Two composting toilets with washstands have been installed at Hilltop Farm, one in the manure shed in front of the chicken coop, and the second, a solar powered unit, in the town open space near the livestock barns. Having a toilet available will allow visitors to spend more time enjoying the community gardens and the wetlands trail.
These toilets are a long way from the “pit” toilets you might be familiar with. To the user, these look like a regular bathroom with an ordinary commode. The magic takes place underneath, where a patented rotating drum mechanism mixes waste with other organic material, microbes, enzymes and fresh air to enable evaporation and odor-free aerobic decomposition. The resulting compost will be used in a separate demonstration garden.
Composting toilets are consistent with Hilltop Farm’s goals of promoting agriculture, conservation, and preservation. They use very little water, no sewage is released into the environment, and they produce nutrient rich compost. The composting toilets have also reduced Hilltops dependence on chemical toilets.
The composting toilet project was made possible by grants from the Amiel P. Zak Public Service Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the J. Gladwin Cannon Trust.