Wheelie Bin compost toilets

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 14:48 — Compost Stu

Wheelie bins have long been used as an alternative innovative composting toilet solution. I first saw a wheelie bin system used en masse at a music festival on Stradbroke Island. The system worked well in a practical sense, although olfactory sensations would deny that it was a complete success. The pong by the third day was immeasurable, and many punters were put off using the loos altogether. In an environment like Straddy Island, the result was that many people either used the nearby campgrounds facilities or "went bush", resulting in an unacceptable environmental load both for the septic in the campground and the local bush setting, with was littered with "land mines" for a long time after.
In fact wheelie bin toilets can and do work well when properly maintained and not overloaded. I have installed a number of wheelie bin systems that when properly ventilated with a 12v fan and drained correctly, perform in a very satisfactory manner. The only issue I have found is that the size of the regular wheelie bin is too large to moved easily and replaced. If a job becomes laborious, it goes down the list of priorities and becomes an unpleasant task that tends to be avoided. I have rectified this problem by using smaller wheelie bins. Although they need more regular changing, the job is straightforward and most able bodied adults can easily move the bins.
However, as my clients get older, a discernible shift towards continuous composting systems is emerging. Batch systems do require an able body to shift large masses of composting material, whereas a continuous system can be emptied using a shovel and a bucket gradually over time.
The beauty of a wheelie bin system though, is the cost outlay is a lot less than a bricks and mortar solution. In areas where access is an issue, cost factors can be decreased by using wheelie bins. My wheelie bin systems incorporate a clear panel in the active bins lid so the capacity can easily be gauged and the system emptied before it gets too full. I have encountered overfull systems where the pile has gone halfway up the poo chute before the clients have realised it was full.....very messy!!

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