Composting Toilet

For decades I have been building and using simple, effective composting toilets that save water and allow the recycling and reuse of nutrients lost with flush toilets. The base of the toilet is two large boxes (made of plywood in this case) sized to hold about a year’s worth of deposits. After each use, sawdust or other dry organic matter is added to absorb moisture, reduce smells, and help in the composting process. When one chamber is full, the seat is transferred to the other box, leaving the first to compost in place for a year or more. By that time, all of the humanure is typically broken down into fully composted material that is nearly odorless and safe to handle. The walls of our toilet were made with two versions of lath-and-plaster. One using thin milled sticks for the lath; the other using wire mesh. The plaster was made of site-harvested clay, sand, chopped straw, and flour paste.