Having a house made out of cob leads to a lot of curious visitors. For the most part they all react the same. There is always a certain level of mistrust for walls built out of sand, clay, and straw, and their ability to support the weight of the sod roof which currently is carrying a large snow load as well. However, the dismay of many isn't the fact that we live without a refrigerator, have a house footprint of under 400 square feet, or have to lug drinking water into our house every few days, but the fact that we have a toilet that requires emptying.
|Inside the Toilet|
|Cover Material (saw dust)|
For those truly interested in learning how to start a composting toilet or do any composting in general, I highly recommend the book "The Humanure Handbook" by Joseph Jenkins. This is where we have found the majority of our information pertaining to composting toilets.
The big question is "Does it smell"? The answer is "No". Those skeptics of a system like this will undoubtedly not believe that a huge pile of human waste doesn't smell, but those who brave using our bathroom find that it smells just like anyone else's. Sawdust and straw not only keep your compost from smelling, but also add small pockets of air to your compost making it unnecessary to turn your compost pile.
As we becomes more and more concerned with the depleting fresh water resources found in the United States, and over a billion gallons of drinking water being flushed down the toilet daily, turning to composting toilets seems a natural step towards a solution to a formidable problem. Again, I highly encourage those interested to check out Joseph Jenkins book on composting toilets and visit the composting forums found at Permies.com for more information.