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Humanure/DIY composting toilet question

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    Hello guys:wave:

    On friday I will be building a composting toilet in my bathroom:metal: My bathroom is outside the house sort of connected by a covered breeze way. What I am planning to build is a rectangular timber structure housing a ‘big’ white plastic bucket with a toilet seat attached over the bucket. Access to the bucket for empting will be from the laundry via a hinged doorway thingo.

    Now my question is what to use to cover the waste products. I have bought a compressed bale of cut sugar cane mulch but it has given me a bit of a rash on my hands from handling it today and smells like tabacco:rip:

    What do you use/have you seen used or heard about? :tup::tup:


    You don’t need to worry about it Kirsty, girls don’t do those kinds of things 😉 Just dig a hole out the back for Jamie, or get him to dig his own. :tongue:


    shhhhh don’t tell Jamie:lol: I’m telling him its a bench! I’m making a little cover out of the left over timber to pop over the toilet seat when he comes over so he’ll never know;)

    Hummer HumbugHummer

    Hey good one Kirsty :tup:

    Sawdust is good & it actually does away with any odour too.. Su Dennet also had a bucket of lavender flower heads in their’s to be used as needed.. it all worked well :tup:


    Oh great idea I have heaps of lavender:clap:

    Burra MalucaBurra Maluca

    Do you mean cover material for the bucket? Or for the heap?

    I’ve used sawdust, wood shavings, bran and rice hulls for the bucket – just depends on what I can get at the time. Sawdust is my preferred. Mine is pine and it leaves a nice ‘hygeinic’ kind of smell. And it’s free when I can get it. Same for shavings, but they take longer to rot down and you have to make sure they are reasonably small else they let too much air flow up from the ‘waste’. Rice hulls are fairly cheap – when my other half got a big bag for doing something else with and I ended up pinching some when I ran out sawdust – they were good. And bran works ok too. I did experiment with giant pine-needles, but it wasn’t ‘dense’ enough – way too much air flow…

    For the heap, I’ve used straw, shavings, donkey poop, old mouldy hay, and weeds cut down with the strimmer that weren’t fit for feeding to animals. All seemed to work fine – it just a question of getting everything covered deep enough to totally eliminate any smell so nothing comes along and digs it all up and flies don’t start laying eggs in it. I think sawdust or shavings might take too long to rot down if you used them all the time, but the occasional layer doesn’t seem to cause any problems.


    For the bucket :tup:

    Great ideas there, the only sawdust I can get has MDF in it and I ‘think’

    MDF may have some nasties in it….does anyone know?

    I have lots of spoilt hay for the heap as my dumb sheep keep jumping their fence and getting so excited by big hay bales they poo and wee over way to much for thier own good LOL 😆


    g’day kirsty,

    the rough sugar cane mulch in hay type bales might be a little chunky but the stuff out of the plastic wrap bales might do better, just try to be sure it doesn’t matt up and not incorporate as the bucket fills. wood shavings as against sawdust is about the best method(untreated), we would dry out a bag of spent mushroom compost and use that to great effect.

    might i suggest you minimise urine in the bucket eg.,. have a wee bucket for the men, to include the ladies you would need that bucket under a seat affair, then this collected wee water could be say mixed with kitchen rinse water or dishwater to go to the garden daily.



    Maybe you could make your own biochar. Charcoal is wonderful stuff for soaking up smells and taking in nutrient. I crush the biochar up so there is nothing bigger than 5mm, put it in a 20 litre bucket and pee in the bucket. When the bucket is full it gets tipped into a compost heap and i’m half way to making my own terra preta.


    Hi Kirsty :wave:

    Re the MDF – very deadly stuff, has high levels of formaldehyde as part of the production process. Gives off nasty fumes, very noticeable to people with sensitivities. :tdown:

    Would kill off any of the good guys, bad guys and any other guys in between.

    pongingly yours

    Doc 😉


    Thats what I thought Doc:tup:

    I got a MDF splinter the other day and my arm went all puffed up and red ….very OUCH:@:awch::rip:

    No MDF sawdust then!!!!

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