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Compost Loo For Beginners

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compost looNot everybody has used a compost loo before. Here’s the basics…

Inside the toilet tent you will find two bins – one with a seat on and one containing useful things.

Sit down and relax. You may deposit only things you’ve already eaten, used toilet paper and sawdust. Please don’t put any rubbish or other items in the compost loo.

The second bin contains toilet paper and sawdust. Quite possibly also some hand-wash and a good book.

When you’ve made your deposit, please sprinkle a scoop of sawdust over it so it is covered.

Put the lid down before you leave – your job is done!

It’s okay to pee in the compost loo, but if you’re happy to use pee in the hedge or behind a tree that would be even better. The compost loo is mainly intended for the brown stuff but it copes with a moderate amount of extra liquid (please add some sawdust as above).

That’s all you need to know, but here are some more interesting things about compost loos:

  • With the right level of moisture and with your deposits covered with sawdust, the compost loo doesn’t get smelly.
  • When the loo is full enough, it will be left to compost for 6 months or so. As it composts it will heat up (like a compost heap does), this helps to destroy pathogens. When the process is finished it should be crumbly and not at all smelly or sticky – bearing no resemblance to what it used to be.
  • If this kind of thing interests you then there’s a great free book online, The Humanure Handbook.
  • The compost will feed the plants – it will be emptied in the base of a hedge where nobody will have cause to disturb it. I won’t be using it near fruit trees or anywhere that it will come into contact with people, although it would be perfectly safe.
  • Your wee is also great for plants; it contains Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium (Potash) which are the key ingredients of synthetic fertilizers.
  • What you’re sitting on may look somewhat similar to a food waste bin – your deposit is post-consumer food waste. We don’t need the bin at home: our ducks, geese and garden birds have some of our scraps and since we’re veggie the rest is fine for our compost heap.
  • Most of the time we all flush our business away with drinking water, seems like a terrible waste of water as well as of all those great plant nutrients. Humanure makes a lot of sense!