An Urban Composting Toilet: It Doesn't Smell. Really. (Video)
Image credit: Kirsten Dirksen/FairCompanies.com
Whether it is the low-tech humanure approach of the Loveable Loo, or more high-tech, high-cost compost toilet technology, one of the coolest things about toilets that don't use drinking water to flush away a precious resource is how quickly they can convert even relatively fecal-phobic individuals to the idea that old, well-treated poop doesn't have to smell, and it isn't dangerous. I remember my own introduction to well-built composting toilets while I was on a permaculture course—watching one of the farm hands empty the chamber on the outhouse. Despite being well-versed on the theory of composting human waste, I found myself inexplicably nervous about getting too close to the stuff. Yet once I got over my initial reluctance (I can't keep myself away from good compost for long), I was soon digging in to rich, crumbly compost that was as good as anything I had created in my backyard pile. I wouldn't exactly call it odor-free, but it was the odor of healthy, living and biologically diverse compost. It was the odor of life.
The video below contains a great example of someone else going through the same process. We start with a tour of the bathroom, and the composting chambers, before we finally get to see the photographer taking an up-close-and-personal view of the final product. "It's like earth", he says, and I'll be damned if I don't hear a tone of relief in his voice...
I should note that this is the same Oakland household belonging to Laura Allen that featured in Peak Moment TV's Pee and Poop Show, but this abbreviated tour is well worth a watch too.
More on Composting, Manure, and Human Bodily Waste
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Joseph Jenkins Explains Humanure Composting
Is Recycling Our Poop Key to Sustainable Farming?
Is Male Pee Better than Female Pee? The Compost Conundrum.
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