Setting up a compost toilet
Saturday 3rd August (date to be confirmed)
9.30am - 4.30pm
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We expend a lot of energy and effort in getting rid of human ‘waste’; flushing it away with clean drinking water and then having to clean the water and treat the ‘waste’. But if we change our perspective and look at human manure (or humanure) as a resource, we can easily break this cycle, saving clean water and producing valuable nutrients for growing food. There are lots of different types of compost toilets; this course will focus on the simplest system – the compost collection toilet – which can be used in an ordinary bathroom or an existing shed, as well as a purpose-built structure.
Course tutor
Vicky Lacey
has worked in waste and recycling for six years, and was trained as a ‘Master Composter’ by Garden Organic (formerly the HDRA). Based at Fen End Farm, she and her husband have been operating a compost collection toilet system for over two years, including use on several courses.
Who is the course for?
The workshop is suitable for both those who know very little about compost toilets and wish to find out more, and those who have already decided that they wish to set up their own compost collection toilet system and want to see one in operation and to build their own. This system can also be a suitable one if you want to set up a compost toilet temporarily – e.g. for an event or gathering. Once set up at home you can even use it on short trips in a caravan or camper!

If you want to set this system up at home, you will need: space for a double compost bin in your garden (each bin roughly 1 cubic metre); somewhere to site your compost collection toilet (this can be in your bathroom, in a shed, or in a purpose-built structure. The footprint is roughly 50cm squared); and access to a steady supply of sawdust and straw, or other suitable materials.
What will the workshop cover?
Everything you need to know in order to set up a compost collection toilet, including how the composting works, how the toilet works, hygiene, practical considerations, where to get suitable cover materials, when and where to use the humanure compost, and last but not least we will construct some compost toilet units, which those who have chosen to will be able to take home. Please select the option to include materials on your booking form if you wish to do this. Please note that if you are making a late booking within two weeks of the course date, this option may not be available (as we may need to order materials).
Over the course of the day you will also use a compost collection toilet and see a demonstration of how to empty it, and how to carefully manage your compost bin for best results.
When you book onto the course we’ll send you a full timetable and a list of things you need to bring with you.
Cost with materials for own compost toilet: £75 Cost excluding materials: £30
The workshop will include a session on constructing your compost toilet. For those who wish to we will provide pre-cut materials and you will be able to take a compost toilet away with you at the end of the day. You need to let us know when you book if you wish to do this, so that we can prepare the materials.
For those who are not yet in a position to set up their compost toilet and do not wish to take one home, you will still be able to learn how to construct one, but will not need to pay for the materials.
Handouts and refreshments will be provided, but please bring a packed lunch with you.

Fen End Organic Farm, Oxholme Drove, Smithy Fen, Cottenham, Cambridge
CB24 8UP. The venue is within easy reach of Cambridge, London and East Anglia generally. Please see our
how to find us page for directions, or contact us.

Booking and payment
Advanced booking is essential. Places are currently available on this course. To reserve a place please use the booking form or email us. Your place on this course is only reserved when full payment has been received. Payment methods currently accepted are BACS or cheque.

Please note that refunds will not be given for cancellations made within two weeks of the course start date. An administrative fee of 20% of the course cost will be deducted from refunds for cancellations made more than two weeks before the start of the course. If Cambridge Sustainability Centre cancels the course at any stage then you will receive a full refund.