How to Make a Composting Loo that will last You & Your Family 3 to 4 months or Possibly Longer with a 200 Litre Barrel, a Handle Saw and a Hand Drill & Toliet Seat & 8 Bricks. First Cut Top off the Barrel and then place it Upside Down (barrel Bottom Facing up) Into a Hole the Same Circumference as the Barrel is Round into the Ground Two – Three Feet, sit the Barrel on top of 4 Bricks 2 high spaced at Intervals around the Bottom of the Hole to Hold the Barrel Up off the Bottom of Hole, the Sides of the Barrel Hold the Sides of the Hole back and stop Dirt or Sand from Collasping back into the Hole. Please Note that this type of Loo will Not Work Very Well in Areas with High Water Tables . Drill two Holes in what is Now the top for Toliet Seat Lid Screws and Cut a Hole the Same size as the Internal Hole of Toilet Seat in the top, Put Seat on and away you go , If However You Dont have a Toliet seat Cover the hole with the top of the barrel you previously cut off. The Wet Stuff Disappears into the Ground and the Solids get taken Care of by the Worms . A handful of Lime preferably Quick Lime twice a week helps keep the smells away & helps Break the Solids Down Quicker and if You put a Handful of Saw dust in every couple of days it iHelps break down the solids too.
Depending on the Number of People Using this Type of Loo will depend on how rapidly it fills up But once its 4 to 6 inches (10 – 12 cm) from Ground Level Pull Barrel Out & Back Full the Hole with Dirt from thet hole for the next Hole you Dig & setUp as Before. Try and keep the Holes atleast 8 Feet apart. Continue to put more dirt on top of Old Hole as it continues to compost & sink, once it has finished composting down Plant a Rose Bush on the Old Hole. God Bless.


125 Responses to COMPOSTING BARREL LOO – Earth Quake & Weather Proof

  1. Matt says:

    Have you thought of NOT cutting the bottom / top off the barrel and putting two ropes through underneath it before digging it in? That way, in a few months, you could just lift the full barrel out of the hole and dispose it off.


    • chrissie says:

      When I came up with the Idea for this Type of Toliet , I wanted it to Be Cheap, Easy to Use & Recyclable IF Necessary, Which it is if Used But If You don’t Use it as it was/is Meant to be Then there would be a Barrel weighing in Excess of 150 Kgs to Dispose of, The Above Design has worked well for Years & If the Powers that be Placed them Along Walk Ways, Cycle Tracks or in Bush Reserves Where the Freedom Van Campers Camp there wouldn’t be any complaints . chrissie

  2. Richard says:

    Lots of inventive solutions here, but most are missing an important feature – a vent pipe. In your case you’d need a pipe elbow in the side of the barrel near the top (behind the seat) with a vertical pipe 2-3 metres high, supported on a post or guy wires. Plastic downpipe make a good size. The vent creates an airflow up the pipe, negative pressure at the seat hole, greatly reducing odours. Painting the sunny side of the pipe black will increase the airflow, or you can put a solar-powered fan at the top if you just happen to have one lying around.

    If you don’t have any sawdust to throw in after use, try shredded paper (it basically works as a carbon source).

    Richard (we are heading off-grid by choice)

    • chrissie says:

      A Vent Pipe Actually DRYS Everything in them Out and Stops them Working – Remember the Worms Are Doing the Work for You. Regards Chrissie

  3. Adding damp sawdust with every use will absorb odors and defeat the flies. Forget the lime. On balance you’ll have faster composting and similar capacity. Lots of damp carbonaceous materials will work well also. Cottonseed hulls, shredded leaves, chopped straw, etc.

  4. anna says:

    Good one! I’m printing these instructions and putting them in my emergency kit (which is still under construction!) Complacent Aucklander here!

    • amma says:

      Good one, fellow Aucklander. If the worst comes to the worst (let’s hope not!), there’s always doing no. 1 in a bucket (disposed of..???) and no.2 in a bin liner that lines the inside your indoor loo – assuming it’s not damaged and there’s just no water. Then bin liner is tied firmly and disposed of in rubbish. Bit yucky I know and not at all the same as a long drop but we don’t all have access to gardens if it comes down to it!! Let’s also hope there’s a rubbish collection service even if no water.

    • chrissie says:

      If You Can get a Barrel of this Size , You Can Actually Use it to Hold Your Families Emergency Kit in , They Will Hold 2 x 20 Ltr Buckets with Sealing Lids full of Dry & Tinned Food in the Centre , then down the side put a Hand Saw Loo Seat (Optional) and Other Survival Items Like a Sleeping Bag , Tent, Ground Sheet, Anything You Want in Your Survival Kit, Then Turn the Cut Off Top Upside Down and Tape Back On. Regards Chrissie , GoldAsh-Retreat, Ruapekapeka

  5. stephanie says:

    Well this is great, could see an engineer’s conversation going on for pages here.

  6. Plant a rose bush!? C’mon! Get some veg in; you could be eating the fruits of your morning visits in a year’s time. MMmmmm Poo veg! 🙂

  7. Tricia says:

    Stick to the rose bush, your liver will thank you that it doesn’t have to process all those nitrates you’ve been depositing there!! Hope the proper sewerage comes on soon for you. All the best from Oz

  8. Denise says:

    Amma’ s comments were interesting. I had been wondering how the people in multistorey dwellings without a backyard were coping.

  9. Louise Baker says:

    So true!

  10. Izzy says:

    I’ve seen better long drops but yours is funny 2!

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