It’s a Dirty Job

I moved into the Tiny House last summer, after a very non-romantic discussion of how it was silly for me to be paying rent for an apartment when I was spending so much of my time out of it. For my part, I was willing to do many different tasks and jobs in tiny house land, but there were a few that fell under my category of “gross jobs.”

The time has come for me to learn to do the dirty stuff.

This summer, Jamie plans to be away for at least 8 weeks and I need to be prepared for all the daily upkeep tasks. Over the past nine months I’ve learned about most of the tiny house-specific tasks – switching the water jugs for our Redneck Water System, where to dump the grey water when the bucket is full, using and cleaning our cooking stove, starting the propane heater (trickier than you might think) – and the time has come for me to learn to empty the toilet bucket.

Yes – I said toilet bucket.

This weekend I received a tutorial in how Jamie composts our toilet and kitchen waste so I’m able to step up and do it myself. Luckily, it wasn’t anywhere near as gross as I feared it might be.

Two Bin Compost System

Two Bin Compost System

  1. Take the top off the toilet box, and remove the bucket. If there is some grey water in the bucket under the sink take that bucket too. Bring both buckets to the compost bins in the back yard. Jamie built a two bin system out of pallets with a pallet over the top like a lid to keep out the local critters (including her parents’ dog, Rufus).
  2. Use the shovel to move the hay off the top and dig down a little into the compost pile. You can tell we have very healthy compost by the steam visible when we dig down a bit.
  3. Dump the bucket into the hole we’ve just dug in the compost. Pour some grey water into the toilet bucket (I feel a little icky every time I write that phrase) and using a toilet brush that lives by the compost, scrub the bucket a bit then pour the water into the compost pile as well.
  4. Use the shovel to recover the pile with the hay. Periodically, add more hay to the top or a bunch of dried leaves etc. Leave the bucket upside down to dry and air out a bit, grab the other toilet bucket (that’s been hanging out by the compost bin since the last toilet bucket process) and bring it back inside the house.

Ta da! Not as awful as I thought it would be. She also showed me where in the barn to put our trash and recycling so I’m headed on my merry way toward tiny house self-sufficiency. Next on my ask-Jamie-how-to-do-it-before-she-leaves list is how to charge the tractor battery for the Redneck Water System. Pretty soon I’ll be unstoppable 🙂

Yes, I did put a Frosty seat cover on the toilet.

Yes, I did put a Frosty seat cover on the toilet.

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