Separation Toilet FAQ

Here you will (hopefully) find all the answers to your questions.
If there is still a question to be asked – write to us!

Your Kildwick team

Allowed – What is allowed in the solids bucket?

In principle, only the solid waste, litter material and recyclable toilet paper should be added to the solids bucket. If you are considering composting, then food leftovers (e.g. coffee grounds) could also be added to it.

Ash (wood ash) – Can I add these for binding in the solids container?

Ashes can contribute to the binding or improvement of the milieu (see also fly / pest infestation) and can be used in principle. Ash is often disposed of on the compost. Too much of it, however, leads to over-fertilization or may contain pollutants, which can be absorbed by the crops. Trees absorb pollutants from the ground or the air over time. By incineration in the fireplace or stove, the substances are not neutralized, but rather remain in the ash. That's why we advise you to use small amounts of ashes for the dry composting toilet, on the compost and during fertilization. During use, you should also make sure that the fire residues come exclusively from untreated wood and not from oiled, painted, or glued wood.

Baby diapers – Can they be disposed of in a solid container?

No! Baby diapers (diapers, trainers and swimming diapers, but also wipes, wet toilet paper or hygiene items such as bandages, panty liners, tampons) belong in the solid tank under no circumstances. Even if you do not want to compost the contents of the solids container, you should always prevent bad odours and promote hygiene. The disposal of diapers and other items should take place in the household waste.

Bacteria – What do they do for composting?

Bacteria and fungi, insects, woodlice or worms play a crucial role in composting. They decompose the metabolic products and thus take the lead in the entire composting process.

Bags – Which bags are suitable for the solids bucket?

Even if you are considering composting, it is recommended to use compostable sanitary bags or pouches made of strong paper for bio waste. When buying bags, look for the EU standard DIN EN 13432 symbol. And if you want to be on the safe side, request a datasheet for the bags from the manufacturer.

Bark meal – What is it?

Bark can be used as litter for the solids container. In contrast to bark mulch, which is used for weed control as a mulch cover for beds and has no other benefits to speak of, bark meal is dry dusted and chopped, so important tannins are maintained. When buying, you should make sure that the bark meal is free of other additives.

Basic or alkaline – What ph value does the contents of my solids container have?

If flies think your dry composting toilet is particularly attractive, it is often because the content of the solids container is not basic enough. This can be determined with a pH test strip (litmus stripe) from the pharmacy or the drugstore. Instructions on how to determine the pH correctly using a litmus stiffener can usually be found on the corresponding packaging.

Batch in the solids container – How do I set up the solids container correctly?

Before putting your Kildwick toilet into operation, you should keep the following things in mind: Make sure that the solids container is stable. Put a bag (L: bags) in the container. We recommend placing two bags in the solids container. A bag for the solids and a bag for safety as leakage protection, if the inner bag gets a hole or a tear. Now put at least two handfuls of litter into the inner bag. This is the optimal basis for the first use of the toilet.

Boat – What do I have to consider with a dry composting toilet on board?

The DCT works as an on-board toilet as well as on the mainland. It works without any additional water and contamination of waters does not take place. The emptying of the containers takes place conveniently at the next port. The emptying of the solids tank is currently still free, if one remains in the harbour for one night and also the use of special toilet paper (as on conventional ship toilets) or chemistry is omitted. Electricity or pump systems are not needed. A conventional on-board toilet is maintenance-intensive. Mechanical loads jeopardize the tightness, the rubber seals should be replaced regularly and deposits removed. Due to the lack of space, the hoses are made of soft PVC, which over time removes the softener – making the hoses porous. Also many boat owners complain about unpleasant odours. This can have several causes, such as: For example, stale seawater, organic matter or bacteria in the tubes. Compared to the installation of a conventional system (manual or electric on-board toilet with faecal tank, chemical toilet or vacuum toilet), the dry composting toilet stands out for its significantly lower installation costs. In addition, with the installation of a DCT, you no longer need to worry about whether you are violating any local laws.

Bokashi – What exactly is that?

Bokashi is a high-quality fertilizer, the term is Japanese and translated means "fermented organic mixture". You can buy Bokashi in complete kits in stores. In contrast to normal composting, in which oxygen plays a big role, oxygen is excluded in the Bokashi process. With the addition of effective microorganisms, fermentation (lactic fermentation) takes place. The microorganisms involved can also sanitize hygienically questionable material (e.g. feces).

Building permit – Do I need a permit for my dry-cleaning toilet?

Especially for gardeners this question is important. In general, in all 16 federal states, a dry composting toilet may be built without a building permit (subject to changes) as this falls under the so-called "permit-free construction projects" – unless a certain number of cubic meters is exceeded during construction. To be on the safe side, it is still advisable to contact the responsible local planning authority. This can provide information about possible water protection areas – it's possible that dry composting toilets are only allowed with a special permit, sometimes even not at all.

Conversion – Can I convert my chemical toilet to a dry-cleaning toilet?

Of course you can! In most cases, upgrading to a dry composting toilet is even easier than you think. There are already many interesting articles by bloggers or in forums. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us – Kildwick will help you out.

Diarrhea – Can I still use my dry composting toilet?

Yes, definitely! If you have a diarrheal disease, then it is recommended to add more litter, so that the additional accumulating fluid can be bound. However, composting of the solids should be avoided when you are ill.

Emptying of the urine container – Where can I do it?

If you do not want to or cannot use the urine as a fertilizer, you should empty the urine container at appropriate municipal collection points or in a normal flushing toilet. Even some petrol stations or campsites offer options for emptying. Ask the appropriate service staff. If you are traveling and none of the listed options are available for emptying, you can – in an absolute emergency! – empty the container in nature. Make sure, however, that the urine neither lands on crops nor in a stream, lake or enters the sea.

Emptying solid containers – Where is this possible?

The solid container should be disposed of at municipal collection points or in household waste, unless it is added to composting. Please do not put it into the food waste – this is prohibited (at least in Germany). When you travel, you also have the option of emptying your containers at some petrol stations.

Emptying – Why is it only possible from the top?

Since many of our toilets are used in the most confined spaces, such as camper vans and boats, it is easiest to empty it from above. You're going to need as little space as possible with your dry composting toilet.

EU standard DIN EN 13432 – What does this standard mean for biodegradable garbage bags?

This EU standard for biodegradable garbage bags states that the labelled products must meet the following requirements: After 3 months of composting in an industrial composting plant and subsequent screening (with 2 mm perforation), the product must not contain more than 10% residual material (based on the original mass) remains. The limits for heavy metal contamination must be observed and all ingredients must be disclosed. At least 90% of the organic material must have converted to carbon dioxide within 6 months (in an aqueous medium). The products must not have negative effects on the composting process. An agronomic test verifies the impact on plant growth and an Eco toxicity test is also carried out.

Faeces – How much does a person actually produce per day?

According to a European study, each person produces on average 300 g of faeces a day. (Mixed food 100-200 g, vegetarians up to 350 g). This mass consists of 80% water. This means that on average one person averages over 100 kg of faeces per year.

Faeces – May I burn faeces?

Despite much research, we cannot answer that question with certainty. In Sweden the burning of faeces is allowed. In Germany, you should definitely get a permit from your local authorities. Before you make a fire in your garden, you should know the exact legal situation.

Finished compost – What exactly is it?

Finished compost, also called compost earth, is the name given to plant-compatible soil conditioner material after completion of the construction phase in compost. Especially with more sensitive plants, it is recommended to mix the material with additional garden soil or sand.

Flies – What can I do about these pests? Do I need ventilation?

If your dry composting toilet is equipped with ventilation, the toilet or the rear faeces container should not be of interest to flies. However, a missing ventilation system is not the only reason for the presence of flies. If a nuisance by the Hymenoptera occurs, this is usually due to improper handling. Please check the following:

  • Is there a source of digestion or fermentation odours? This could be an indication of an acidic environment, an anaerobic zone (hint) or even both. Possible cause: The material is too compact, too wet or there is too little oxygen supply on the surface. To check this closely, you can use a litmus strip (pharmacy or drugstore) to determine the ph level. If this is less than 6.5, the addition of carbonate lime or natural lime is recommended. You can get it in a hardware store.
  • The use of dry bark meal (or garden shredder material) with max. 20millimetre grain size loosens and binds liquid.
  • The addition of rock flour or cold wood ash also works well.
  • Both house and fruit flies like neither the smell of cinnamon nor essential oils. With these additives, you can minimize the problem significantly.

Forbidden – What is not allowed in the solids bucket?

Even if you do not compost, but dispose of your solids in the household waste (note disposal waste bin), the following things should not end up in the solid container: feminine hygiene products (towels, tampons, etc.), even if they are 100% cotton, moist toilet paper, baby diapers, baby wipes, facial wipes / cotton pads, incontinence pads, excrements of animals, waste in general (conditioned kitchen waste, but only to a very small extent).

Frost – Does it harm my toilet?

In case of frost, the urine container should be emptied, because urine freezes at minus 5 degrees. So if you're using a dry composting toilet on your boat, in the garden, or in your camper van, think about emptying the urine container during the colder months.

Fruit flies – What can I do about them?

If there are fruit flies in your dry composting toilet, then there is a reason for it: The contents of the solids container are too acidic (see pH value) and attract the pests. Here, a pH check and our recommended first steps for fly infestations (note) should help. If the situation does not improve, the addition of essential oils or cinnamon should help. If the small flies move in through a built-in vent pipe, you should stretch fine gauze (e.g. a nylon stocking) over the pipe.

Function – How do toilets without water work?

There are many reasons to use a toilet without flushing. On the one hand it may be the lack of access to water, which affects so-called developing countries, but also (hint DCT) garden and leisure areas in our regions. Waterless toilets where faeces (urine, faeces, toilet paper and additives, such as litter) are collected to return them to nature without loss (such as fertilizer) by composting (L: composting) are referred to as biological dry toilets or compost toilets. These can be further distinguished: there are biological dry toilets, where the composting takes place outside (usually on the garden compost), and compost toilet facilities with direct connection to a compost container (e.g. inside the house). In both types, liquid and solid precipitates are separated, because only then can harmless composting take place. Dry toilets are usually no larger than a flush toilet. Two containers are located in the body, one for urine and one for faeces. So that odours and moisture are bound, the solid container is supplied with litter.

Gastrointestinal diseases – Can I use the dry composting toilet despite an infection?

Yes, even with a gastrointestinal infection, you can use your dry toilets as usual. We recommend that you use more litter during this time so that the greater amount of fluid can be optimally bound. However, you should refrain from composting these solids.

Habits – Can men urinate while standing?

Yes, theoretically this is possible but we strongly advise against it. As with conventional flush toilets, it is always advisable to be considerate of other users and correct hygiene.

Home composting – What does that mean?

Self-composting is the composting process by gardeners and garden owners, garden centers or even garden and cemetery offices. The resulting compost is composted and used on the spot. It may not be resold.

Hygiene products – What is not allowed in the solids container?

Under no circumstances should tampons (not even those made of 100% cotton), sanitary napkins or other hygiene items such as incontinence pads, damp toilet paper or baby diapers be disposed of in the solids container. These are clearly intended for normal household waste.

In the garden – What should be considered when using the dry composting toilet in the garden?

The garden is probably the second most frequent place of use for a dry composting toilet. There are countless gardening enthusiasts who enjoy their hobbies in allotments, for example. But even the most industrious gardener will eventually feel an urgent need – where to go now? In many federal states the possession of dry composting toilets is expressly desired and sometimes even encouraged. In Baden-Wόrttemberg, chemical toilets and drainage-free collection pits are even prohibited. In the drinking water areas of Berlin, however, dry composting toilets are prohibited (reference to the drinking water areas of Berlin?). All in all, using a DCT in the garden has an even greater importance for the ecosystem. From the faeces (urine and faeces), the smart gardener can obtain, the perfect fertilizer (reference to composting) if he follows a few simple rules. Many will now wonder, if they should immediately install a composting toilet in the garden instead of a separation toilet? Kildwick's dry toilet has a considerable advantage over the compost type: it does not require any structural material for binding the liquids, since the liquid is separated directly from the solids. Thus, significantly less binder material is needed to ultimately obtain dry faecal material, which leads to a faster composting process. The consumption costs for litter are also lower than for a simple compost toilet.

Kitchen leftovers – Can these be disposed of in a solid container?

Even if composting is considered, it is not recommended to dispose of kitchen leftovers in the solid container, keywords: vermin and moisture. For the benefit of your toilet under no circumstances should you depose of hot food, oils, fats, meats and dairy products in the solids container.

Leaking – Can the urine container leak while driving?

A lot of things have to go wrong forthe urine tank of your dry-cleaning toilet to leak or overflow during a journey. For example, if you push it to the limit at an off-road park with your MAN 4x4. If you plan that, then drain your tank first. In addition, the urine container is embedded so well that there is really no room for movement.

Litter – Which is best for the solid container?

Suitable litter is small animal litter, bark, coconut fiber or similar. For all types of litter, you should pay attention to the origin of sustainable cultivation and that the litter is free of additives. Without any concerns, we can recommend Kildwick Miscanthus – sustainable, without additives and 100% recyclable. Please also read our blog post on "The right litter", here we explain the different types of litter and explain their respective advantages and disadvantages.

Medicines – Do they affect the composting process?

This question cannot be answered easily with yes or no, because there is hardly any empirical data here. Should medications such as antibiotics, hormones or similar be part of your diet, the addition of bio charcoal can help as it has a positive effect on the binding of pollutants. However, we advise against the direct use for the fertilization of food (fruits, vegetables etc.).

Motorhome/Van – What do I have to keep in mind on the road?

The most common use of dry composting toilets is currently in the field of ​​caravanning. Unfortunately, we do not know how many campers have switched to the DCT. One this is clear: There are more and more. So far, mobile homes and vans have mainly used chemical toilets in cassettes. However, emptying must take place often (with two persons approximately every two to three days). Lots of sanitary liquid must be replenished and the emptying is odour-intensive and really uncomfortable. The emptying of chemical toilets can only be done at a campground andwill need some water. In types without chemical use (e.g. Ammonvit), it is possible that the plastic parts are discoloured. All of these problems are eliminated when using a Kildwick dry composting toilet. Each van lover thus experiences maximum self-sufficiency. Further advantages: DCTs are inexpensive (self-installation), odourless, environmentally friendly, they do not consume water, are easy to dispose of and require very little maintenance. You decide if a DIY or a finished system is best for you.

Odor – Does a dry-cleaning toilet smell unpleasant?

When handled properly, a dry composting toilet will not smell unpleasant. Important: urine and feces should always be contained separately, because a pungent odor arises only when the substances mix.

Organic waste – What exactly is that?

Organic waste is all organic residues from the garden (grass clippings, fallen fruit, leaves ...) and household (coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit and vegetable remains ...), which are biodegradable, for example by composting.

Period – May women use the dry toilet during their menstruation?

Of course! The possible outflowing blood is led into the urine tank. Here it is possible that a darker colouring appears in the canister. Of course, hygiene products should not be disposed of through the solids container, even if you do not want to compost. This means you're always on the safe side regarding odours.

pH value – How important is this for the solids container?

The pH in the solids container plays an important role, because it establishes the basic, neutral or alkaline environment of your dry composting toilet. If flies or other vermin show an increased interest in your solid container or unpleasant odours arise, you should check the pH value with a litmus strip and if necessary take necessary measures.

Plywood/birch plywood – Why does Kildwick use this material?

Plywood panels are extremely dimensionally stable and strong. This is due to their special production method: At least three layers of wood, the grain of which is at a 90-degree angle, are pressed and glued. In contrast to untreated wood panels, plywood hardly bends anymore – it is therefore an optimal wood material, for example in furniture making (L: kit).

Poop Chute Modesty ‚Bung' – Why is it no longer available?

This cover, which is supposed to prevent the view of the "legacies of the predecessors", is not really necessary. The solids tank of your dry composting toilet does not create unpleasant odours, does not attract flies, and the miscanthus litter covers everything that should not be seen. The rest is hidden in our classic toilet lid. In addition, Kildwick customers have so far made little use of this product. And who can judge it better than our customers?

Saving water – How much water do I actually save with a dry-cleaning toilet?

A whole lot! A conventional water closet consumes 3 to 9 liters of drinking water per flush. The consumption quantity depends on the manufacturer. During the day 40 liters of drinking water or more per person are "wasted". Saving water not only protects the environment, but also your bank account balance. Your wastewater costs will be lower when installing a dry composting toilet.

Tiny House – What do I have to watch out for?

Tiny houses are becoming more and more popular: a great functional living space is created on a small footprint. Tiny Houses are often used as holiday or guest houses on private grounds, but also used as independent homes by friends of minimalism. For a Tiny House a connection to the regular water network is not necessary, since there are now good alternatives. In the field of toilet use, there are several options. The following waterless eco toilet options are suitable for installation in a Tiny House:

  1. Compost toilet
  2. Compost toilet system
  3. Dry composting toilet.

The DCT is mostly installed into Tiny Houses and there are good reasons for this. Not every Tiny House owner has the option of composting the solids or enough space for installing a compost toilet system, as it requires significantly more installation space than the DCT.

Toilet brush – Do I need it for my dry-cleaning toilet?

No! Since a dry composting toilet works without water, you do not need a toilet brush. Should something go "wrong" or get dirty, then you should clean everything with biological cleaner (note beet cleaner shop) and toilet paper. You can throw the paper in the solids tank without worrying.

Toilet paper – Which is the best?

Actually any toilet paper can be used in our dry composting toilet. Of course, paper from recycled waste paper or from sustainable forestry is recommended here. Clearly not recommended is toilet paper with fragrance, dyes or disinfectant additives.

Urine – How much of it do we produce daily?

A person produces an average of 1.5-2 litres of urine per day.

Urine container – How should it be shaped?

The urine container should be slightly transparent so you can easily control the level. In addition, it should be shockproof, waterproof and resistant to chemicals. Ideally, it is to be fitted with a screw cap, easy to clean and it should weigh no more than 25 kilograms including contents.

Vomiting – Can I use the dry composting toilet for vomiting?

Yes, even vomit can be deposited in your dry composting toilet. However, you should then increase the addition of bedding, so that the resulting liquids are optimally bound. If you have a virus you should avoid composting of these solids and dispose of the container well-packed in the household waste.

What is Miscanthus – And why does Kildwick use this litter?

Miscanthus belongs to the genus of sweet grasses and is also known as giant miscanthus or elephant grass. Due to its rapid growth (now also in Germany), its high calorific value and its favourable carbon dioxide balance Miscanthus is an optimal supplier for biomass or litter for animals. The plant also is impressive due to its dryness (below 15% after processing), its 100% compostability – and also bees love Miscanthus.

What does human dung consists of?

Human excrement consists of many things, mainly water, non-absorbed portions of food and microorganisms living in the intestinal flora. The indigestible food components include, for example, fibre, but also residues of fats, starch, muscle and connective tissue fibres and water. Faeces also include mucus, peeled intestinal cells and digestive enzyme residues. The yellowish brown or dark brown colour is caused by the conversion of bile pigments. The gallbladder produces bile acid to protect the intestinal mucosa, and this is also eliminated. By the way, every omnivore produces the unpleasant smell of faeces, including humans. This is related to the digestion of proteins and amino acids.