This compost loo is called "La Bixa" and is located in Menorca Island (Spain). It was built in one of the most important ravines of Menorca, from both the natural and cultural standpoint, the Algendar ravine. One of our main aims was the use of local resources (and artisanal techniques) as construction guideline. Therefore reeds and stones from the ravine were used, as well as recycled pallet and pieces of glass to transform the toilet into a magical space.
In order to build the compost loo and share the reed construction knowledge we developed a workshop for 15 days with about seven people. We are part of an association called Proyecto áSILO (blog: sileros.wordpress.com) whose aims are to carry out any activity which seeks regional development encouraging the use of local resources, promotes knowledge sharing between citizens; we try to combine artisanal techniques and new technologies on the architectural design and construction. In this case we are compost loo builders (and admirers!). I'll explain the building process. Firstly, we took advantage of a height difference in the land to place the two buckets where compost will be accumulated. This space is also used as base (support) for the toilet floor. It is composed of four dry walls made with the stones from the ravine. The floor of the compost toilet (which was made by reusing timber from pallet and reeds from the reed bed of the ravine), rests on top of these walls. Apart from this, the whole toilet was built with reeds. The challenge was the use of the reed as structural material in addition of enclosing element. Two lateral trusses (made with reeds) were used to support the roof and to make the walls. The roof is made up of three layers. From the inner to the outer: ripped reed layer, waterproofing layer and reed layer. The ventilation system was performed installing a chimney connected to the compost storage space to allow the gases from the fermentation go out. Additionally, the enclosing elements walls were made of weaved reeds which allow the wind blowing through them. In fact, Flora Ritman (the owner) has told us that it is currently working very well since the compost toilet does not smell! Finally, the loo has got a separate system for the urine, and a \"sawdust cistern\" to throw it inside after each use!
The compost loo has got two compost buckets of 134L each one. When one of this is full it has to be replaced with the other one. Approximately 6 months later the compost is done and ready to be used for the fruit trees of the farm. This toilet is more used during the summer, because some spaces of the farm are available to carry out different workshops. The rest of the year is used only by the people who take care of the farm. Flora has told us that during this summer they already filled one of the buckets of 134L (in just three months!). However the filling speed will be slower during the rest of the year, so hopefully the compost will have enough time to be ready (before they need to change it again!).