Flush toilets (and the mega sewer systems that go with them) waste a lot of water and destroy ecosystems. Septic tanks are mini versions of the municipal mess makers. Besides, why would you want to flush something away that can help you build great topsoil and grow tasty vegetables?
Becky and I both read The Humanure Handbook by Joseph C. Jenkins. (This is the authoritative text on composting human waste.) We decided to go with the bucket based model described in the book because it was simple, effective and inexpensive. I’d actually built and used one of these for a couple of years back in the U.S. and found it to be a great system. We used scavenged wood for the base and legs. Becky’s cousin, Paul, happened to have an unused, deluxe wood and brass toilet seat in his garage. The most expensive bits were the buckets at NZ$6 each.
We decided to put the toilet in the garage (which we use as a storage area and workshop) because it features a short and clear path to the outside. We didn’t want to have to carry our crap too far and we wanted to minimise the risk of catastrophic spillage mishaps. Becky put a curtain around it for privacy.
We’re happy to report that the bucket is filling up nicely. (And it doesn’t smell!!!)