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Chapter 12: Compost Toilet

Three toilets of decomposition of this proportion or a little more serves two people. When the third is full, and time has passed, the first is ready for removal of the rich material. Flies go to the light and do not escape. There are many designs for this system, this one does not have a floor, it extends a few centimeters underground. The toilet is full when the material height reaches the inlet for ventilation and light. Cap the toilet well for the passage of time and move the toilet seat to another toilet. Employ more toilets of decomposition for more people.

Three separate decomposition toilets are required for two people. They do not need to be tall with stairs. Three holes in the ground with a comfortable seat have proven sufficient for two people, except for the lack of a sanitary fly trap, and the ease of removing decomposed material. If the three chamber system of holes in the ground is used, fly trap light may be introduced with properly positioned pipes. Holes must be located on high ground away from streams and where underground water is too deep to be contaminated. The stairs, entrance of light and the door at the bottom are details of design summarized to create a comfortable and sanitary design which will not contaminate water resources.

Example design of six chambers for a family of four. Dotted line represents a roof line.

The human body utilizes about fifteen percent of the value in food. Eighty-five percent of the money, work, forces of biological life and solar power in food is thus deposited in the compost toilet. The idea is to use several toilet compartments for decomposition. Retrieving the fertilizer is a pleasant experience after passage of sufficient time.

Several families, including my family, lived with versions of this system for over ten years in Santa Barbara, California. The entire neighborhood was destroyed by fire in the year 2008. This functional system which creates wealth instead of pollution has been lost, possibly forever.

Toilets of decomposition similar to this are very inexpensive, they do not require maintenance, and create wealth instead of pollution. Instead of injecting sewage and chemicals into rivers which are drinking water for the next town, decomposition toilets retain eighty-five percent of the food value to fertilize soil. Eutrophication is the proper term for nutrient fed algae blooms which choke rivers, then flow with the river, and create dead zones in the sea. Ecological economics tells us we must learn to avoid polluting water while wasting most of the ten calories of oil required to produce one calorie of food.

The compost toilet is a product which is an income source for those who learn this technology. It also clearly illustrates how the physical laws of entropy become usable knowledge for those who are considering a sustainable replacement for corporate consumerism.

The decomposition toilet does not use water.

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