Tuesday, July 10, 2012

what to do with all the .....um..... waste?

So as we are knee deep in research and studious discovery of all things tiny house, we are starting to see a pattern in the questions we get about  the general design of the house from people (this is of course, once they have calmed down enough to stop calling us crazy for the umpteenth time). They usually flow a little something like this:

What are you going to do about the....
1. Kitchen?
2. Appliances?
3. Electricity?

We tend to field this questions well enough, even though we are still in the works of deciding what method of electricity to use and whether to use propane, electric, or alcohol appliances. What we are having the hardest time deciding on is question 4

4. The Bathroom?

Well, the shower is obviously a no brainier. But what everyone is tactfully trying to ask about is the toilet.

Oh yes. That.

We know from classic Children's literature that yes, everyone poops. The question is, what to do with all of the poop, um waste, as we like to refer to it here in tiny house land.

Source: babble.com via Cathy on Pinterest

There are several options in the arena of waste handling that the fine people of history have already figured out for us.

1. Daniel Boone style, aka an outside water closet of sorts, or sans closet if you are out on the trail (Don't worry folks, this one is best left to history)
2. A composting toilet
3. An RV or marine toilet that has a waste tank
4. An incinerating toilet
5. Hookups that require being connected to sewer utilities at all times (which would defeat the purpose of the whole house being on wheels)
6. Chamber pots (also an option best suited for history and people with english accents)

Right now we are considering an incinerating toilet. They have been used in space ships, which automatically makes them the coolest toilets ever invented. But more practically, they run on propane and the waste, which is really just ash, only has to be emptied every six months or so!

The upside is that your mini house won't reek (even though some folks say there is a slight odor pumped outside), and you never have to worry about pumping any waste out, or dealing with sewer tanks.
The downside is that they are incredibly expensive, like, space craft parts expensive. Usually starting around $1800 and going up from there. Ouch!

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