Christchurch residents without flushing toilets are being encouraged to turn their brown waste green.
A workshop on building composting toilets is being held in New Brighton tomorrow as householders with earthquake-damaged sewerage seek alternatives to their chemical loos.
Compost toilets combine human waste with a carbon-rich material, usually sawdust, and compost under hot conditions to produce material that is safe to use on the garden. Raw sewage never comes into contact with water or soil, and chemicals are not required.
Construction requires only plywood or particle board, screws, three buckets, and two toilet seats.
Workshop facilitator James Bellamy, who has used a compost toilet at his Whangarei home for about five years, said often the biggest hurdle was for people to feel comfortable putting human waste on their garden.
The compost toilets could be used inside and did not resemble a long drop, he said.
“It’s all about changing that public perception, which is difficult, but once we explain it, a lot of people come around and see how simple it is,” Bellamy said.
The feedback on Christchurch’s chemical toilets was that they were “not nice to deal with”, he said.
“A compost toilet, if it’s done properly, doesn’t smell and it’s not wet. It’s actually really dry because we’re adding sawdust to the mix or a carbon material.”
The free workshop starts at 10am at the New Brighton community gardens, Rawhiti Domain. Visit www.composttoilets.co.nz.