Low Buck DIY Composting toilet

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
I've held judgement for this toilet for long enough.
I serviced it today in preparation for a trip we leave on tomorrow,
so I figured Id better take some photos and do a quick write up...

Ill run down the basics, but please let me know if you have questions.

The basics...

5-gallon bucket for solids
1/2" threaded rod with associated nuts/bushings/sleeves for shaft
some scrap scrap flat stock steel completes the auger
chinese ratcheting wrench modified and donated to the cause for a ratcheting lever
ebay sourced 3d printed urine diverter
silicone tubing with tubing clamp
detergent bottle with nylon barb fitting and associated to work as a bulkhead fitting
walmart bucket toilet seat, complete with small vent holes and velcro to hold its place on the bucket
then add peat moss

Thats it.

We have run it for more than a year now, and there are zero drawbacks so far. Only benefits.
No more mess, no more smells, doesn't waste water, and costs next to nothing to build and maintain.
The ONLY thing I have planned for improvement is to connect the toilet to a small exhaust fan, to help with moisture control.
And its not at all smell related. In very humid conditions, and in the winter, the solids need more air exchange to break down properly.

Here are some photos of this stupid simple composting toilet.
And sorry if you think this is "nasty" or "messy"

Any "nastiness" in these photos is nothing more than peat or compost.
I did zero cleaning during this, beyond dumping the bucket.
No fancy insta/prop photos here :D









 

ripperj

Explorer
Pretty cool

How often do you add peat moss? Every time you use it for #2

How often do you have to empty it with daily use? Does it compact down much when it decomposes ?

I’m half arsed considering turning my Thetford in my new to me Hardside into a composting toilet



Edit- the cassette works pretty well, if I keep it I will add the SOG fan. It just requires emptying too frequently if three of use are using it. A separate urine bucket would definitely help


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IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Peat is only needed when you dump the bucket and restart.
You might be able to stretch the process by adding a bit occasionally, but we have yet to see the need or benefit.

Ours takes about two gallons of peat to start. I break the large bale of peat down into gallon zip-locks.
I carry 2-3 of those gallon bags of peat with us.

For urine...
Really depends on how often you use it for urine.
The wife does regularly, I use it sparingly.
So far, the urine looks to be a check and dump every few days.

For solids...
With daily use and two people & full time use the longest we have used it continuously was 2 weeks.
At the end of two weeks it was close, but I think we could have gone another week if need be.
Adding a bit of peat would likely help that process.

Resulting compost is exactly that. Compost. The stuff smells and feels like quality fertile dirt.
We have a few compost areas at our home, this stuff gets dumped in one of the areas that is never reintroduced to the fruit or vegi gardens.
Though I'm sure it could be without any problems....

 

Ramdough

Adventurer
Peat is only needed when you dump the bucket and restart.
You might be able to stretch the process by adding a bit occasionally, but we have yet to see the need or benefit.

Ours takes about two gallons of peat to start. I break the large bale of peat down into gallon zip-locks.
I carry 2-3 of those gallon bags of peat with us.

For urine...
Really depends on how often you use it for urine.
The wife does regularly, I use it sparingly.
So far, the urine looks to be a check and dump every few days.

For solids...
With daily use and two people & full time use the longest we have used it continuously was 2 weeks.
At the end of two weeks it was close, but I think we could have gone another week if need be.
Adding a bit of peat would likely help that process.

Resulting compost is exactly that. Compost. The stuff smells and feels like quality fertile dirt.
We have a few compost areas at our home, this stuff gets dumped in one of the areas that is never reintroduced to the fruit or vegi gardens.
Though I'm sure it could be without any problems....

ThinkIng of doing something similar. I assume toilet paper goes in a trash can?

I will have two adults and two kids, so I am assuming 2 weeks max based on your numbers.


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IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Nope, regular tp goes right in with solids and composts fine.

Family of 4, yeah, most likely 2 weeks max. And with higher frequency use things would have less time to actually compost. Ive considered a second bucket when on the road full time, to allow the mix to actually compost. Id feel better dumping it off grid in the backcountry better, for sure.
 

Ramdough

Adventurer
Nope, regular tp goes right in with solids and composts fine.

Family of 4, yeah, most likely 2 weeks max. And with higher frequency use things would have less time to actually compost. Ive considered a second bucket when on the road full time, to allow the mix to actually compost. Id feel better dumping it off grid in the backcountry better, for sure.
I bet you could stretch that bucket another week or two without toilet paper (in the toilet).

I really do appreciate you sharing your build.

My design is centered around 5gallon buckets. I have not figured out the stir method yet, but my goal is to make the buckets not modified so I can swap as needed and pick up replacements on the road if I ever have to. I have the separator already, just need to get further along before I finalize the stirrer. I really like your design, but I will see if I can get by without modifying the bucket. As a fall back, I might carry empty buckets to dump my toilet bucket into.


I also plan on a larger urine tank, but that is also TBD.

Keep up the great posts.


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Verkstad

Raggarkung
I bet you could stretch that bucket another week or two without toilet paper (in the toilet).
Not the two weeks part, but I would think the opposite.
Toiletpaper is just an additional absorbant material into the mix what takes up very little volume when its wet and mixed into the ’stew’.
 
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