‘Separett Villa 9000’ Versus ‘Wooden Box’ compost toilet
By Marcus Kett
The eco-movement has gripped huge swathes of the world’s population. The desire to save our planet from human degradation is becoming a very worthwhile consideration. We, just like those cows in the field opposite, produce waste, just not in the same quantities. But what if we could use the smelly offering in an organic way?
We will explore this soon but first, let’s talk about the key differences between the Swedish made urine separating toilet and a simple wooden composting toilet.
We use both, the Separett and a simple wooden box.
Living in rural France contracting the local authority to install a sewage system was out of our budget. My dear Caroline was not too keen when she realised what a compost toilet was! Convincing her to sit over a bucket of poop was not easy.
So here comes the Separett dry toilet
We purchased the toilet from a UK company and it was not cheap. Well, we spent 600e on this simple but effective composting toilet.
What is unique about the Separett dry toilet?
The design of this eco-toilet is quite clever in its function. So what does this toilet have that a basic wooden box does not?
- Urine separation
- Privacy flap
- Rotating receptacle
- Visually the same as a traditional toilet
Sounds weird? But separating the urine from the faeces is a concept that helps reduce the chemical reaction and limits the sulphur smell. The urine can be used as a liquid nitrogen feed if used at 10% to water concentration.
Urine leaves the body sterile and is perfectly safe to use as a fertiliser immediately
This might be a silly thing but the flap covers the human excrement from view. This flap or shutter is activated by the toilet seat. So basically you plonk your bum on your throne and the shutter opens, you then make your offering then once finished you get up off the toilet and the shutter closes. Oh you can’t see it?This feature helps make the toilet more acceptable to guests.
Rotating poop bucket
A term known to the composting toilet world is ‘Poo Pyramiding’ This phenomenon is greatly reduced with a rotating poo bucket. If the bucket did not rotate every time and you did your thing it would land in virtually the same place until it piled up. You can sort this by giving it a shake but the rotating bucket works a treat
Visually the Separett looks just like a ordinary toilet
If you are a newbie to compost toilets and the idea of seeing a pile of poop every time you need to spend a penny then the Separett is the ideal solution. We have been programmed into what is deemed as acceptable in regards to our bodily functions.
This attitude is so ingrained we have to accept the transition into the realms of a composting toilet hard to deal with. We were in the same boat but it did not take long for us to accept that ecological dry toilets are a good solution and save water.
Toilets still use water
Traditional toilets still use copious amounts of water. A simple close-coupled toilet will use at least 6 Litres of drinking water. Old fashioned victorian toilet high-level flush uses at least 9 litres(2 gallons)
Wooden Box Toilet
The simple wooden box composting toilet does not have the refinements of the Separett but that doesn’t mean it is any less of an option. You can spend the 900 on a Separate 9000 series but if your budget is modest you build a simple toilet.
You could commission a carpenter to build you a wooden cube that could house your container. A hole needs to be cut into the top where you sit and for the toilet seat to be mounted. You will also need a loose side panel where you will exchange the container when full.
Upgrade to a separator!
If you have built your new compost toilet and you feel you’re not happy with the poo and wee mixing together you can modify it.
Fit a separator
You can obtain a moulded plastic separator for your toilet. This simple moulding will allow poos to enter the bucket but when you urinate it will flow through the plumbing instead.
The Separett Villa versus the Wooden Box
My opinion is based on my experience with both toilets. Personally, the Serapett villa is a great option if transitioning over to the composting toilet. It is clean and is not visually disturbing to guests. But if I was to be absolutely honest I would say the benefits of the production model is not necessarily worth the cost. So I hope my experience has helped you understand the difference between these two ecological toilet solutions.
What I do with the collected urine
Luckily Urine is sterile when it leaves the body so no processing is required. My method of dealing with the wee is to dilute it and use it to feed my garden.
Dehydrate your wee!
Yes, preferably not before you go for a No 1. A simple glass box and a tray mounted away from the house and the sun will evaporate the water content and leave the minerals and nitrate as a solid.
What is a compost toilet?
A compost toilet is a toilet which composts human waste instead of flushing it to the sewage works.
So what happens to human waste in a compost toilet?
Management of our self produced organic waste is done by composting. The composting can take a long time or we can help it to break down further.
Composting human waste is more complicated than composting garden waste. The composting is a method known as ‘Hot Composting’. The heat produced naturally kills any possible pathogens. It is important that the composter is fed by fresh compost to increase the heat within the pile.
Composting of any organic waste from a toilet or even the garden needs a little help to break down. Stirring the compost to introduce air and adding mixed organic material will help produce a good well-balanced compost and help it rot down evenly.
Check our Compost blog > How do you speed up composting
Thank you for reading my blog on the Separett composting toilet. After 10 years it has been a reasonable experience although a cultural change for me and my family. Yes, the toilet has a few minor problems but nothing that would make me change my purchase decision. Here are some links to Amazon who currently sells the Separett and others. If you decide to make a purchase we do receive a small commission which we thank you for your support. While you are here why not read our other blogs or videos on our YouTube Channel Earth Trifle