A Conversation for Dunnies

Earth closets

Post 1

Peet (the Pedantic Punctuation Policeman, Muse of Lateral Programming Ideas, Eggcups-Spurtle-and-Spoonswinner, BBC Cheese Namer & Zaphodista)

There was a documentary (UK) a couple of years ago which showed that Earth closets were in fact sweet-smelling, and far less wasteful of resources than water closets - it seems pretty pointless to waste time and energy purifying water, just to use it to dilute and move effluent... The "output" of an earth closet would be dug into the kitchen gardens to produce the next year's vegetable crop! They fell out of favour about the same time that farm-grown vegetables took over in popularity from home-grown.

Earth closets

Post 2

doreiwolf (why not try A682652?) (Alpha Low Thingite Patron, Defender of Wibble, Pagan Younger and Official Pooper Scooper)

Now this I didn't actually know. I'm curious as to why they stopped using them. Maybe you might want to flag your forum entry as an update to my guide entry?

Earth closets

Post 3

Peet (the Pedantic Punctuation Policeman, Muse of Lateral Programming Ideas, Eggcups-Spurtle-and-Spoonswinner, BBC Cheese Namer & Zaphodista)

The general idea was that they fell out of popularity because they required someone in the household to dig them out on a regular basis, plus you needed to have a kitchen garden to make use of the output. I can see the advantages in a countryside/village scenario, but it probably wouldn't be too practical in a multi-storey smiley - smiley

Earth closets in the US

Post 4

bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran

thought you might be interested in knowing about 'earth closets' over here in the states. As I am building a log cabin in the wilds of the true north of Michigan, I have sorta studied up on the subject.

There seem to be two kinds of recycling toilets that are currently in use. There is one that is actually in use by the DNR [Department of Natural Resources] in some remote parks. It is an electronically powered waste converting toilet. I guess it has to be cleaned out periodically and I dont really know if what is left can be called 'compost' [but then, what else would it be?] It can be powered by either solar or traditional electricity, and I think some are solar.

The second one I know of is available in both Canada and the US and intended for home installation. It is actually called a composting toilet, and is designed for easy and regular removal of waste specifically intended to be used as compost. Also solar powered.

Maybe these are really both the same kind of toilet, but I know for sure that the one is in use in parks, and the other is available for sale to homeowners. I have a friend who has installed one and is using one on the site of a future log cabin in Montana.

We did not buy one, as we have a septic system and more 'traditional' utilities installed. We are not really out in the wilderness and have all the utilities available: natural gas, electricity, phone and yes, even cable tv. But when we build our 'camp' [every Yooper has to have a camp] we hope to have it totally self sufficient and may consider one of the composting toilets.

But I agree, you really wouldnt want them in a high-rise apartment building...
smiley - smiley


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