Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The smell of man

The nifty toilet above is lifted from Curious Goods, and pasted here simply because I needed something to illustrate a subject that bugs me a lot.

I'm getting to the toilet part after a while. Just bear with me:
There are showers in the basement at the office where I work. They are spanking new, and incredibly convenient for those of us who bike or run to work. There are wardrobes and there is even a sauna.

But it smells awful down there. "Something with the pipes," as we are trained to tell each other here in civilization.

More specifically, it smells of human refuse disintegrating anaerobically in water.

Listen to me. At home I shit in a bucket, a bucket I often keep in the room next to where I sleep so I don't have to put on boots and tie my shoelaces to go outside every single time I have to take a dump. I add some wood chips or pine needles or whatever, and empty it all on my compost heap every now and then.

The office building where I work, on the other hand, is less than six months old and equipped with what is presumably advanced plumbing, all done to code.

So how come I never smell shit at home, but always smell shit here?

In part, of course, because at home my feces are not submerged in water, an idiotic practice where perfectly usable fertilizer is instead used to pollute water. I guess there's also a question of scale. A composting toilet system for an office with hundreds of people would require a lot of work and engineering. But surely not more than has already gone into the obviously defect plumbing?

Man, I am so sick of this.


workbike said...

Have you posted details of how you built your toilet? It's probably be one of the earliest projects for us on our land.

Northmark said...

My system is almost embarrassingly simple. Just a large bucket with a polystyrene seat. The real trick is adding some fibrous stuff into it all after each visit, and then let the compost heap do its magic.

Oldfool said...

I like the "steampunk cup holder" but I don't need a laser.