Sunday, December 4, 2011

Urban Composting Toilet

Today in my inbox I got an email that contained an article about a rainwater toilet and then from that article there was a link on Urban composting toilets.  As an urban guy who has delusions of one day owning a small building in an urban center (preferably NYC) where I can garden, can, dry, rain water collect and of course compost, in short:  do all those fun off grid activities.

I was curious just exactly how unpleasant composting toilets were.  I don't have an issue with them but I think it could be weird for guests at a dinner party where if they need to go to the bathroom it's more akin to using kitty liter....this video was very instructive.  The thing I found most interesting was that it takes a full year for your composted "humanure" to become dirt you can then use in your garden.  Urine can be mixed with water and used as a nitrogen rich fertilizer post hast (this particular toilet as a urines diversion system so it is separated out).  In the end I think I would maybe go with the rainwater toilet first....the thing that you realize about human composting toilets is that it is kind of misleading to call them "urban"  as you need a house with a back yard and a fair amount of space to make this work.  It's also labor intensive so if you were old or otherwise infirm it would be challenging.

Still, it's interesting and it's good to know people are actually living what they believe.  Our use of potable water for things like toilets is not something that can go on forever as fresh water is increasingly becoming a precious resource.

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