How to Build a Composting Toilet

Composting toilets have several other alternative names like dry toilets, biological toilets, and off-grid toilets. The toilet is a practical solution to a home that is off-grid which means there is no sewage treatment facility. A suitable composting toilet is ideal for tiny homes and reducing water use.  So, it’s an eco-friendly product too in terms of saving water which is a precious natural resource.  Do you have a home in rural areas where there is no running water facility or sewerage infrastructure? So, building a composting toilet is a necessity there. If you don’t have time or want to get a, you have many options out there. Below is a  DIY process of building a composting toilet. 

Building a Composting a Toilet

Since any toilet can smell whether it a traditional, chemical, or composting toilet, so foul smell is not only a particular problem of this unconventional toilet. But while building a composting toilet, what you need to do is to minimize the bad odor. To minimize the foul odor, while building a composting toilet, you must separate liquid waste that is urine from solid waste that is feces and you must cover the feces with a composting material like sawdust. One good news is building a composting toilet is not a complicated job. Follow the below steps and build your own DIY composting toilet

Materials Need to Collect

  • Plywood 
  • Screws
  • Wood glue 
  • Hole jig
  • Bucket 
  • Toilet seat 
  • Urine separator 
  • Handles 
  • Stain 

Step 1: Create a Box

Whether it is a traditional toilet or an unconventional one, you need to spend a comfortable time in a toilet. The reason why you expect a comfortable time in the toilet is not difficult to understand. You use the toilet to expel your daily bodily waste. If this expelling process gives you a comfortable experience, life will be more enjoyable. It’s that simple. To make the toilet experience a comfortable one there are two factors you need to consider with due importance. These two factors are

  • Toilet Height and 
  • Toilet seat

Toilet Height 

The height of the toilet is important because if it is too high causing dangling of your legs or too low making your knees and ears parallel to each other- both situations will not give you a comfortable toilet experience.

Toilet Seat  

Of course, a toilet seat needs to be a comfy one. 

Building a box is simple. 

Cut six pieces of ply (two for the top and bottom side of the box and 4 for the surrounding four sides. 

Attach the bottom section of the box with all four sides.

Use a pocket jig to attach different pieces of ply together. The attaching tool will strengthen the box and will also conceal eye soring screws.

Step 2: Cutting a Hole

Cut a hole at the top section of your plywood box. Cut the hole at the center of the top section to facilitate the dropping of your bodily waste. For this part of the DIY project, use a toilet seat as a template. Place the toilet seat on top of the plywood box, take a pencil, open the lid, trace and draw the inner circumference of the toilet seat. When you cut the actual circle, keep it a little wider than the circle you drew earlier. 

Step 3: Paint or Not to Paint

You may opt not to paint the box. But paint the box will give it a characteristic look. 

Step 4: Attaching a Urine Separator

Our DIY composting toilet features a urine separator that is attached to the top. A urine separator is a container that collects urine and thus prevents mixing up of faeces and urine together. Collecting urine and faeces separately will greatly reduce spreading smell and will also facilitate disposing of urine regularly. The faeces bucket will also remain drier if urine does not get a chance to enter there. If you let faeces and urine stay in the same container, there will produce a horrific smell that will prevent you from using the toilet anymore. Attach the urine separator to the underside of the toilet lid and screwed the toilet seat to the toilet lid so that it doesn’t get displaced

Step 5: Include 2 Buckets With Two Different Sizes With the Box

The concluding part of this project is collecting two buckets or containers for collecting faeces and urine. The urine container will not necessarily be so large. A container with 3.5 liters capacity is enough. Attach the container as we discussed in step 4. Place the other bucket or pot inside the box where faeces will deposit. If needed, trim the container so the box can accommodate it.

Lastly, I want to finish the discussion on how to empty the solid and liquid waste content of this composting toilet. Transfer the urine to a plastic bag from the container and throw the bag into a ditch. For solid waste that is faeces, collect it in a bag and bury it in a safe place. 

If you are a new user of a composting toilet, how to use it may appear to you a confusing thing since it’s not a traditional toilet. However, with time you will get used to the toilet.


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