Composting toilets user guide

Yes, this is the page on exactly how to use your composting toilet!

Using a composting toilet – first use

Once installed in your space and with the ventilation system in place (see installation guide), your composting toilet needs priming with a suitable substrate to kickstart the composting process. Coconut coir (coco coir) needs to be moistened before use. Sphagnum (peat) moss is ready to use.

The best substrate is coir, or coconut fibre. It’s lightweight, easy to use, eco-friendly and 100% sustainable. We sell coir for composting toiletsas ready to soak blocks in our shop.

How to dampen your coco coir

  • Take a 650g block of coir and put it in a 10 litre bucket or waterproof bag. Pour 1 litre (definitely not more!) of warm water gently over the coir
  • Leave to soak for at least around 30-60 minutes.
  • Gently break it up using your hands. (You might want to wear gloves as coir can be spiky!)
  • You can also leave the coir to soak on its own overnight or even much longer. The soaked substrate can be stored for long periods.

Afterwards, you should have around 6-8 litres of damp (never wet) coir. As coco coir is a natural product and therefore the volume per brick may vary.

How to load your toilet with coir

  • Take the top off your composting toilet, revealing the solids lower section.
  • Put the top to one side where you won’t trip over it!
  • Load the dampened coir into your composting toilet solids bin.
  • The coir should be level to just under the agitator arm in the bin.
  • Reassemble the toilet and click the latches into place.
  • Give it a stir using the handle.

You’re good to go!

Here’s a short video that show how to soak coir in more detail – and how to empty a composting toilet too!

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How to use a composting toilet

Composting toilets work by separating liquid waste (urine) from solid waste. So, you need to make sure you keep them separate when you use the toilet.

No.1s (urination)

If you only want to have a pee (no1), leave the trap door in the toilet closed and sit down. This position naturally directs your urine towards the front of the toilet. Your urine will flow down into the urine bottle.

Gentlemen, yes, you can use the toilet standing up, but always remember to check that the trap door is closed.

When you’re done, wipe the bowl with a piece of toilet paper or give the urine drainage hole area a quick spritz with a spray bottle containing diluted vinegar or citric acid. Do not use plain water, as it may cause deposits!

No.2s (defecation)

For a no.2, flip open the trap door using the lever on the side, sit down and use as normal. Toilet paper can be dropped into the solids bin, no problem. Close the trap door, and turn the side crank a few times to mix the solids with the coir substrate. If anything remains in the bowl, simply wipe it away with toilet tissue. Job done!

This great little video shows you how it all works.

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Emptying your composting toilet

Emptying (dumping) your composting toilet waste is quick, easy and takes just a couple of minutes.

Urine bottle

The urine bottle will need to be emptied every 2-5 days depending on use. You can easily see if it’s getting full by looking at the front of the bottle and checking the level by eye. If it’s around three quarters full, empty it, as it’s easier to handle than a completely full bottle.

  • Unlatch the top toilet bowl section.
  • Gently tip this top section backwards about 5cm.If you don’t have the rear hinge installed, just pull it a bit towards you and than tip it.
  • Lift out the urine bottle/tank from its holder using the handle.
  • Gently lower the toilet top back into place.
  • Securely close the bottle with the screw cap, and then take the urine bottle to a drain, public toilet or legal disposal site.
  • Simply pour the contents away!
  • Give the bottle a quick rinse with fresh or warm water. You can also add a little vinegar to remove any deposits, but you don’t have to clean it every time you empty it.
  • Replace the bottle in place in the composting toilet.
  • Clip down the latches.

Good to go again!

Solids section

The solids section will need to be emptied after 60-80 uses. Another way to tell is if the agitator handle becomes more difficult to turn.

  • Unlatch the top toilet bowl section.
  • Slide this top section sideways off its back hinge (only if back hinge is installed)
  • Pop it down somewhere where you won’t trip over it!
  • Lift out the urine bottle/tank from its holder using the handle.
  • Screw the lid on and put it down somewhere where you won’t trip over it!
  • Unscrew the knubbed nuts at the sides to loosen the toilet from its mountings
  • Now, remove the toilet lower section, as it’s really nothing more than a bucket!

EITHER

Recycle the composted waste by putting it:

  • Directly onto a compost heap
  • Into a hole in the ground (local laws permitting)

OR

Bag it up for disposal:

  • Slip a bin bag, preferably a composting bag, over the top of the solids section.
  • Invert the toilet so the dry composted waste falls into the bag.
  • Give the toilet a pat or two on its bottom!
  • Slip the bag off the toilet and tie tight.
  • Dispose of in a regular waste bin.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO CLEAN OUT ANY REMAINING COMPOST IN THE SOLIDS SECTION! 

It’ll act as a starter for the next load… but of course, if you like to clean it, feel free to do so with water.

After emptying your composting toilet waste:

  • Insert the bottom section of the toilet into its mounts and secure.
  • Refill the solids section with pre-moistened coconut coir fibres (see details above).
  • Slide the top section back on and clip in place.
  • Remove the top of the urine bottle and slot it back in place.

And you’re good to go again!

Where can I install a composting toilet?

Composting toilets are perfect for anywhere you need toilet facilities but don’t have drains;