Compost toilets are an excellent option for people living on or using a narrowboat. Getting away from the chemical toilet reduces the horrible chemical smells, dependence on finding a suitable pump out station to get rid of the contents, plus many people just dislike the whole chemical approach.
However, unless you have some access to land, or sufficient space on board to compost ‘on-the-go’ (which is possible and something we’ll cover in more detail in the future), the big question is how do you deal with the solid matter from your waterless toilet (in most cases, we’re referring to urine-separating toilets)?
Until the end of 2021, you can carefully double-bag the solids and place them in the bins provided by the CRT (Canal and River Trust), but for reasons too complicated to go into right now, this option will cease at the end of 2021. If you’re in a private marina, then you may or may not be allowed to throw away the solids into the waste.
Some good news is that a new ‘solid waste’ collection service has just been launched in London for boaters. Circular Revolution was created by Eve Mackinnon and offers regular or ad-hoc ‘solids’ collection service for your waterless/compost toilet, ensuring that the solids are taken to an appropriate place and safely composted, ultimately going back to regenerating the soil.
Circular Revolution will provide you with a container to fill, and will swap that for a clean, empty container on your collection day. Collection and delivery is made directly to your boat by human-powered cargo cycles.
Find out more through their website at https://www.circularrevolution.org/
If anyone already uses this service, or knows of any more, please let us know – we’d love to get your feedback and spread the word!