Composting Toilets at an Environmental Center | NAAEE

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Composting Toilets at an Environmental Center

Good Morning!

I hope that you and yours are safe and healthy as we all do our best to manage things during the pandemic. I'm hoping that you can help me with questions about composting toilets.

Background Info: The Cooper Center for Environmental Learning is located in the Sonoran Desert, just outside of Tucson, Arizona. We host over 3,000 students each school year for day, single night, and multi-night experiences. Our audience ranges from Preschool to Adult, but the bulk of our programs are with upper elementary school students. A typical field trip day sees 40-50 students plus parent chaperones and school staff.

Our Bathroom Project: Bathrooms at Cooper are currently "rustic" and limited. We are upgrading, but being located in a desert is requiring us to get creative. We are looking at alternative and sustainable systems, and most of our focus is on composting toilets.

Here's what I'm wondering: if your facility uses composting toilets or another alternative system, how does it work for your team? What are its benefits and drawbacks? If you were involved in the choice of installing the system at your facility, why was it chosen over other options? Does your facility have janitorial/maintenance staff, or do educators or other employees help to cover these responsibilities? If so, is it an source of challenge or frustration for them to do this work?

Please share any feedback that you think will be helpful, and if you'd be willing to have a brief conversation about any or all of these questions, let me know! Thanks for your help!

From the Desert,

Colin Waite (he/him/his)
Cooper Center for Environmental Learning
Department of Teaching, Learning & Socio-cultural Studies

University of Arizona College of Education
PO Box 210069
Tucson, AZ 85721
Office Phone: (520)626-1825