Composting toilets, Week St Mary

Lesley Booker writes… Week St Mary church is a large church surrounded by a church yard in the centre of a village. The only services are mains water and electricity. We have no sewage or other drainage system apart from surface waters. We needed a toilet but at first were deterred by high costs. Then we investigated composting toilets and contacted Wendage Pollution Control Ltd who specialise in the Bio-let toilet.

We used a new shed to provide an insulated toilet compartment and a larger rear storage compartment. The toilet requires a power source and lighting and really ought to have a heater to ensure that the biological composting process continues unchecked once the temperature falls below 18C. We in fact, have never managed to get round to doing this and with the limited use that such a toilet gets, it seems to be working fine – biological composting process continues unchecked once the temperature falls below 18C.

The toilet is free standing and filled with a peat and sawdust mixture which is available from Wendage. It has a lid which triggers a stirrer when it is raised or lowered and a seat with the same facility. There are doors across the opening which open when the seat is depressed (by sitting on it!) When the toilet is used, a small quantity of the mulch is added by pressing the seat to open the doors and then nature takes its course. The fan on the toilet goes all the time when the power is on and this dries and vents the compost through a small chimney to the outside.

The toilet can be emptied from a small pullout tray every 6-12 months. The result is a dry earthy looking powder which can safely go on the garden or compost heap. There is NEVER any smell anywhere in the compartment or its immediate vicinity.

As there is no water supply we provide hygienic hand wipes and a bin. We also use toilet wipes for interim cleaning supplemented by a regular soap and water wipe down of the outside. This is old technology brought up to date; it is simple and it works.

Composting toilets, Week St Mary