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Dry Toilet Part I


Dry toilet?

Dry = absent of a liquid (free from moisture or liquid; not wet or moist. Oxford dictionary). and toilet = a place where you evacuate urine and feces (a large bowl attached to a pipe that you sit on or stand over when you get rid of waste matter from your body. Oxford dictionary).

Making clear the definition with my words and Oxford words now we get to it!

So then, what is a dry toilet? A dry toilet in simple words is a toilet waterless a toilet that run without water. But as you may know our normal toilet use water as a mechanism of transport (it’s also use in mining, heating and more systems) so basically what happen is that you deposit your waste matter (urine and feces, what is actually a rich source of nutrients) in water and this water travel to a plant (hopefully) or a river and either nature or a treatment plant transform this matter. If we think about this process first we are consciously contaminating drinkable water with our waste and also using an important resource essential to our existence. To see it better with numbers, for each flush in the best scenario, we throw (literally on the toilet) approximately 3 liter of water that with only 3 times a day in a whole year is 3.285 liters. Worst scenario old toilet use 20 liters for each flush that means 3 time a day is 21.900 liters per year! This water could be used for drinking, cooking, plants and so on. In comparison with dry toilet they use almost non water, only some few water for cleaning but it’s far away from the normal consumption. Also then when you flush in some countries goes to a treatment plant and there we need more energy to treat the water so more resources and out of this treatment we get clean water (maybe not as clean as in the river but in better conditions) and the solid fraction that goes in some places to a special part of a landfill. Can you see how much energy is connected to this system? When with a dry toilet first we do not contaminate water actually we save it and instead we can produce compost so we transform it into a product, it sounds like a cycle of energy and matter to me.

Now the question is, why we keep using this system? I do not really have the answer but as many things we are just used to it and we are not seeing further, change the whole system would be difficult but completely worth it I think. I invite you to have the experience of a dry toilet and then go back to a water one, I won´t tell you, you should get the feeling 😉



The first goal of the construction was to recycle as much as possible and be as much ingenious as possible too. With this in mind we searched in internet, on the streets, asking friends for material and use what we have already, guess what? For the whole construction so far we spent around 30€! Pretty cheap right?

We got pallets wood, a bucket, toilet sit, and friends hands to start working =). Also for the urinal we transformed a flower pot for a balcony into a urinal, this is the black one on the pictures. A normal urinal for a dry toilet in internet cost from 40€ to over a 100€, but our solution costed 3€ and a little bit of creativity. All the transport was done by bicycle and we did not use any electrical machine everything was handcraft.

We gather some friends and we spent and amazing afternoon working, laughing, eating and sharing some bonfire time, what a great way to work!

Now everything is ready to setup the dry toilet so be ready for the next story! Big hug!

Here some pictures from the first part of the construction.

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