composting toilets

  • Guide to Using your Compost Toilet

    We though it might be helpful to publish on-line our User's Guide to Free Range Compost Toilets, which we send out to all new compost toilet clients.

    dinosaur pooGetting Started

    For the composting process to work well, there are some key ingredients that should be added into the mix, but the exact ‘recipe’ you use will depend on what you have most readily available. Continue reading

  • Glamping Compost Loos

    glampingSo you have the perfect wild location that you are planning to run a Glamping site from, and are now thinking about toilet facilities? You have no water or electricity? Perfect!

    Yes, perfect for compost toilets. Compost toilets are waterless toilets that need no power or running water and, managed well, create no smells and lovely compost to boot.

    Here at Free Range Designs we have been making wooden composting toilets for camp sites, glamp sites, allotments and gardens since 2004. Our first compost toilet was built for a glamping site in Hay-on-Wye and since then we have designed and built over fifty toilets now installed all around the country.

    Having a compost loo for your camping / glamping site is one of the bare necessities. Composting toilets offer a neat green solution,  encouraging campers to not only enjoy themselves, but help the environment at the same time – wonderful for the feel-good factor!

    Some yurts and cabins are big enough for our toilets to be incorporated within the accommodation and here the lack of smells from the toilet and ease of turn-around between customers score highly as well.

    Choosing the right compost toilet for you depends a lot on how many pitches you have and the type of guests you expect to host. We  generally recommend having one toilet per six people, but this all depends on the location of the pitches and the level of facilities required. With luxury glamping sites you will most likely want to have the toilet and shower facilities adjacent to the accommodation, and this is when it becomes extra important that the toilet building is aesthetically pleasing and fits in well with the surrounding natural environment.

    Sometimes it will be necessary to have full-access toilet facilities. Our Disabled Access Compost Toilet has been installed on a wide range of off-mains locations, including campsites, riding stables, fishing lakes, allotments and church grounds, and comes complete with access ramp and grab rails, conforming to government legislation for its internal dimensions and ramp gradient.

    See the full range of  composting toilet options for your glamping site here.

  • Compost Toilets for Glamping Sites

    Gone Glamping

    Going glamping is becoming a very popular choice for holidaymakers looking to spend time in the great outdoors with that extra bit of comfort and style.

    Beautiful surroundings call for a beautiful loo, and what could be better than a stylish wooden composting toilet to accompany a beautifully fitted out bell tent? Here are some photos of a local glamping site in Wales that installed one of our Bog Standard composting toilets for their first season this year.

    Made from locally sourced sustainable timber, our composting toilets are very much at home in the welsh outdoors, and are designed to withstand the Welsh climate even when the sun isn't shining! Perfect for campsites, allotments and public parks, as well as glamping sites, our compost toilets bring that extra bit of charm that other toilet systems might lack.

    Read here to learn more about how our composting toilets work. Glamping-toilet Glamping Toilet inside bell-tent-toilet

  • Could You Use A Composting Loo?

    There are many places where you could use a composting toilet – anywhere, in fact, that you might need to go!

    Since our stylish compost toilets don’t need mains water, electricity or drainage, they can be installed in almost any location you might think of, and offer an ideal, ecologically friendly option for sites of all kinds. We’ve already installed composting toilets in a diverse range of sites including festival grounds, holiday accommodation sites and even a Buddhist monastery.

    Composting toilets for allotments have proved very popular, making the sites more attractive and practical for all the community. When mains toilets are not an option, the idea of being caught short when you’re busy working on your vegetable patch or of having to traipse home when you need to go can discourage people from taking on an allotment. A composting toilet is easy to install, looks attractive and stylish, doesn’t create any unpleasant lingering smells, and helps to encourage families and older community residents to make use of the allotments, all the while creating safe, natural organic compost to fertilise the soil. Allotment associations are even frequently able to get funding for projects which improve their sites in this way.compost-toilet-allotment

    Other sites where nature is important prove popular as locations for composting toilets; nature reserves, game reserves, and any other kind of site where people may be encouraged to spend time in the wilds. Other aspects of their design can prove to be beneficial too; a composting toilet doesn’t flush (you simply add a handful of carbon-rich soak) so there’s no unnecessary noise to break into the tranquillity of the area or disturb local wildlife; they can be temporary or permanent solutions, and they are simply more attractive than a plastic blue portaloo.

    The fact is, wherever people go, there’s a good chance that they’ll need to go, and they don’t often want to do so behind a bush! If you’re managing any kind of site where mains toilets aren’t an option and you want something a little more attractive, ecologically sound and with low running costs, a composting toilet is an excellent solution. Contact us online or call us on 077 594 39658 to talk to us about how our designs can help you.

  • Going Green With Style

    One of the main attractions of our composting toilets is the fact that they are an environmentally friendly option. However, it’s not just the function that makes them an ecologically sound choice – we have put a lot of hard work into making sure that their construction is just as green.

    Whichever of our toilets you choose – whether it’s the basic portable composting toilet box or a larger, complete cabin version like the Timber Arc Composting Toilet – we strive to use recycled and sustainable materials wherever possible.

    The timber we use is sourced locally, from sustainable woodlands where more trees are planted for every one that’s felled. We frequently use larch, cedar and douglas fir, but we have access to a range of timber to suit different styles and requirements.

    The most important part of the composting toilet is the urine separator. Keeping the urine separate from the rest of the waste is the key to a good, smell-free composting toilet; it’s also usable as a fertiliser in its own right when diluted with water. We were unable to find an existing product that met our requirements, so we designed the separator we use ourselves, and it’s made from recycled plastic for maximum sustainability.

    The next most important part of the toilet is, of course, the collection device. You may be surprised to learn that most of our toilets collect the humanure in a standard wheelie bin – but it’s a perfect design as it’s leak proof, rodent proof, easy to move and empty, and – mass produced as it is – cheap. You can expect many years of service from your humble wheelie bin, and when you’re using it as a composting container that’s no different.

    For composting toilets with a lower usage level, you can replace the wheelie bin with a standard bucket – again, mass produced and cheap, but effective and with a long life expectancy.

    Because we’re generally supplying composting toilets to sites without electricity or running water, as standard, that’s all there is to it – recycled plastic, sustainable timber and an ordinary wheelie bin or bucket, combining to create something that’s practical, beautiful and fantastically friendly to the environment.

  • The Compost Toilet Composition

    What is a compost toilet?

    Composting toilets, which are sometimes also called waterless toilets, dry toilets or biological toilets, work by collecting waste and through aerobic decomposition. These toilets are very useful for outside use, as they don’t require any water or electricity, allowing them to be used in remote locations or simply to save water and energy. Further environmental benefits include the fact that waste is recycled into nutrient rich compost for plants.


    How do they work?

    A compost toilet works by slowly decomposing human waste through thermophilic decomposition. This means that the enzymes in the waste produce energy, making the temperatures between 40-60 °C. This allows bacteria to thrive, and, as they oxidise, they kill the dangerous pathogens and also evaporate any excess moisture. The correct balance between oxygen, moisture, heat and organic material is needed to ensure a rich environment for the aerobic bacteria, as this transforms the waste into fertilizing soil.


    It is really important that the urine is separated from the solid waste in the decomposition process, or else the waste will be too wet and contain an imbalance of nutrients. If urine is mixed into the waste it allows anaerobic organisms to thrive, producing ammonia, methane and hydrogen sulphide; which is what causes unpleasant smells. This is why Free Range Designs’ toilets are fitted with a urine separator, which is used to divert the urine away from the solids into a separate container.


    Once you have used the toilet, it is essential that a handful of ‘soak’ is thrown into the composting container after the waste. The soak is made of straw or sawdust, and provides carbon and nitrogen; which is essential to create a balanced diet for the bacteria creating the compost. Soak works by adding a balance of nutrients including oxygen into the mix, and also absorbs excess moisture. The bacteria can then decompose waste aerobically, and produce nitrates, phosphates and sulphates; which are a healthy composition for soil.


    What do compost toilets  consist of?

    At Free Range Designs, we produce a range of high quality compost toilets made from composting-toilet-box_10reclaimed and sustainably sourced wood. From the simple, portable composting toilet to the state-of-the-art timber arc toilet, we can provide them all. The main feature of a composting toilet is the wooden cabin which provides privacy. Some designs, like the bog standard toilet, are elevated structures with steps, to allow room for the composting chamber underneath, and others use an elevated seat with a bucket underneath.


    Inside the cabin is the toilet itself which is made of a raised pedestal and has a comfortable, liftable seat like normal toilets. We always fit our toilets with a urine separator and piping that either leads to a collection container, which can then be detached for emptying, or to a soakaway. There is plenty of space inside the cabins for a soak supply, and we can fit railings, hooks and storage space so you can provide sanitary supplies.


    Compost toilets are the ideal environmentally friendly solution for outside or public bathrooms. Not only do they save energy, water and provide high quality plant compost, but they are also created using sustainable materials. Composting toilets can be used in campsites, parks, gardens, farms, allotments and even churches that don’t have bathroom facilities.

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