How do composting toilets work?
Composting toilets use the natural processes of decomposition and evaporation to recycle human waste. This waste is sometimes referred to as humanure by compost toilet guru Joseph Jenkins.
There are two main types of composting toilets: a central system or a self contained unit.
Central systems usually have one or more chambers beneath the actual toilet. Here the humanure is recycled and once finished can be removed safely. These larger composting toilets are great for homes. Self contained systems collect solids and liquids in the toilet beneath the bowel itself. Once full, the contents of the toilet are then added to a compost pile to fully complete the composting process before they can be used as fertiliser. Full article coming soon!
Both systems require the correct environment for the aerobic bacteria to break down the waste.
Are you thinking of small dots with neon headbands and leg warmers? Not quite.
Aerobic bacteria are hungry little microorganisms that in the proper environment speed up the normal process of decay.
What is the ideal environment for the aerobic bacteria?
One that is rich in oxygen (aerobic: relating to or requiring oxygen - like me in an aerobic class), has a balanced carbon:nitrogen ratio and has the proper level of moisture. Too wet and our tiny dancers will drown. In order to maintain these proper levels, many composting toilets separate liquids and solids.
Ok and how does Cuddy work?
Cuddy Composting Toilet is a self contained portable composting toilet with a urine diverting system. He has two containers, one for liquids and one for solids. Before you use Cuddy for the first time, you need to add a composting agent to the solids bin i.e. coco coir or something similar. This absorbs excess moisture, balances the carbon:nitrogen ratio and helps to get the composting ball rolling. There is no need to add any other composting agent after use. Cuddy has an agitator allowing the contents of the solids bin to be rotated. He also has a small fan to circulate air throughout the solids bin. These features help to maintain perfect conditions for the aerobic bacteria to do their job as well as to push air through the carbon filter to reduce odours.
If you need to go 1 you go 1. Cuddy’s bowl slopes so that liquids run to the front and drain into the liquids bottle. If you need to go 2 open the larger opening by turning a latch located on the seat. You can go with peace of mind knowing that Cuddy’s drop zone is larger than most other portable composting toilets. After doing your 2’s, extend the agitator and give it a turn to ensure that Cuddy’s solids bin maintains the ideal environment.
That’s it. He really is the best portable composting toilet. #vanlife.