September 28, 2023
dry toilets

The principle of dry toilets

As the name suggests, dry toilets do not require the use of water to operate. It’s an ecological gesture that reduces the consumption of drinking water and saves nearly 15,000 liters of water per year and per person! Which is not negligible. While respecting the environment, you take the opportunity to make some savings for the family budget.

Dry toilets exist in different forms. They can be purchased off the shelf or made by yourself if you are a bit of a DIYer. It is often a box with a bucket. You can also install a drain pipe that will lead the excrement to a much larger receptacle.

How dry toilets work

A layer of sawdust is placed in the bottom of the bucket or container. Once the person has gone to relieve themselves, they cover with a ladle of sawdust so that the liquids are absorbed. This sawdust is a carbonaceous material which also prevents the proliferation of odors.

When the bucket is full, it must be emptied on the compost or in a room provided for this. If you have a garden, place the bucket in a hole formed in your compost and then mix. Remember to water your compost regularly if the air is too dry or hot to facilitate the disintegration of the components. If you are in a building, you must obtain the agreement of the co-ownership to place a compost bin, and warn your neighbors of your desire to change the mode of operation.

You should know that installing dry toilets has not yet entered the mores of our country and is still on the margins of society. However, our neighbors in Northern Europe are far ahead in the use of dry toilets and respect for the environment! Let’s take their example!

Installation of dry toilets

  • The tools needed
  • Two stainless steel buckets
  • wooden planks
  • A classic toilet seat
  • A drill driver
  • Wood screws or nails
  • Hinges
  • A jigsaw

The stages of manufacturing a dry toilet

First step in the manufacture of a dry toilet, the construction of the box. To avoid unpleasant surprises, the drawing of a plan upstream may be welcome. Using a jigsaw, cut wooden planks to the dimensions of the different panels of the crate. On the upper part of the crate, cut an oval hole, the dimensions of which depend on your classic toilet seat.

With your choice of nails or wood screws, assemble the different parts of the crate. Under the crate, a few pads to nail will ensure the stability of the dry toilet on the ground.

Then insert the toilet seat into the hole provided for this purpose. Attach it to the crate.

Finally place a stainless steel bucket or any other container to collect the waste. Always provide at least two containers: the second will replace the first when it is to be cleaned or waiting to be emptied. Don’t forget to pour a thick layer of wood shavings or sawdust into the bottom of this container before using the toilet for the first time, and on a regular basis thereafter.

To facilitate the emptying of the container, a hatch can finally be provided on one of the faces of the box. This approach avoids having to lift fairly heavy containers when they need to be emptied.

Tip: for a warmer welcome on dry toilets, nothing prevents you from letting your creativity do the talking. A few brushes, wood paint and/or varnish can be used to personalize your dry toilet.