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Helpful Info
& FAQ's

 

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What is a Composting Toilet?

The term Composting Toilet has been adopted by a lot of people, to refer to all dry and wet off grid toilets and this isnt always the case.

For a toilet to be a true composting toilet, the composting or decomposition of feces would need to take place in the toilet itself, for this to happen you would require a large, well ventilated solids container that could be turned or agitated, and even then, with a large container the toilet would need to be out of action for a period while the freshest deposits have time to mature.

Most true composting toilets have a duel chamber where the seat is switched to a second collection container while the first container is allowed time to mature before being emptied and used as compost.

The majority of the toilets we sell should technically be refered to as separating, dry or even collection toilets and we feel these are a much better option, i'll explain why.

Firstly by separating the urine from the feces at source it is much easier, safer and pleasant to deal with, if you combine urine and feces in one container it will eventually break down however the anaerobic (without air) reaction that will take place is smelly, and awkward/unpleasant to deal with, we feel that separtaion is the key to off grid toilets.

A separator is a funel like device that sits under the front of the toilet seat and collects urine, from there it can be piped away to drainage, a soak away, or even captured in a container.

When using a separating toilet both male and female users will need to sit down, this can raise some eyebrows with males users but its just part of the process to ensure urine is directed effiently into the separtor.

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By separating the urine you've efectivly dealt with half of the problem, now its just the feces or solids as we'll call them.

In our toilets these are collected in a container behind/underneath the separator. Now you might think that would smell, but you'd be wrong, being separated from the urine in an arobic (with air) enviroment any initial smells quickly disapate.

You may of heard of "soak" or "cover material", this is where these come in. A cover material or soak can be a number of things from sawdust to coconut coir or even ash. a small amount of this is placed into the solid container before first use and after every consecutive use, we like to say "one scoop per poop".

The cover material does a few great things, firstly it neutralises any left over oddurs by acting as a bio filter, it protects the users modesty and makes the toilet much more inviting for the next visitor but most importantly it's a huge help in the composting process, i'll go on to talk aboult this now.

So this is where the composting happens, while some decompostion will occur in your solid container it takes around 12 mouths for the solids to be properly composted, and your container will be full well before that, so you'll need to empty the solid container into a separate compost bin, where the actual composting can take place.

This is where the cover material performs its final trick, for good compost you need balanced levels of carbon and nitrogen, theres plenty of nitrogen in our poops so a cover material thats high in carbon such as sawdust balances the mix and helps add vital oxygen by creating air pockets. Once your compost bin is full you'll need to start a new one and leave the first one for around 12 mouths, at which point you'll be left with a rich compost that looks and smells no different to a compost brought from your local garden center.

We'll be adding more info on composting and answers to frequently asked questions here soon, but in the meantime please don't hesitate to get in touch to find out more.

What is a Long Drop Toilet?

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A Long Drop Toilet or Pit Latrine is possibly the earliest form of off grid or outside toilet. Long Drops have been used for centuries across the world and are still favoured by some to this day in remote or off grid areas.

A Long Drop is an extremely simple idea, it is basically a large hole with a toilet structure positioned over the top.

Urine, solid waste and loo roll all fall into the hole from the toilet above, the urine will soak into the surrounding soil while the solid waste will slowly decompose. Being underground with limited airflow and colder temperatures a slow anaerobic (without air) composting process will occur, while this will slowly breakdown the solid waste the toilet will still eventually become full.

At this time the toilet structure is either repositioned over another hole or moved aside for the hole to be emptied.

A Long Drop Toilet is not particularly well suited to high usage situations, which is why we don’t advise them in commercial settings, they are better suited to private or family use.

Just like everything they can take a bit of looking after, if the pit becomes smelly or flies have become attracted to it we suggest covering over with soil, a layer of soil (previously excavated from the pit) around 5cm thick over the top of the solid waste should do the trick.

The size of the hole/pit you dig for your Long Drop obviously determines how long your pit will take to fill, the deeper the better, but a minimum depth of 1 meter is required. The pit will sometimes require a shuttering to prevent it falling in on itself, we make a product called the Pit Liner this is a reusable shuttering made from recycled plastic, however you can easily make you own with wood, bricks or slabs, or even old car tyres.

To Install an Outhouse over a pit you will require a solid level base we recommend a couple of sleepers sunk in the ground with the pit dug in between them. The dimensions for building your pit to work with one of our Long Drop Outhouses are pictured below.    

Long Drop Base

This image shows a Long Drop Outhouse base constructed from 200mm x 100mm sleepers sunk in the ground. While you can construct your base with whatever materials you choose the top of the pit will need to measure 600mm x 450mm to be used with our Outhouses

longdrop pit-base measurments

The diagram on the left shows how the pit needs to be posstioned in relation to a standard size Long Drop Outhouse and the diagram on the right is for the XL model

longdrop xl pit-base measurements
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