Calgon and topped with water. Then I pulled the RV toilet and sealed the flange. Next Spring we are going to call the pump guys again.

I ran down to Cabellas and bought a camp potty. My wife was thrilled...... Right....

I set out to build a composting toilet. Armed with a skill saw, saber saw and a drill. Not quite the woodshop I am used to but "Version .9 beta" came out ok.

I built it originally without a urine diverter. I had ordered one but it was shipping from England and took 3 weeks to get here. I needed a toilet now.

If you read the various discussions online (Google: Humanure) you will find a lot of discussion regarding: separate or mix. The general idea being that if you want to produce the best compost for your garden then you want to mix solids and liquids in the collection bin. If you want the least odor then you need to seperate the liquids from solids. Having run 2+ weeks without separating, 10 days with a urine diverter that was installed too far forward for proper operation and now about 3 weeks with an improved diverter location, I can attest to the fact that effective separation makes a big difference in the fragrance.

As we are operating today, the toilet room smells consistently better than it did with the RV toilet. And maintenance process is MUCH easier and more pleasant. When we are on the road we will dump the urine container in an available public toilet and toss the solids (we line the collection bin with a trash liner) in a trash receptacle that is appropriate to disposing of diapers. Or, out in the woods and where permitted, dig a hole and bury it.

Handling of the waste is SOOO MUCH LESS offensive than dealing with black tank waste.




Well I am running out of time this morning. I will finish this post this evening.

See ya then.

S.
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:02 PM   #2
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Food for thought: https://compostingtoiletsusa.com/diy-composting-toilet/
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:30 PM   #3
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I've been using a diy composting almost exclusively for the last 5 or 6 months... There is a little bit of a learning curve right at first if you're not used to this type of waste management. All you really need is a 5 gallon bucket with a lid.

First I used straight peat moss as cover material. It works great but I found using 100% peat tends to attract fungus gnats if the water content in the bucket isn't exactly perfect. One solution was adding a little extra water occasionally to the cover material, which seems counter-intuitive, but works. I recently switched to sawdust. Vast improvement over the peat moss in my opinion. Just cover your deposit and you're done.

In the beginning I was pretty skeptical as to whether or not the composting toilet would actually be odor free. But after a few months with it, I nor anybody who has been on the bus has noticed any kind of foul smell at all. I'd much rather pitch a bucket of damp sawdust than pump liquid sewage out of a tank.
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:03 PM   #4
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Great timing! I just started looking for info on this a couple days ago, and wasn't coming up with a whole lot of good stuff.

I'll definitely be following this thread and clicking every link that's posted.

Thank you!
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:51 PM   #5
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Old 10-30-2016, 04:52 PM   #6
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I did not document my build except for one lone picture:

[/URL]

I will take more after I empty it next....
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Old 10-30-2016, 06:29 PM   #7
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Here is the urine diverter that I used: White Compost Toilet Urine Diverter / Separator for Composting loo / off grid | eBay
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Old 10-30-2016, 06:31 PM   #8
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A better link to the urine diverter: https://www.offgriddesigns.co.uk/sho...rters/diverter
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Old 10-30-2016, 06:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughridge85 View Post
I've been using a diy composting almost exclusively for the last 5 or 6 months... There is a little bit of a learning curve right at first if you're not used to this type of waste management. All you really need is a 5 gallon bucket with a lid.

First I used straight peat moss as cover material. It works great but I found using 100% peat tends to attract fungus gnats if the water content in the bucket isn't exactly perfect. One solution was adding a little extra water occasionally to the cover material, which seems counter-intuitive, but works. I recently switched to sawdust. Vast improvement over the peat moss in my opinion. Just cover your deposit and you're done.

In the beginning I was pretty skeptical as to whether or not the composting toilet would actually be odor free. But after a few months with it, I nor anybody who has been on the bus has noticed any kind of foul smell at all. I'd much rather pitch a bucket of damp sawdust than pump liquid sewage out of a tank.
Glad to hear that it is working well for you!!

We are using sawdust from a local cabinet shop. We had tried coco as suggested by some folks. Between the two I prefer the sawdust.

I may have to try some peat moss as well for comparison.

Thanks for the info.

S.
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Old 10-30-2016, 07:23 PM   #10
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1) so you just divert #1 one direction into a catch tank, honey wagon, etc...
Then you divert #2 to a container under the seat, cover with a layer of sawdust and let it dry/decompose naturally... Correct?

2) hardwood sawdust? Pine sawdust? Hamster bedding sawdust? Horse stall sawdust? Cabinet shop sawdust?

I'm thinking, I have an extra Atwood 12v bilge exhaust for my boat on the shelf...
If I build my commode cabinet right and with the exhaust... I could flip a switch and exhaust any 'fumes' out the top of the bus through a steel covered vent cap.


Much like this?




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