Material for bucket toilet & disposal

dbhost

Active member
View attachment 681087
We use a cassette toilet. We spend a lot of time in the desert and usually need to bury the contents.
This hole will accommodate both ours and our friend's 20L cassettes.
Cassettes typically need emptying every 3 or 4 days when used by 2 people full time. But, if ALL urine is diverted and flushing water is minimised, a cassette can last up to 2 weeks for 2 people. It also smells a lot less.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
Not doubting you in the slightest, but your time between dumps of the cassettes is a bit shorter than mine. Again 2 people, 20l / 5 gallon portable toilet in my case needs to be emptied for us every 4 to 5 days when out. Of course i have no qualms just watering the bushes if need be instead of using the toilet. my wife on the other hand is not comfortable with that...

We have had one trip with uh... some digestive issues that came up and dumping was needed at 2 days, but that is a completely different story... At that time, I was happy to pack up and go home. I got a bad burger at Fuddruckers en route. Not even sure if they are still in business.

FWIW, how deep do you dig your trench? I tend to go at least 24". They used to say to keep it at that depth so it decomposes fastest and is away from the ability of moth animals to get to it...
 

PlacidWaters

Adventurer
After a long google search I've been unable to determine whether pine pellets are effective for solid waste, or whether sawdust is better than pellets. Does anyone know the answer to that?

I'm not talking about a composting toilet. Just a simple bucket toilet. I can figure out the liquid waste. It's the solid waste I need to know.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Either will work fine, as will coir. Feel free to switch between based on local cost and availability, storage volume etc.

Note in a mobile context, "composting toilet" is as much a scammer marketing lie as "solar generator".

They are all just bucket toilets

the material needs to be dumped months before any real composting takes place

"dessicating" is the action you're looking for.

The differentiating "fancy features" between DIY and the commercial units are:

stirring / mixing the poo into the medium to reduce odors and speed up the absorption / drying action

ventilation to the outside, or alternatively, a tight seal to reduce odors in between deposit sessions

and allowing users to pee at the same time, diverting into a separate liquids container.
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
After a long google search I've been unable to determine whether pine pellets are effective for solid waste, or whether sawdust is better than pellets. Does anyone know the answer to that?

I'm not talking about a composting toilet. Just a simple bucket toilet. I can figure out the liquid waste. It's the solid waste I need to know.
My wife used pine pellets with her cats and the pellets only helped with urine. Worked great for urine. The pellets will not cover the smell of poop that is solid because the pellets don't break down. Might help with diarrhea!
 

ripperj

Explorer
Either will work fine, as will coir. Feel free to switch between based on local cost and availability, storage volume etc.

Note in a mobile context, "composting toilet" is as much a scammer marketing lie as "solar generator".

They are all just bucket toilets

the material needs to be dumped months before any real composting takes place

"dessicating" is the action you're looking for.

The differentiating "fancy features" between DIY and the commercial units are:

stirring / mixing the poo into the medium to reduce odors and speed up the absorption / drying action

ventilation to the outside, or alternatively, a tight seal to reduce odors in between deposit sessions

and allowing users to pee at the same time, diverting into a separate liquids container.
The thread that Idasho has going on his budget composting toilet indicates different. I don’t seem to be able to post the link from tapatalk

Edit- I mean he dumps his after two weeks of daily use and it looks like dirt
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

1000arms

Well-known member
After a long google search I've been unable to determine whether pine pellets are effective for solid waste, or whether sawdust is better than pellets. Does anyone know the answer to that?

I'm not talking about a composting toilet. Just a simple bucket toilet. I can figure out the liquid waste. It's the solid waste I need to know.
The sawdust would likely have more surface area than the pellets, which would help with what you are trying to do, but, if the pellets fall apart quickly enough, it might not matter.

I'm including a couple of book links and a link to another thread in this forum for anyone reading your thread.



 

john61ct

Adventurer
The thread that Idasho has going on his budget composting toilet indicates different. I don’t seem to be able to post the link from tapatalk

Edit- I mean he dumps his after two weeks of daily use and it looks like dirt
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Yes, well mixed, aerated, no unpleasant odors, that is the goal.

Does not have anything to do with the actual definition of **composted**.

In a real compost heap, 3-6 more weeks are needed. High heat helps with bacterial safety as well as breakdown, then more aeration / turnover, and finally worms really help speed things up

to the point you'd be happy to use it in your veggie bed!

But the processes occuring in your van or trailer are just the earliest stage.
 
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PlacidWaters

Adventurer
My wife used pine pellets with her cats and the pellets only helped with urine. Worked great for urine. The pellets will not cover the smell of poop that is solid because the pellets don't break down. Might help with diarrhea!
Thank you! That's what I suspected. I'm going to take pine pellets and sawdust and see which works better.
 

Joe917

Explorer
My wife and I have lived with a Natures Head composting toilet over 7 years from Alaska to Ushuaia. We always used peat moss and were able to find it every time we needed it. There is a correct amount to put in, too much is as bad as too little. You will have to figure it out as you go. We get approx 4-5 weeks out of a toilet change. When you change the toilet the contents are not magically compost. The 4 week old crap may be , but the #2 you introduced yesterday is still fresh #2. Dispose of it accordingly. Crossing borders we never brought attention to the toilet and it was never questioned . We always had a sacrificial tomato or pepper, "is this OK?" Smell has never been an issue and I consider the switch to a composting toilet from a black tank to be one of the best improvements we made to the truck.
 

JaSAn

Well-known member
. . .I mean he dumps his after two weeks of daily use and it looks like dirt
Doesn't make any difference what the stuff looks like, composting eliminates harmful pathogens we all have in our sh.it. There are over 100 different varieties of viruses, bacteria, and helminthes (worms) in feces. It takes time + temperature to eliminate them:
70ºF - about 1 to 3 years.​
90ºF to 120ºF - about 120 days.​
130ºF to 149ºF - 20 to 30 days.​
adding 3% lime reduces these times.​

 
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tatanka48

Active member
as mentioned above separating one's urine from the solid waste is a major step in eliminating odor

several manufacturers(mostly in the U.K. reasonably priced and quick to ship) offer molded pieces for this purpose

emptying the urine bottle daily goes a long way toward reducing odor

simplest to build a box w/ a normal toilet seat to house the bucket and urine bottle

in the bucket you can either line it w/ kitchen trash bags or expect to rinse it out when emptied

if you use a Gamma Seal Lid you can twist the bag after use and screw in the lid

in the bucket whether with or without a bag a 50%/50% mixture of common cabinet shop saw dust like from under the table saw and peat moss does a fine job of disguising any aromas for quite a while

compost-toilet_urine-separation-400x533.jpgc425c6e9c2283307bea0c1c025499d9e.jpgtoiletseat.jpg

i personally use a liquid laundry detergent jug w/ the pour spout removed for urine instead of the fancy plastique bottle

IMG_3371.jpg

the ladies when seated will automatically be lined up for the urine separator

when standing the ladies can use a device which directs their urine very well either away from their clothing and feet or into a bottle

61BPojxLuCL._AC_UL320_.jpg

a quick search on giggle for "DIY urine separating device" and you will come up with a plethora of sound proven solutions to the OP (both products and blogs)

BON CHANCE

"T"
 
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PlacidWaters

Adventurer
UPDATE: I tested my bucket toilet on a trip last week. For liquid waste I found that a layer of about 1" of pine pellets lasted about one day for one person. Beyond that the pellets couldn't absorb any more liquid. I spread the used pellets in the woods on the theory that urine is said to be sterile and pine pellets are 100% natural. It's important to wash the bucket because the liquid condenses on the interior sides of the closed bucket. I didn't use a plastic bag inside the bucket for the liquid waste, but you could and that would keep it cleaner. Come to think of it, that would be better.

For solid waste I found that sawdust works perfectly. I put a plastic grocery bag over the bucket rim---it fits perfectly, nice and tight. Then added about 3 large handfuls of sawdust. Made sure the sawdust coated everything when done. Then double bagged it and disposed of it in the campground trash can. My thought is that thousands of campers throw soiled diapers and pet waste in the campground trash can or dumpster---they don't carry it around in their car until they get home. I've never seen a sign saying "No human waste or diapers" on a dumpster.

With this system there's no need for any fancy device for separating liquid and solid waste.

I didn't try the pine pellets for solid waste because the sawdust worked so well and is free.

I want to emphasize again that if you use a screw-on lid that includes a rim that snaps onto the bucket, that rim has a rounded edge that's comfortable to sit on and no additional seat is needed.
Question: Can you use a bucket toilet inside a tent for privacy? Yes. There is no odor at all with the pine pellets. Solid waste is removed from the tent immediately. Would I do that with 5 kids? No! I'm one person with a 4-person tent.

My main goal with the bucket toilet has been to avoid using campground bathrooms---notoriously unsanitary---during the pandemic. An added benefit is no more trips outside the tent multiple times during the night. The bucket has worked out great.
 
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