DIY Portable Compost Toilet System for Under $50!

Looking for an inexpensive, ecological way to deal with your poop? You just found it.

No matter how you look at it, dealing with human waste is a big deal. Generally speaking, the most expensive parts of our homes have to do with sanitation. Plumbing, porcelain fixtures, and water-proofing – it adds up.

But what if there was a way to accommodate your effluvia, save space inside your home, lower the price tag of your tiny house project, and save thousands of gallons of water every year?

There is, and it’s called the Humanure System. (Think human + manure.)

You can come for a visit in the sustainable community where I live, where have thought long and hard about how we can make sure our ‘business’ is ecologically groovy, and the humanure system has performed wonderfully for nearly two decades. Take it from us, this system truly works.

How? Instead of making your daily offering to the porcelain god, you nestle it cozily in some saw dust or another dry, organic material that absorbs moisture. When your bucket is full, you give it a straw house in the back yard and let it hang out with some microbes for a couple years. When it’s finished, you have pure, clean composted soil ready for your flowers. Check out this video to see it in action.

The alternative is to flush it all away to a massive municipal treatment plant where it gets treated with tons of chemicals, wasting perfectly good potable water, (upwards of 10-billions gallons a year in the USA, just for flushing toilets,) and depleting our ecosystems of vital nutrients. Your doodoo deserves better than that.  So does your garden.

There are plenty of other benefits to the humanure system as well. It’s low-maintenance, low-tech, and will save you a lot of space and money when it comes to designing your own tiny house project.

In fact, you can have a decorative, odor-free humanure toilet in your tiny house for less than $50. A deposit site in the back yard might cost a little more, unless you’re able to use reclaimed materials, but you can get everything you need at your local home improvement outlet.

If you’re interested in seeing how the humanure system works first hand, in addition to learning a lot about tiny house living as whole, make sure to keep an eye on the Dancing Rabbit Eco-village website for visitor program dates, work exchange opportunities, and other ways to spend some time with us in 2016. We will even let you try out one of our humey-buckets.

Bonus: check out this fun video for some infotainment on the subject of humanure!


7 thoughts on “DIY Portable Compost Toilet System for Under $50!”

  1. We have a NATURE’S HEAD loo. It’s designed for a boat – would work well in a tiny house. It separates pee from poop, is a neat-looking toilet and uses NO water or heat.

    We have used ours continuously for 3 years (living in a 750 sf house). Inspired by an article about an RV non-ecological airplane toilet system that bags each poop, we got the idea for modifying the poop collector so it’s easy, quick & clean to empty it.

    Warning: the Nature’s Head costs a lot, so this post is really addressed to people who already have one & are fed up with trying to keep it clean…

    COLLECTION SYSTEM: We take a paper sack (Sprouts, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s), fold & slice off the top 3″ or so with the paper handles & use the whole strip to line the sack. Then fold down all 4 top edges (slice & fold) because the sack is too tall to fit the poop chamber. Place the sack inside a plastic sack (Sprouts etc) so it won’t leak & fall apart. Put the double sack into the chamber, resting it on the metal stirrer. Hook the plastic sack handles onto the chamber clips, right & left. If you have accumulated a bag of TP, empty it into the bottom of the poop sack. Close the lid & you’re ready to go!

    We replace the sacks every 2-6 days, depending on usage and the fly season. Sometimes we throw in some organic mulching material, most recently we don’t. Either way works. The sacks totally beat carrying the entire chamber outside (heavy, cumbersome, smelly) and trying to empty it (v messy process) onto your compost pile without the neighbors raising health concerns. Not to mention – who can carry a weight like that at 70 or more? (We’re in our late 60s, early 70s)

    The bottom line: there is nothing like recycling your poop in a way that benefits the earth.


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