Sometimes you need a toilet where you can’t run a water line or install a sewer drain. Whether it’s a new tiny home, an RV, a summer cabin, or a boat, a standard toilet isn’t always feasible. That’s where composting toilets come in. These toilets allow you to avoid the indignity of digging a latrine pit or using an outhouse by composting your waste and toilet paper in a sealed system. This Nature’s Head composting toilet uses a dry system to turn human waste into usable soil-building compost.
The Nature’s Head toilet is small and compact, able to fit into a variety of spaces. It is also easily moved with an empty weight of only 28 pounds. You can assemble and disassemble the toilet quickly, so if you need to empty the compost chamber, it is quick. When you install the toilet for the first time, you can install a vent hose that runs outside and a 12-volt fan.
Natures Head Dry Composting Toilet
- Why we like it: The faucet is a single-hole mount, but you can purchase an optional escutcheon to cover up a three-hole mounting system if necessary.
This toilet uses Sphagnum peat moss as the composting material, which is available at pretty much every hardware or garden store. One 3 cubic foot bale will provide enough material for one year. It is important not to use peat moss that has Miracle-Gro in it, as the chemicals will interfere with the composting process.
Another option for composting material is coconut coir. This is the fiber on the outside of the coconut, and it is moistened before it is used as a compost medium.
When you use the Nature’s Head toilet, you have to preload it with two gallons of moistened peat moss or coconut coir. After that, you don’t add any more until you empty the chamber. When used properly, the toilet allows for the separation of urine from solid wastes, which helps ensure that the composting happens normally.
It is important that guests or others who have never used a composting toilet be told how to use it properly, up to and including rotating the bin after use. As long as the toilet is being used correctly, the composting material will not stink and will smell a bit like dirt.
The urine bottle holds about 2.2 gallons and needs to be emptied and rinsed clean when possible. To empty the solid composting chamber, a 13-gallon kitchen trash bag will fit snugly around the outside of the composting bin. You simply tip the bin over and empty out the solid compost. You don’t have to scrape it or clean it as the remaining compost simply adds to the next batch. Put the solids into a compost bin to allow the composting process to finish.
What is Human Compost Used For?
Human compost (humanure) can be used for a wide variety of gardening uses. You’ve probably heard that it’s not safe to use human waste products as fertilizer for gardens. That’s true if it hasn’t been treated properly. Many large scale farms use human biosolids as fertilizer and some companies even sell it for use at the local level.
The primary difference is that they heat the compost up to 160 degrees for 21 days. That is high enough and long enough to kill the harmful bacteria that are the primary cause of concern. If you plan on using waste from your own composting toilet, you’ll have to ensure that your compost system reaches those temperatures just to be safe. Otherwise, you might have to settle for just using to provide bulk to soil that isn’t producing edible foods.
Some uses include:
● Use it around fruit trees – The bacteria don’t contact the edible portions, so there’s less risk of cross contamination
● Use it on your lawn as a natural fertilizer.
Again, places you should never use humanure on include:
● Edible flowers or plants used for edible seeds
● Edible Plants
● Highly efficient design uses minimal composting material for the bin
● Liquids separate automatically with proper use
● Larger liquid reservoir means it doesn’t need emptying daily
● Smaller unit is easily installed wherever you cannot or do not want to run a sewer and water line
● Smaller size and bin means that the compost doesn’t finish composting before needing emptied. This means you need a regular compost bin as well.
● Can be confusing to use for people not used to compost toilets
● Seat is smaller and less comfortable than a standard toilet
If you’re looking for a toilet for your RV that doesn’t require emptying a sewage tank, or a toilet for your boat, this Nature’s Head composting toilet is a great option. It is lightweight, easy to install, and highly efficient in its use of composting material. There are plenty of plusses to this toilet, but if you’d like to compare it, we have reviews on several other composting toilet systems as well.