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OAEC Receives Groundbreaking Compost Toilet Permit

Blogpost published on: Monday, September 26th, 2016

Legitimizing Ecological Sanitation via Scientific Research

After 2 years of negotiations, OAEC is excited to partner with county and regional agencies with the acquisition of an “Alternate Methods and Materials” research permit to install and trial composting toilet systems in our beautiful new guest accommodations as part of our Compost Toilet Research Project.   We believe that composting toilets promise an age-old/cutting-edge solution to the most pressing environmental issues of our time including water quality and quantity, peak energy and soil degradation.  We are so thrilled to utilize our site, knowledge and community network to evaluate whether composting toilets are a viable, safe alternative to modern sewage and septic systems.

The aim of this collaborative project is to work side-by-side with regulators to evaluate this technology for multi-unit and medium-scale commercial facilities, such as hotels and apartment buildings. Since the majority of our growing population lives in dense, urban settings, this is where solutions will have the greatest impact and where research is most needed. With the help of engineers from UC Davis and Stanford, the compost will be laboratory tested for pathogens, nutrient content and other contaminants.  When research concludes, we will prepare a technical report of findings to present to our Sonoma County partner agencies.  We hope to provide the hard data they need to make informed policy decisions that guarantee both public health and ecological integrity.

Finished compost that has been deemed safe will be used on native trees and shrubs in our wildlands restoration project, which is why we’ve nicknamed this the “Toilet-trees” campaign!

Provided that we reach our fundraising goals, participants staying in our new guest housing for courses and group retreats will soon be “contributing” to this research through state-of-the-art composting toilet systems. We hope that by giving visitors the pleasant experience of an upscale ecological facility that mimics a “normal” bathroom, we can shift how waterless systems are perceived in the mainstream and can show that composting toilets are not just for backwoods outhouses anymore!   Dry toilets add to our existing suite of water-wise practices in use at our Permaculture Design and Conservation Hydrology demonstration site, including stormwater  management and graywater irrigation systems.

 

Learn more about the Compost Toilet Research Project >


Don’t flush your resources down the toilet.

igg_logo_frame_gogenta200x144Mark your calendars: On TUESDAY OCTOBER 11th 2016, we will launch OAEC’s first ever crowdfunding campaign to raise awareness and money for this timely project.

Coming soon!  Keep an eye out for our launch announcement and a soon-to-go viral new video about composting toilets that you will want to share!   Donate early, get access to exclusive early-bird perks, and help us get the momentum going.

Billions of public dollars have been put into creating our current water-hogging infrastructure – what a shame that so little investment has been made toward perfecting waterless sanitation in modern times!   Will you consider investing in the Composting Toilets Research Project?


*PLEASE NOTE: We apologize that we do not have the staff capacity to field questions about composting toilets at this time – please do not call or email our office with general inquiries or requests.  See our Compost Toilets Research Project webpage for more information or sign up to receive our newsletter for project and policy updates. Thank you for understanding.