How to Maintain a Happy Composting Toilet
Composting toilets are very simple to maintain. The below is a list of top tips we have curated to help ensure the microbes helping us out are as happy as possible! Please feel free to leave comments below if you have other tips from your own experience!
Keep it Aerated – the ‘Courtesy Flush’
Help out the bacteria and microbes and also accelerate the drying of the solids: Give the bin a stir if you’re just having a wee. The more it breaks down and dries – the less you empty it!
Keep it Dry
If any liquids (or slightly too-liquid-for-comfort poop) get into the solids compartment, this may prevent aerobic breakdown. Try topping up with some fresh, dry coco coir or other material to absorb the excess moisture. Also, stir the solids more frequently for a few days to help the material dry out.
Don’t fill it with toilet paper
To maximise your time off-grid, we suggest using a separate bin for toilet paper. Tissue paper takes a long time to break down and will still be around when you come to empty your solids bin. This is a common practice in some parts of the world with poorer sanitation systems or for experienced users of chemical toilets who want to minimise the unpleasant task of emptying as much as possible.
Introducing – The courtesy Fold
If you follow our advice and go for the TP-Bin approach, you’ll do yourself (or whoever empties the bin) a favour if you ensure that you fold each piece of used tissue paper one last time before putting it in the bin. There – we said it.
Don’t add kitchen scraps
While you may compost food and kitchen waste in your garden or with your local authority, within a confined space where you may use a portable toilet, this can attract unwanted pets. While the flies are harmless (they don’t bite) it’s best not to attract them in the first place with tasty kitchen scraps.
Fly Kryptonite – Diatomaceous Earth
To help prevent pesky (harmless) little fruit flies, and possibly their scarier but also harmless big brother Black Soldier flies (USA only?) try adding diatomaceous earth to your compost. This can be added to the fresh composting material after emptying, after each use or both. Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock. We’ll be writing more on how it works shortly so sign up to be notified when it arrives, for a chance to win the best composting toilet in the world and to stay up to date on our upcoming kickstarter campaign where you’ll be able to purchase diatomaceous earth as a perk.
Keep a small spray bottle of white vinegar diluted 5 to 1 with water beside your loo. A few sprays after each use will help reduce any odours from liquids left on the surface.