A Compost Toilet for the garden

We proudly present: the brand new toilet of El drac! It took us around 3 months of hard work, sweat and some blood as well, but finally the facility is ready for use. It is a separating toilet, but this relates only to the excrements as it is made for all gender.

These materials were used for the whole project :

  • Canas bamboo ~100 plants
  • Plastic string
  • Several buckets of clayey soil
  • Several buckets of dry grass
  • Chicken wire and normal wire
  • One old tent
  • (Second hand) fabric
  • Flat river stones
  • A flexible tube / hosepipe
  • Wood for the box
  • Brackets and screws
  • Toilet seat
  • Silicone
  • Two different sizes of empty plastic bottles
  • Two buckets
  • Optional a small grid
  • Optional some rubber foam

The project started by finding the right place and after making that decision a lot of foundation building work was necessary.

After cleaning the space a foundation made of river stones and clay was put in place.

Important here was the tunnel for the pee-tube. It was in that early stage of construction that the separation needed to be planned and integrated in the system.

Here you can see the part of the tube that would be connected with the pee-funnel later.

For more constancy of the building during rain periods a water drain was also built next to the toilet hut.

Rain water can flow into the big blue barrel. A smaller one would catch the pee from the pipe underneath.

The cabin was designed as a very natural building. The main material we used was bamboo from the river bed nearby.

It took a lot of time to harvest the plants and then to cut them into their defined shape.

Then the construction part of the walls and the roof started. All connections were attached with thin plastic strings.

The framework is completely made of bamboo.

The initial roof frame is a quadrat with a double cross upon,  which we needed to create eight contact points for the roof itself.

So we could fixate the eight poles for the roof at these points to stabilise the heavier poles of the roof construction.

You can see here the roof frame itself. It is shaped like a lens and holds itself perfectly in place.

For the coverage of the roof we created eight triangle panels and wrapped the chicken wire around them.

Luckily we found this old tent and used it for the triangles as well.

Then the roof was finished in a one day working session.

View from the bird’s perspective.

And one more from underneath.

Because of the special design there was still this hole in the middle of the roof. We solved this problem with a miniature copy of the construction covered with another piece of the tent cloth.

The next step was building consistent walls that were heavy enough to hold the entire construction in place even when stronger winds would appear.

The base for the walls is bamboo cut in quarters and then weaved through the poles.

We needed a lot of time to prepare for the next step. Buckets of grass had to be cut into small pieces.

And the soil needed to get sieved twice before we could use it.

After that a mixture of clay, grass and water was compounded and smutted all over the woven bamboo.

The result was a very strong nature wall.

Even the smallest members could help during this process.

Finally the toilet cabin stood there,  stable and quite beautiful, don’t you think?!

But as you may have noticed,  a little detail is still missing…

Of course,  the house needed still some interior. The toilet itself is actually a wooden box with a bucket inside.

Okay, I admit it’s a little bit more complicated.  Because we wanted to create a separating toilet we needed to create the separation installation itself.

For this purpose we took the plastic bottles and cut off their heads for the funnel solution.

The smaller bottle was attached to the tube which needed some fixation at the box to stay in the right place.

Above that we fixed the brackets with screws and at last a wire frame for the big bottle funnel.

The greatest advantage of this solution is that a change of the plastic parts can easily be done at any time.

To be even more sure that nothing unwanted falls into the pee-tube a small grid was also added.

Et voilá! A toilet already!

In the right hole you see a bucket full of soil and ashes to cover the stuff in the box.

To minimize annoying smells (which are already very reduced by the separation) you can use some rubber foam. It’s also good to keep little insect friends outside the box.

Our box was a tiny little bit to high to be really comfortable so a small pedestal was built afterwards.

And for more privacy the walls got also their finish with upcycled fabrics.
Now this project has finally come to an end. Hopefully these instructions are clear enough for any user to avoid bigger problems with our tube system.

The pee can be directly used as a fertiliser for the plants and the other excrements can either get dumped into the ground or set aside for the process of making Terra preta (a highly potential and completely natural fertiliser as well).

Separate!  Just do it!