Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

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Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by Carlarua on Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:28 pm

Has anyone experience with homemade dry toilets (as opposed to the commercially available dry toilets that you can buy off the shelf that "cooks" the human waste into "clean" compostable pellets)
The dry toilets we are thinking of is the simple idea of covering the waste with wood shavings every time you use the loo. When the bucket is 3/4 full, it gets brought to a separate compost heap, and would be ready for use after it's composted for trees, shrubs etc and after 2 years (when all pathogens are broken down) for the veg garden.

Is there any legislation around this ? Considering we're in the middle of the sticks, would the compost heap be an issue ?
Has anyone ever used this method and are there any pitfalls?
I've been trying to add a photo but I haven't quite figured out how to do that
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by Monst on Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:48 am

I can't help on that one Carla, have you tried the old and trusty google?
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by wayland on Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:27 am

I doubt if there is any specific legislation regarding dry toilets in Ireland. Not something we hear of every day. When we had our septic tank emptied by a local farmer the waist ended up in his slurry tank and eventually got spread on his fields. I cant see that there should be any problems.  I am intrigued Carlarua. You must let us know how you get on. I will have a butchers and see what I can ferret out .
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by Drowned_pig on Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:18 pm

They're also known as 'compost toilets' - we've been meaning to install one for the past year but haven't got round to it ..I must admit I've a bit of a fascination with them, whenever I visit someone who has one I have to hansel it :-o
They can be a bit smelly but not overly - depends on how it's made.
I don't think there is any legislation...although if you're using the compost on food you are selling there may be 'some' restrictions
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by Carlarua on Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:57 pm

I'm all for it, but I'm afraid I have some more convincing to do.

I'm also not a great reference point as to modern day toilet hygiene ; I was 14 (in the late 80's) when we finally had an indoor flushing toilet. Before that, we had an outhouse tucked in between the horse stable and the pig stable.
The sheet of marine ply was vicious in winter, as your bum would literally freeze when it was freezing outside, and liberal quantities of quicklime had to be chucked in in summer to prevent insects as much as possible.

I thought a dry toilet would be the eco friendly and cheaper solution to the chemical toilet we're using now (144 € per month to pickle your poo in formaldehyde).
But then there's the problem of visitors, usually young people. They might be reluctant to use the loo. And it's all grand cleaning your own waste, but out of experience and cleaning toilets as a student I know that there's people out there who don't spare a thought to the people cleaning up after them.

So the experiment is on hold for a while.
I'll keep you updated if there's any movement
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by wayland on Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:00 am

An interesting and important topic methinks. I remember the "Colonel" (His name escapes me) on one of his self sufficiency programs installing a composting toilet at his smallholding. The system he was using was not the incinerator type but as you describe Carlarua. He did have some refinements though. The liquids were separated from solids and he had a bucket of sawdust at hand with a scoop just to cover up. So to speak. He luved the system which gave him fertilizer as a byproduct. The only modern incinerator system that I have found as yet comes from the US. This is an electric system that turns the waist to dust and can be installed In house, Motorhomes, Boats etc. A self contained unit which looks ok but it has a substantial initial cost and the running of course. Carlarua. You gave us an interesting and graphic story of a past experience. So here`s mine. As a boy I was brought up in a village in Norfolk. Our bungalow was built of corrugated sheet. We had no bathroom and the tin bath hung on a nail outside. Our "Thunder Box" was a small shed in the huge back garden. This was placed over a hole dug in the ground. Every so often a man would visit and dig another hole which the shed would be moved over. The now full existing hole was just covered over with earth. No formaldehyde was used or needed.  This memory brings a smile to me as I have just finished our now rather plush tiled inside bathroom. Not much privacy in them days, but we did sing a lot. I remember visiting a cottage in Wales which had a double outside loo! The brick building just had a wooden plank with two holes in it. I could imagine while walking past hearing " Yaky Dar Davy, what kind of day you ad".
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:30 pm

Up to about forty years ago, we had no toilet of any kind. When nature called you just went off into the woods or the fields and relieved yourself. Toilet paper was non-existent too - grass, leaves of dock or fairy-fingers worked just as good. An old man remarked, on hearing about barbecues and al-fresco dining: "When the people were very poor, they used to eat inside in the house and shit outside; now that they have money, they eat outside and shit inside in the house. And they call that progress."

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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by Monst on Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:16 pm

Sean Ph'lib wrote:"When the people were very poor,  they used to eat inside in the house and shit outside;  now that they have money, they eat outside and shit inside in the house.  And they call that progress."

Love it Very Happy Very Happy
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by wayland on Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:46 am

Looking at these Norman Keeps dotted around Ireland the loos are plain to see. A flat stone cover jutting out parallel to the wall. The gap behind this stone big enough to stick your arse out and relieve yourself over those walking by. A kind of early inside/outside loo. I am of the opinion that the Blarney stone feature formed the same task, for those who kissed it Laughing Below such openings would be an enclosure which collected the "Night Soil" and other waste compostable products to be spread on the land. Stepping forward a few hundred years we think nothing of collecting farm yard manure etc to help grow our food, so why not our own waste?
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by Carlarua on Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:38 pm

There's a castle in the middle of the city in Ghent in Belgium, built in the 11the century. There's a moat around it and an outside walkway with dotted around it little nooks for shelter during guard duty, but also doubling up as outhouses. There is literally a flat stone (bluestone) with a hole cut in it, straight into the moat. The fish used in the kitchen came out of the same moat ...
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by Carlarua on Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:58 pm

Right, we're in business! Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to go ahead with the dry toilet.
This is closest to what we have
https://www.google.ie/search?q=dry+toilet+photo&oq=dry+toilet+phot&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j33l2.15422j0j4&client=tablet-android-lenovo&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgrc=V7g38fuCsY0rRM:
The only change we made is that we lined the bin with a bin liner, instead of leaving our "offerings" straight into a bucket. There was no metal bin to be found for love nor money at short notice, and plastic absorbs odours.
So far, the only smell in the loo is the smell of wood chips. Having said that, it's cold out, so the real test will come this summer.
Also, only a few people are using it now, and everyone is informed as how to use it. But as we all know, there's always one ...
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by wayland on Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:37 am

There you go Carlarua. Smile Nothing wrong with that system. I cant remember having any problems with the system we had in Norfolk winter or summer. As time goes by you will undoubtedly modify as necessary. Keep us informed. Good luck.
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by Carlarua on Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:37 pm

After having used it for 3 months, it's a successful operation.
We get the wood chips from either the local Craftsman or cabinet maker, and there's a lovely smell of beech wood from the shavings. Otherwise, there's absolutely no smell at all.
The only drawback is that the loo fills up quickly if there's a lot of people using it, so there might be an unpleasant job waiting at the end of the day instead of getting a few days out of it. You just don't think of these things with a normal toilet.
There are plans to make a dry toilet and stall in the furthest fields, so you don't have to come back or use a bush when you're doing a job there.
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by wayland on Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:54 pm

Luv it. Do you watch the Kilchers ( Alaska's last frontier) on Sky?. These lads live as near to Self Sufficiency as I have seen. They use an "Out House" as they call it. It requires a very deep pit with a small shed on top. When the pit is full (some years) they just dig another pit and move the shed. Simple.
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by Carlarua on Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:24 pm

When my dad was rebuilding our house, we had one of those moveable outhouses that we put in the next doors field. Every time the pit was full, it got filled up and my dad used to put a stick with a little red flag on it , so we would know where not to walk Very Happy
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by Carlarua on Tue May 15, 2018 7:40 pm

I thought to give an update now that the weather is warmer, and all is still well with the dry loo. No smell, no flies and a short introduction to visitors is sufficient.
We're saving 144€ per month on a chemical toilet, and that's a real bonus too.
We're thinking of setting up an extra loo in the furthest field so you don't have to run back or do a wilderpoo ;-)
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Re: Dry toilet - legislation in ireland

Post by wayland on Tue May 15, 2018 8:22 pm

Sean, are you into "wilderpooing"?
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