KAKAPO© Composting Toilets
Congratulations, and welcome to the wonderful world of compost!
If you read the following instructions for your KAKAPO composting toilet you will greatly increase the chances that you will enjoy many years of trouble free operation. If, like most people, you find reading instructions a boring waste of time, we wish you well on your venture of discovery!
Your first deposit in the drum should be about a bucket full of well matured garden compost.
No compost? No problem. A spade full of dirt and a bucket full of sawdust or shavings or leaf mould or peat or fine bark chips or even shredded paper would do. If you have been hanging on and are really desperate to use the toilet, it doesn't really matter if you don't put anything in there but what is important though is to introduce our dear little friends, the micro-organisms, and just a spade full of top soil will do this. These are the wonder workers that you will be feeding, and in return, they will render your excrement safe to introduce back into the environment as the best possible fertiliser, at the best possible price - for free.
OK - ready to go!
There are some things that you should avoid putting into any composting toilet and include:
Preservative treated sawdust, plastic, liquids other than urine, disinfectants and cleaners, anything non biodegradable such as cell phones (although they probably deserve to go in there), condoms, disposable nappies, car batteries, etc.
Sanitary products are OK - but any plastic bits will come through intact.
The normal operating level of the drum is at half way. When the contents appear to be getting rather more than this (i.e. when you feel that something could in fact jump out and bite you!) it's time to rotate the drum. The interval between rotations is directly dependent on the amount of use the toilet receives but as a guide, when the contents are less than 200mm from the opening – its time to turn. In busy situations such as a cafe, routine turning every morning is recommended.
To turn the drum, simply rotate the crank handle in a clockwise direction. It takes approximately seven turns of the handle to turn the drum once - indicated by the rise and fall of the dome nut on the small block located on the top of the toilet housing adjacent to the crank handle. We recommend that the drum be rotated at least four complete turns.
If the drum is rather full, it may require more than this. Please note that no amount of turning will get the level lower than half way - that is, the drum will always be half full of composting material. An extraction tool (the SDPS) is also supplied and extra material may dragged from the drum if you desire a lower operating level or if you are expecting a very busy night.
Periodically remove the rear hatch cover and check the level of out flowing material in the receiver box. When full, this should be emptied onto the compost pile and covered with a good layer of straw or some similar material (if you are unfamiliar with the principles of composting, refer to the excellent HUMANURE HANDBOOK by Joseph Jenkins - he'll see you right). Not a bad idea to put a handful of straw or sawdust in the receiver box before replacing in the toilet. This will soak up any excess moisture and also aid in emptying. Of course you should wash your hands thoroughly after this operation or alternatively wear rubber gloves.
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