Sunday, May 21, 2017

Waterless WC

This morning when Hubby Tony and I rolled out of bed it was sunny and almost 60 degrees...a beautiful day for outdoor activities.  He suggested a walk, but when I reminded him we hadn't been on a bike ride yet this year he quickly agreed.  After breakfast we loaded the bikes into the car and headed towards Grant's Trail. I like riding there, because as a former railroad right of way it's nice and flat.  When we reached the trailhead parking lot we got the bikes ready to ride.  But before I started I decided I needed to use the rest room.

It's been several years since we've been on that section of the trail.  My recollection was that the restroom was actually a port-a-potty, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was now a real building with separate Men's and Women's sides.  When I entered the single stall room the first thing I notices was the interesting-looking lavatory.  The sign on the wall told me it was a composting toilet.

According to Wikipedia, a composting toilet is a type of waterless system that uses a predominantly aerobic process to treat human excreta by composting. As befitting a waterless system this toilet had no water tank.  Instead, the seat with attached lid was placed directly on top of a large tank. A sign on the wall told me not to put bottles, cans, trash, cigarettes, cigars, or matches in the toilet, and to close the lid when I was done.

A small plastic trash can filled with wood shavings was attached to the wall next to the toilet.  There was a scoop attached to the can with a long cord.  No instructions were included, but I knew from my experience with composting that in order to keep a pile from smelling you need the right ratio of "greens" (fresh nitrogen-rich materials) and "browns" (dry or woody carbon-rich materials).  So when I was done I added a large scoop of shavings to the toilet before I closed the lid.

Five years ago today: Time To Eat! Now!!!


  1. Interesting. The city has a fairground washroom with something similar but I remember a very deep bottomless looking hole and no adding stuff to it.

  2. Christine, what you saw is known as a "pit privy". It gets pumped out when it gets noxious.

    1. Teri, your term in new to me. I LOVE my readers and commenters!