What is the principle of dry toilets ? How to install them?

The dry toilet segment is struggling to seduce French households because human waste is a a taboo subject in our culture and we are, let’s face it, somewhat obsessed with hygiene. Not being able to evacuate one’s needs by means of a toilet flush therefore poses a problem for many of us. However, some have decided to turn the page and to put an end to conventional toilets because they want have the least possible impact on the environment. These eco-friendly toilets are ultimately still poorly known and come in different models and still have advantages. Let’s take stock of dry toilets and see how easy it is to make one yourself.

Dry toilets: operating principle

Dry toilets, which are also called eco toilets, have a particularity of size: they work without water. Their operating principle is simple: organic waste, i.e. human waste, is covered with vegetable waste such as sawdust, shredded plants, ashes, dead leaves, wood chips, straw or even soil. This combination of organic and vegetable matter makes it possible to obtain a nitrogen/carbon balanceunlike conventional toilets that evacuate waste water to treatment plants.

Waterless toilets simply work through a litter, with which each user covers stool and urine. Plant matter avoids the fermentation of organic matter because it allows a composting process.

It is necessary that carry out a very regular emptying of his dry toilets. The more users there are, the more frequently this emptying must be carried out. This may be necessary after a few days or after a few months, depending on the model of green toilet that has been chosen to be installed.

Dry toilets: the different models

There are several dry toilet systems, such as:

  • The separating devices (automatic or mechanical) or technical toilets dry toilets

These manufactured dry toilets make it possible to separate solid organic matter (faeces) and liquids (urine): a fan dries the faeces while the urine is either used as fertilizer or evacuated in a purification circuit where it is treated.

Note that you can install manufactured dry toilets by a professional. These devices are shunned because of their exorbitant price of several hundred to a few thousand euros depending on the model. The price of the installation can be obtained on had to.

These dry toilets do not separate feces from urine. It is the compost toilets that require the use of a litter at each pass.

Eco-friendly toilets (dry toilets): significant advantages

The advantages of the TLB dry toilets are as follows.

  • They allow the use of toilet paperpreferably easily recyclable, that is to say bleached without chlorine and if possible not colored.
  • They are odorless as soon as a sufficient quantity of carbonaceous litter is poured over the manure, knowing that fine sawdust is particularly effective because it is very absorbent and blocks fermentation.
  • They allow a real water saving, knowing that nearly 35% of drinking water is used by traditional toilets when the flush is activated, each visit to the toilet resulting in the consumption of several liters of water! The cost of using a toilet flush for one person is equivalent to approximately 30 to 35€/year.
  • They do not require no expensive treatment materials as is the case when these are discharged into sewers.
  • They reduce pollution, compared to treatment plants which cost more and more expensive but are essential in the case of traditional toilets even if they are incapable of carrying out a total treatment of waste water. As a result, human waste is the source of significant pollution of groundwater and waterways due to phosphate et al’nitrogen that they generate.
  • The compost thus realized is totally reusable for example in the garden in the same way as the peelings.
  • They allow to protect groundwater risks of contamination in the event ofepidemic.
  • These are green toilets easy to install.

Some people who frequently go on vacation in caravans or motorhomes appreciate being able to take dry toilets with them.

Installing TLB dry toilets: procedure

Green composting toilets only costfifty euros at most in material and can be installed by an amateur handyman. To make them, there is no need to have a great experience in DIY. It simply consists of:

  • Build a wooden box at the right height for one person to sit comfortably, and strong enough to support the weight of an adult.
  • Dress the box a bezel and a cover.
  • Fix inside the box (just under the bezel) a container of the stainless steel bucket designed to collect organic matter (excreta) and plant matter (sawdust litter or wood shavings, for example, etc.). Make sure it is easy to pull out.

All that’s left is to approach a sawmill in order to obtain a good quantity of shavings and to learn about the conditions for subsequent replenishments. We evaluate the needs in chips for a family made up of parents and two children at 1 m3 for 8 weeks.

Admittedly, dry toilets are difficult to use when you don’t have a garden or even a small yard of about 25 or 30 m², the minimum required, because in this case it is extremely problematic to empty your buckets as is especially the case in urban area. You also need to have some space for store a large volume of shredded material or sawdust for waterless toilet litter, and better not be out of stock. Finally, emptying the bucket or container of green toilets may seem daunting to some. Despite their advantages, eco-friendly lavatories have so far only succeeded in attracting a fairly small number of households.

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