Author Topic: Does anyone have a composting toilet?  (Read 1180 times)

shelivesthedream

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Does anyone have a composting toilet?
« on: November 24, 2014, 07:21:08 AM »
My husband and I are going to move house in between three and five years. We live in the UK and will get a house with my husband's job  and will live there for a minimum of ten years. I've learnt with my husband that it's best to start early if you want to suggest something out of his comfort zone, so lately I have been trying to research composting toilets. I've used one at a friend's house and was majorly impressed that it is, in fact, just like using a normal toilet - no smell, no weird contraptions, etc, and I'd quite like one of my own as we grow vegetables (and would love free compost!) and I am also very attracted to the idea of closing domestic systems so that waste becomes useful.

However, I have some questions.

1. How easy is the conversion? I feel like this will depend on the layout of the house - my friend who has one had a big cupboard conveniently directly below the existing bathroom which they just bricked off. I'm probably not planning to DIY (plumbing and electricity just seem a bit too dangerous to get wrong...) but I'd like to know how big a job it is for a decent plumber - how much 'house' they need to shift around and how long it might take.
2. Do you need planning permission? What if you live in a listed house?
3. Is it easy/possible to convert back to a flushing toilet? (This may be a condition of allowing us to make the change to the house.) This makes it sound super easy: http://www.eco-toilets.co.uk/eco-toilet-info/household/
4. Seriously, how gross is it to clean out? To what extent is it like compost and to what extent is it just poop? I would definitely want one with alternating chambers so I could leave it to compost in situ rather than having to empty it into a separate composter.
5. What kind of maintenance does it need apart from the annual/biannual clear out? Cleaning? Checking pipes?
6. Can I put composted human waste straight onto vegetables?
7. Is there anything you can't put down the toilet? E.g. bleach, dyed toilet paper...?
8. Has anything made you regret it or is it the dream it seems? (I'm not really concerned with ROI - I'm doing it mainly because it seems like The Right Thing and is conceptually awesome.)