Aaron (pictured below) and I cleaned out two composting toilets on the farm. We have a total of six composting toilets on the farm, soon to be eight. The average American uses about 80 gallons of water a day just flushing the toilet. We figure why call it waste when it can be put to good use as humanure. We don’t use any humanure on our vegetable crops. Instead we spread it on our pasture where our animals graze. We could use it on food crops if we followed the USDA guidelines for composting humanure… in case you were wondering.
One of the toilets we emptied today belongs to one of the families that lives on the farm. This was the first time it had been emptied in a year, since their duplex was built. The compost in there was pretty well finished and not very putrid at all. The design for those is a toilet near an outside wall where the waste falls onto a slope that goes out of the building into a chamber on the ground. That one took a year for a family of four to fill.
The other one we did today was in our education building. This was the first composting toilet on the property and consistently the most disgusting to empty. As you can see, the design does not make it really easy to empty. It’s a large compartment so there is a lot of crap to shovel when it’s full. It also gets a little spongy or squishy. The drier stuff on the top actually floats on the sludgy liquid stuff below. So as you shovel it gets more and more liquid and sludge-like. The smell in this one is horrible and nasty. Only a gas mask would be effective in filtering out the brutal odor of this one. We earned a Manure Movers of America shirt today.
If you’re interested in making better use of your own poop check out The Humanure Handbook.