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Jonathan’s Scoop on Composting Toilets

Jonathan, stone mason and writer-editor of Wendell, MA, discusses the building of his mouldering toilet in several Earth Thrive’s episodes.  He tells us:

My partner and I lived for 19 years in a deepwoods homestead complete with garden & goats, a hand pump at the sink, a composting system for our biological wastes, and no electricity. It was elegant in the comfort & aesthetic sense, but also elegant meaning clean and simple, as in “an elegant mathematical proof.” We emerged from our forest homestead in 1997 to be closer to our neighbors and more involved in the community.

Please excuse my hat! It obviously functioned as a helmet a few times too many.”

You can see footage of Jonathan and his mouldering toilet (and his crushed hat!) in our Video Gallery.

two-chamber latrine

Composting toilets (also called biological, dry, or waterless toilets) are systems that treat human excrement through biological processes, turning it into organic compost material that can be used to fertilize the soil.

“They are small-scale, complete sewage processing systems that are not connected to municipal sewage systems. The Chinese have been using composting toilets for hundreds of years, but it is only since the 1960’s that they have become popular in the rest of the world.”

    — from   http://www.sustainablebuild.co.uk/CompostToilets.html 


For more diagrams and descriptions:




To view other videos on composting toilets:




Other links:



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