Relaxshax's Blog

My sawdust/bucket toilet for tiny houses, campers, boats n’ cabins
November 6, 2010, 8:42 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I saw a post on Kent Griswold’s blog the other day on composting toilets, which lit a fire under my own arse to finish-up and finally post an old mini-video I shot on my own composting/sawdust toilet- a la Joseph Jenkins’ “The Humanure Handbook” (inspirationally). Growing up in the Boy Scouts (I’m an Eagle/Troop 491- CT) we often used the woods, the one-arm treehang method, or occasional “two-holers”- so with that background, this isn’t much of a far cry from those “avenues of disposal”. For others this might understandably come off as gross or bizarre- their loss. Its not. It saves a ton in water, sewer bills, and additionally can be a source of garden compost.

The Author's/Derek Diedricksen's Sawdust/Bucket Toilet

Here’s a still photo for now from my tiny finished basement (the door in the shot and the tiled floor-entry are all recycled throwaways- as are the materials for the toilet (wood, seat, bucket and all!).

We’ve been using this now for a long time and it doesn’t smell, and has been a great alternative for a 2nd toilet in our small home (4 of us, and one HUGE dog- no, he doesn’t use the toilet- I wish!).

So- Video’s coming pretty soon….



11 Comments so far
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oh yeah, the bottom air holes serve no purpose- they’re remnants from the vermacomposting mode/previous life of this wood bin…

Comment by relaxshax

Looks like a shaker style commode! very nice!

Comment by Jed C

We live off-grid in Costa Rica and our toilet is a sawdust bucket toilet. We keep about 20 buckets ready to go, and then empty them into our humanure bin all at one time. We sprinkle EM into the buckets before we cap them off prior to being emptied. There is no smell when you use enough sawdust. If you are going to use the 1 year old composted humanure in your orchid, do not use pressure treated saw dust. Works great, we would never choose to flush again. This is the proper way to dispose of human waste. There is no away, everything goes back to the earth with no chemicals.

Comment by Ginnee

I hear ya- and yeah, as mentioned- don’t use PT sawdust- or cedar/locust if you want to compost- it takes too long to rot, and pressure treated wood is more or less poison that would leach into your gardens/food…

Comment by relaxshax

Also- any pics of your place in Costa Rica? I’d love to see them!

Comment by relaxshax

Deek this is great I’m tall like you and this looks like it stands up higher so your knees are not level with your ears lol also looks like furniture. well done Kevin

Comment by kevinsmicrohomestead

thanks kevin- yeah, I overdid it a little though- I’ll have to find that happy-medium in height next time around….

Comment by relaxshax

Great job Deek! Reusing materials is the best! I’d love to talk my husband into one of these for home use. At our camp, we have an indoor toilet, but it doesn’t get much use because of the Florida room (made of blue tarps). It has a bucket toilet beneath a bottomless chair frame. At one side is a covered container of wood ash from our fires. We use this in lieu of sawdust. I keep a roll of paper inside of an old shortening container. For a week or so, I used torn strips of newspaper for the job until hubby pitched a fit about my being so uncivilized. The wood ash also prevents there being any odor but might not be the most palatable choice for indoor use.

Comment by Lisa

does the wood ash stir up alot of dust/mess? I have TONS of the stuff all the time- and there’s only so much you can use on your gardens- so I’ve contemplated this method before- but worried about the ash-cloud factor…

Comment by relaxshax

My question to anyone who uses these is, What if you don’t have a compost pile handy to dump the contents in? What if a compost pile isn’t something you have space for? Anyone have a solution for this?

Comment by Timaree (freebird)

there are some indoor composting methods- but they require a decent deal of space….know how and materials/$ to build i’m sure/it seems

Comment by relaxshax

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