Home: Toilet
Waterless Toilet   (+1)  [vote for, against]
21st Century Nightsoil - A return to the paper bag.

We no longer need the flush toilet, now we have robotics at affordable prices, so certainly in areas where water is scarce, a flush toilet could be replaced by a paper bag system, combined with an automated transportation system.

In a hole in the floor, which the user squats over (healthily, so they say) is an ordinary brown paper bag (possibly waxed). The solid wastes are squeezed out into this bag, and then wiping or washing proceeds according to taste (maybe an edit is in order here).

The bag is held all the time by a suitably designed robotic arm, which, when dismissed, gives the bag a twist, and places the sealed bag on its pad on the conveyor. (This could also be a skilift type suspended transport system). From there, it's a short journey to the drying chimney. When dry enough, you can burn it, or bury it in the veggie garden.

Remove the robotics, and this is what you were looking for on your yacht. In port, store your waste in the mast, and simply dump it when you go to sea.

As an alternative to wiping, you can just stick your bum in the washbasin, and rinse up in there. Men could use the basin for liquid wastes, directly, and women could use the chamber pot. (I'm assuming everyone will need the chamber pot for drips etc that sometimes escape during a great struggle with one's bowels.)

I'll skip some important details to keep the basics of this compact for now.
-- skoomphemph, Mar 26 2014

Yes, but what about the odor?
-- the porpoise, Mar 26 2014

Wouldn't it depart in the bag? And for what's left, one could spray the bathroom with what smells like a fresh pine forest after rain.

Maybe one could have an in-bowl extractor fan, even. I'd like to see a water closet with an extractor fan.
-- skoomphemph, Mar 26 2014

-- pocmloc, Mar 28 2014

Seeing as a robotic device controls the bag, it occurs to me that the bag could be lifted up a placed in contact with the bum cheeks etc., thereby capturing the stink better than a bowl of water a long way down would.

A rotary wiper device could be awaiting your signal somewhere in the top of the back to do a preliminary cleanup. When done, you push the done button, the wiper does a spin, ejects the contaminated wiping pad, and gets out of the way. Then the top section pinches the bag and gives it a bit of a roll to capture the stink.

Now you can get up, and go and do some final cleaning up in the washbasin. Amount of water used? Minimal. Amount of stink left over for you to breathe in a few times before opening the door and releasing the rest into the house? Lots less than in my previous non-contact system.
-- skoomphemph, Mar 28 2014

If all the effort that Halfbakers devote to bodily functions were redirected, we'd have cured cancer on Mars by now.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 28 2014

Already done. Also smallpox on the moon.
-- RayfordSteele, Mar 28 2014

marked-for-tagline -

" I'll skip some important details to keep the basics of this compact for now. "
-- normzone, Mar 28 2014

Well I was thinking in terms of the wiping contraption using something like a wet wipe to finish the job, which is a bit of a distraction from the essence of the bag system. Also the configuration of the potty would be significant in the final product, but is a sidetrack here.

The value of this would be most appreciated by desert dwellers (eg Siberians). ... hmm ...

Which gives me an idea for the ultimate disposal of the bags in those cases where they were not eventually purposed for heating or cooking. (I don't think one can really use "repurposed" here, however goodthink it be.)

The drying chimney could have a cannon of some kind for just firing the parcels say 100 metres into the wasteland. It's a desert after all. Not much groundwater to contaminate, not so hard to dry things there.
-- skoomphemph, Mar 28 2014

Weirdly enough I've been reading a lot on this topic lately. The keys to reduced smell are separation of solid and liquid wastes and a slight down draft. Both could easily be inserted into this idea. The piece that is incorrect is the disposal method. The key is a good self heating aerated compost, so I would use non-waxed paper bags and include wood chips in the bag. You don't want to heat the solid waste and vent the exhaust anywhere near a human living space. You want the bacteria to eat it all.
-- MisterQED, Mar 28 2014

^The system has to be robust enough to stand vagaries of diet and health oopsies, as well as people who haven't read the manual prior to operation. As well as a stream-separation toilet, a urinal would be a good idea as well, for those who don't want to sit, to sequester the bulk of liquids.
-- FlyingToaster, Mar 29 2014

Thinking of the nappy lawns idea, a very crude way of separating the solids from liquids might be to have a layer of granular fertiliser in the bottom of the bag to soak at least some of the terracotta spraypainting session product up. (The whole lump would then be dumped as crude fertilizer/mulch for something we don't eat.)

I'd forgotten that people often also vomit into the toilet bowl, and that this also needs to be covered. (We don't want the blind drunk to be regularly suffocated by their toilet robots.) Right now the only solution I can think of for that problem is to recommend using the wash basin for this purpose, instead.
-- skoomphemph, Mar 29 2014

//We don't want the blind drunk to be regularly suffocated by their toilet robots.

Er, why not?
-- not_morrison_rm, Mar 29 2014

We have similar thing for dog poop. And not having bags, if the boss forgets to order them, is a place you don't want to be. Rushing around for bags that almost fit the stand, is not fun. Soon up to armpits in leaky bags of poo.

If your robot runs out of bags, you'll have a cellar full of sit and the smell won't leave you alone.
-- popbottle, Mar 30 2014

[not_morrisson_rm], it's just that people would start tricking their old dads into using the toilet this way for a combination of a small inheritance, and a large damages award. Also, some pregnant teens with morning sickness don't yet know enough about life to use the basin.

[popbottle] ... aye ... but then I've seen many a public toilet where the flush system has stopped working, and people have continued to use them.

"Seen" emphasizes the wrong sense, here. "Have been gaseously assaulted by" might lack some literary merits, but it's more accurate.

When toilets malfunction, evil oozes out; can't be avoided.

Yes, [bigsleep], litter trays might package the product in a more manageable form, and save on bags (and in an emergency, maybe one could just shovel in some sand from the heap by the kitchen door.) With a good seal between bum and seat, a reduced air pressure could still be arranged in such a way as to flush gases and all the little critters that accompany them.

This would also leave enough room for an improved wiping device, in which instead of a rotating cloth or sponge, a belt of wiping material could be fed from one roll to another, wrapping up the traces of fecal matter wiped off. Once a month, the roll could be removed and sent to the cleaners for recycling.
-- skoomphemph, Mar 30 2014

random, halfbakery