Make Amazing Compost with a Composting Toilet – Closing the Loop


So with a flush toilet basically you take really nice clean drinking water and our poo and mix the two together both wonderful resources when you mix them together you create a toxic problem. So with a compost toilet system you’re able to capture that amazing resource and take care of it and treat it in a way that removes any pathogens or problems and create a wonderful resource you know why would you buy in manure when you’ve got this resource right here. We basically use the style of toilet described by Joe Jenkins and his Humanure Handbook which is essentially just doing your business into buckets and covering it with a nice cover material usually sawdust and then we hot compost it in a pallet framed compost. Composting toilets like composting your own poo processing your own toilet waste is a real basic fundamental thing that we should all practice. It’s a a simple way of being of demonstrating self responsibility it took us a long It took us a long time to lose our shitphobia our phobia of fecal matter we’ve lost that now not that we handle it we don’t have to handle it. So welcome to our toilet for a start it’s composting toilet bucket batch system. We’ve got cover material which we use old sawdust from the mill it’s already got bacteria and a bit of fungus in it it’s good. Our toilet is here it’s full it needs emptying so I’ll put a little bit more cover material on the top just to top it off and that will just get lided and then placed over here until we have about 10 of them and then we’ll make a compost and so we put a bit of cover material into the bottom of the bucket and then back in here and it’s that easy. So you make your deposit put but a bit of cover material on and leave it. And then when we’ve got a certain amount of buckets we go to the compost and add straw and garden waste and kitchen waste and we make it, build it. And this is one I did maybe a week ago and we’ll put the compost thermometer in here and see what we’re looking at we’re still looking at 50 degrees, it’s going up. It got up to 65 degrees the other day I recorded it at that. You know there are pathogens you have to consider there’s roundworm eggs and all these different kinds of worms eggs that you that can exist in your manure and if you do a hot compost that’s the safest way because you can nuke all those things within hours. If you can’t heat it up if you don’t get to that hot temperature then you can just let time and microbial competition do it’s magic so you have to leave it for an extra year rather than nine months has to be left for two years if you don’t get it hot. So you build a dish under there you build a dish so any juice that goes on here goes into the middle rather than out the sides because you want to keep it clean then you build I go over to the willow trees and get some sticks and put a network of sticks underneath to keep it up off the ground and then I use straw or grass dry grass over the summer I cut grass and dry it out and make a pile and use straw when I haven’t got enough of it and then make a nest and then put the humanure into the nest in the middle and then layer of grass or a bit more straw and I usually chuck a little bit of old compost in there too to sort of seed it and you don’t need to do that but I do that and then more buckets more of a nest more buckets and then cap it off with weeds and straw and stuff and then I put the thermometer in it because that gives us an accurate reading as to whether it’s fired or not. So we’ve got 52 degrees after a week so that’s going to start to move down now and over here is what you get. I put it in a bag but you don’t need to. That there is about a year old it’s got lots of worms in it. We put all our garden waste and all our kitchen waste in here but the worms are a good sign if you’ve got worms that means it’s not too acidic. Mmm yum, good stuff. And that goes straight on the garden and the plants love it and we love the plants. So we’ve been sort of doing this style of composting for about four years and yeah it creates a wonderful resource that we use on our garden. I mean when it’s finished composting it doesn’t look like or smell like anything like poo it’s just beautiful black compost. Okay so I’m just adding humanure compost to our lower bed and I just dug that garden up and I’m just going to sprinkle it around like that and then I’ll dig it in and we’ll just dig that in and it should be ready to plant, it’ll be perfect. We can use it on our garden because we’ve monitored it closely, we’ve watched the temperature we know all the pathogens have been nuked and we feel confident in our process and so we feel safe to use it in our garden. Composting toilets are integral to a closed-loop system where waste is captured and reused rather than being sent away for someone else to deal with through expensive, polluting, and energy-intensive processing. A well-managed composting toilet does not smell or attract flies and many people have them inside their homes. The first step in composting humanure is overcoming our socially conditioned fear of poo and viewing it as a resource rather than as a waste product. It’s for everyone. Anyone who wants to take more responsibility for themselves and not pass it off. Everyone who values their poo. Anyone can can do this it’s just really a matter of being engaged and wanting to do it and getting the knowledge it’s a knowledge based system. Love it. Wouldn’t go back. Once you start composting you don’t go back. I value my poo. I value your poo too so you’re welcome to leave a deposit before you go it’s sort of expected actually, no pressure. You don’t get stage fright do ya? Hey guys thanks so much watching this shitty film I hope you all enjoyed it. If you want to be notified when the new films are released be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel or you can sign up to the mailing list at HappenFilms.com. I want to say a special thanks to Mike Davey and Patrick Mckinney for their generous donations to Happen Films. So thanks again for watching guys and I’ll see you all in the next film.

100 thoughts on “Make Amazing Compost with a Composting Toilet – Closing the Loop

  1. Wonderful video! We also use this system in our own home in Alaska. The colder temps make it take a bit longer, but it still heats up and we use it after a couple of years. Thanks for sharing this video. By the way, where do you live?

  2. Just wondering do they do wees in the bucket too and what about toilet paper? Do you need a special type of to. Thanks for making this video!

  3. I can'tsee any reason why you have to use it on annual crops close to the earth – which is the only way pathogens could get on the food – by contact with soil. Why not just put humanure all on tree crops and use other sources of manure for annual crops?

  4. You might consider changing the "Title Page/Thumbnail? of this video. The video itself has great information, but the initial image of the "guy with face in poo" might appear disgusting to some people, though I suppose that might prove to be "click bait" as well, so you never know. My2cents. Cheers

  5. Sounds a wonderful natural recycling system. Everything you eat is going back to grow food for you to eat again.

    Will definitely try this when I get my own house.

  6. To everyone who thinks this is a good Idea just you realize the countless COUNTLESS deaths that are prevented everyday by your local sanitation department. These people have no lab testing or any true way of knowing if they are introducing pathogens into there environment until it's affected them or someone that they've fed or simply has the misfortune of living downstream from them. Put everyone using this practice living together in a closed loop community and watch how quickly they go the way of the Dodo…or the way of the doodoo.

  7. Great film. More people should be composting their poo instead of flushing it down the loo 🙂 Urine is great for the garden and so is blood collected from a period- people need to get over the uncomfortable feeling of using human waste in the garden, there is nothing wrong with it if used correctly.

  8. Thanks for the great video and information. Thanks to David Jinkins, I have been using a composting toilet inside my house for the last 11 years. However I am too lazy to monitor the temperature or turn the compost pile or even have a bin for the piles. I just make 4 separate piles, one each year. I use the oldest pile for my garden this way it gives time for tree seeds to germinate in the piles so I have a constant supply of new seedlings as well as a covering for my newly planted crop seeds.

  9. Love their enthusiasm!! One other possible way of doing this to completely eliminate the risk of pathogens is using this manure to fertilize animal food (i.e. corn fields, pasture, etc) and in turn use the animal manure to fertilize the vegetables for human consumption, knowing that pathogens are usually species specific.

  10. You want to save the planet? Teach children about organic gardening and ethical earth loving practices. And teach them to love the planet they live on.

  11. maybe. but use accurate words, not " nuked". This topic is hard enough for people to 'digest' do be as accurate as possible.

  12. the forest of this world have beautiful soil, yet hardly any animal waste is spread on it. you dont need feces to compost

  13. Nice video, but we do not have a "socially conditioned fear of poo" as stated in 5:58. Our disgust is biologically driven in order to keep us away from the dangerous pathogens.

  14. I read The Humanure Handbook a few years ago and it changed my perspective on human waste entirely. Hot composting can even break down radioactive waste in the soil! Microbes are some of our most valuable allies. Even if you can't see yourself pooping in a bucket anytime soon, it's worth a read. On our off-grid homestead we currently have a traditional outhouse, but I would love to move to a humanure system in the future.

  15. Been using Joe Jenkins style composting toilet last 5 years. Zero water, zero energy, so easy and builds soil, just do it!

  16. look interesting, I would have finished watching it and probably given it a thumbs up if it wasn't for the cussing.

  17. well… O.O I have a shovel and an easy source of cow shit. I think I can hold off on this idea.
    Butt since we are on the subject, Japan figured out how to process human shit into an edible burger. Oh doesnt that sound wonderful.

  18. I've had this idea for quite some time. Glad to see that it has credence to it, certainly plan on doing this when I have the personal resources available to do so. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who live in cities and the like would find it difficult to do this. Perhaps a centralised system of sorts could be establish. Then there's the obvious problem of people being too afraid to eat food fertilised with their own "waste". It will become a necessity if we are to save this planet, however.

  19. my compost toilet is one of my favourite things on my homestead. you hit the nail on the head when you said that the main hurdle is the social "norm" that poo is toxic and should be whisked away as quickly as possible, never to be thought about again. once you get beyond that its one of the most satisfying feelings in the world 🙂

  20. Brilliant idea! Congratulations, but the real task is to come up with a method to implement a similar process in the urban areas; where much more waste is generated, less people will be willing to adopt or have the available space or discipline to take on this habit, and even more if were competing against the comfortably of being able to simply flush away everything!

  21. Neat. But how could I do it in small urban spaces with no access to sunlight or bare land? (using indoor worm bins) Also, 9 months is too much time for most of us in a small scale. How to improve time? We have technology, let's figure it out! "Next Level Shit"

  22. Using raw sawdust really slows the process and acts as a barrier to the composting process. If you can, use sawdust that is partially composted and full of microbes to cover the fresh poop with. It will kick off the process and and there is zero odour emitted. When full commence full hot compost process (70*c x 3 days) then allow to sit contained for two years.

  23. bringing a functional design that blends into the conjested suburbs would be a ripper.

    Would it be possible to have something like that? Actually is most of the composting done anaerobically?

  24. Shouldn't you put some of the cover material on top of the dirt, that was shoveled into the bucket before it is used? (Rhetorical question.) Plus, if you are going to share knowledge it helps if you mention EVERY THING. As in the fact that you are NOT supposed to mix the pee in, if you want to avoid stench, because it is the pee that makes it smell since the poo, is covered with the cover material but being that pee is liquid it spreads all over. The pee should be collected separately since you can add water and pour it around trees and other green matter to provide urea, chloride, sodium, potassium, and other dissolved ions, and inorganic and organic compounds that plants can use. NOT good to give half the story, while acting knowledgeable. Read the book Humanure Handbook before giving thumbs up. In our library they keep it with "conspiracy theories books".

  25. In summer I use dry grass cuttings and in winter dried leaves instead of saw dust. Took me about six months to over come the social conditioning. Initially I would look around to see if a neighbour was watching me bury my waste, as if they would report me for committing a crime.

    Every time I two I give birth to my retired immune cells. Heaving soil over them is now heaven.

    #EndGlobalApartheid

  26. How we deal with the waste water from washing ourselves with water after we poop in this method? I am from India and we do not use paper to wipe ourselves. Also, what about other waste water – from bathing and washing clothes? Any suggestions so that I could close the loop fully?

  27. Our feces and urine has everything we consume through food, drink or by our poors or lungs, so if you are not a healthy person not taking medication, and washing and using chemicals in your body, and not using treated water to bath, and non organic food to eat and drink, your feces is good for composte or just for some biogas, depending if is some what clean.

  28. Thank you😀…I have read the Joe Jenkins humanure handbook as well…David the Good suggested it to me…what you say is so true…we need to change our thought process (my humble opinion) on resources and just get over ourselves…if everybody did what your family does, a lot of problems would disappear…when my wife and I move out of the city…I plan on practicing what you do..actually, if done right, I hear you actually can do what your doing in the city…if done correctly…

  29. Its a weird topic but it happens everyday so we can't just close our eyes and pretend it doesn't exist. I'm in the process of getting ready to build a composting toilet for my garden.

  30. I’ve been “vernmenting” (new vermiculture technique) humanure going on three years. Here’s what my set up looks like in our basement. The two green lid vernmenting bins, second row from the left is humanure, eight weeks worm castings!

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=266908270592525&set=g.1455264374589248&type=1&theater&ifg=1

  31. I did this one year and applied the product to my tomatoes. All of them did well that year. One of my plants had so many tomatoes that it looked cartoonishly fake. We're talking 80+ beefsteaks on that one plant! Sadly, nobody wanted to eat them. Even my father, an educated man who should know better, refused to eat them – he called them "turdmatoes," lol.

  32. Yeah, I feel bad every time I shit in clean water and then flush it, knowing there are water shortages and people dying due to lack of clean H2O. This is inspiring. Thank you!!!

  33. What about the temperature on the edges of the pile? Also, I noticed you aren’t separating the urine, can you tell me about that?

  34. It never made sense to me that we find human poo offensive to think of using but cow’s $hit all good. 😏 Like being grossed out by even slightly tasting human milk but milk from cows, goats, horses and whatever else is great. 🤦🏻‍♀️

  35. I’m curious about something, what do you do with the toilet paper? I discovered when I used to fly freight to Mexico, that it was supposed to go in the trash can. In the field, I burn it. How do you handle this?

  36. Es fantástico pero si vives en terreno pequeñito serás el raro de la cuadra por esta forma de vida. La ventaja de acá es que ellos viven en terrenos grandes

  37. Everyone keeps saying that it needs to compost for a year or two but how do you get that to happen? I haven't read the book yet, but I intend to. You're constantly adding poo to the pile, doesn't that 'reset' the composting clock?

  38. We've become obsessed with diverting human waist as to make it disappear.
    Then again this makes sense in city centers, with limited resources and not capacity to compose humanure for 2 years.

  39. "Socially conditioned fear of poo"
    Nope. It's an evolutionary drive that is innate, not socially conditioned.

  40. Might need some modifications to make it work here in India. Indians generally get their after poop cleaning done with water first then a toilet paper if that's available. It's a matter of cultural habits and affordability etc. (it's much more hygienic in my opinion, than just a dry wipe with a toilet paper). Anyway, this video is quite an inspiration. I'll definitely start collecting at least my urine to be later used for composting in my farm. 👍🏼

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