Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Composting Toilets

But for the sign, would you know that this was a composting toilet?? (photo courtesy:

Having covered waterless urinals, its time to talk about Composting Toilets. If animals can make manure, why can't we??

Actually we can. Make did a great write up on the subject, including several resources about human manure.

Like waterless urinals, it would be great to incorporate composting toilets. But the reality of the situation is that it probably won't happen. This is a classic case of sociological issues rather than technology issues. There are just TOO many psychological issues to contend with. I can't get friends of mine to stop drinking bottled water in the United States (where tap water quality is excellent), because they are worried about germs in the tap water...I have no hopes with the composting toilets. And these are all people with college degrees from good schools!!

But maybe it'll have to become like the Darfuri solar cookstoves, where there are strong negative incentives that force people to use the technology. If things got so bad in the U.S, maybe we'd start using solar cookstoves, or composting toilets to save the planet (well, more like save ourselves).

How a composting toilet works
Build a composting toilet for $25
Is Humanure safe?

Profile of one of the many composting toilet designs (photo:

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