# Joolca Workshop

First look at the Joolca Toilet!

Our toilet offers the following benefits, listed below. Read the full description below for more information: 

  • 3 Options for disposal of solids (chemical, compost, bag)
  • Reduced Smell due to the separation of liquids & solids
  • Potentially easier & more pleasant emptying (depending on disposal method)
  • Longer between needing to empty (due to the separation of liquids & solids)
  • Water saving
  • Height similar to domestic toilets


The Joolca toilet is based on the concept of separating urine and poo when you do your business. Separating 1 & 2 has the benefit of significantly reducing the smell (which is mostly generated when 1 & 2 mix) but it also brings the following benefits:

  • You can reduce the emptying frequency of solids (because the solids container isn't full of urine).

  • It makes the emptying process more friendly because you're not lugging around big heavy tanks of liquid poo, not to mention it's much less smelly.



Above: A large opening for solids and a smaller drain for urine. Both have good seals to stop smell and leakage.

But the separating function doesn't seem like it would work very well?!

Yea, the first impression for those new to the concept is this - but the idea of urine-diverting toilets is not new, and has been used in the composting toilet world for quite some time. We have tested the geometry of our bowl with users including females and children and found that it works really well. Having said that, we are continuing to test and optimise the shape.

It's recommended for blokes to sit when urinating so that urine doesn't end up in the solids container.

The urine outlet incorporates an automatic sealing mechanism that allows urine to pass but will stop smells from coming up. When doing no.2 you slide open the latch, very similar to most chemical toilets.

Above: Opening the latch.

Above: As you can see, we've made our latch quite a bit larger than popular chemical toilet sizes.

Above: Comparison to a popular chemical toilet

Above: Dimensions

How it works:

Internally, the toilet houses two separate containers - one for your urine and a larger one for your solids. Both containers are completely air-tight, including the urine container (which contains a valve to stop smells coming up).

Emptying the urine:

The urine bottle capacity is around 6.5L (1.7 gal) and should be good for around 4-6 days of use per person.

Above: When it's time to empty, the urine indicator will change color.

Above: Hinge open the toilet to easily grab the urine container. Urine is sterile and can easily be disposed of basically anywhere, including public toilets.

Above: When tackling some tough tracks, you can swap the valve for a lid to guarantee no leaks.

Emptying Solids:

The solids container is behind the urine container. It is around 11L (2.9 gals) in capacity and should last between 13 -21 days of use per person (read below on why the variation).

The solids container is emptied by removing it from the toilet and dumping the waste (again, more info on options for this is below).

The benefits of our design mean that the solids bucket takes longer to fill (meaning fewer trips to the dump point), is easier to manage, and will be less smelly!

Our design is non-flushing. There is less weight and less water usage. We still recommend spraying down the bowl with a water & vinegar mixture during daily use!. 

Options for dealing with your shi*

By diverting no.1 and no.2, it allowed us to open up options for how we dispose of solids.

The Joolca Toilet gives you three options for dealing with your solids - all with the same exact toilet. You can do this by swapping the collection containers for the one that suits you!

1) Chemical Toilet Option

The most popular option by far for using portable toilets is going the chemical route - and for good reason. The infrastructure around them is quite good and very established. If this is the option you want to go with, we've got you covered.

Note: Because our toilet is non-flush, your chemical container will take longer to fill, will be lighter and easier to handle. Having said that, you will still probably need to fill it with some water at start-up to allow the solids to liquify enough to empty. We are still working through the optimal chemical mix. 

Above: Our Chemical container features all of the typical features you'd expect from any chemical toilet, including a breather valve, strong seals, and a swivel spout.

Above: Emptying the chemical toilet.

Below: A solids level indicator. Applies to all solids containers.

2) 'Composting' Toilet 

'Composting' toilets have started to get very popular in van life, boatie, bus life and off-grid circles.

Now, it's important to clear up that the vast majority of these toilets on the market don't actually turn your solids into 'compost' - because that process takes much longer than the solids stay inside your container (it can take 6+ months). 

To be used as a true 'composting' toilet, the solids need to be transferred to a composting pile to  continue the process until all the nasties are broken down. Most people dispose of the solids inside a garbage bag and dispose of in their normal waste bins - which is perfectly legal and treated as similar to nappie waste in most places. 

So, ultimately, the term 'Composting Toilet' is a bit of a misnomer, however, can be correct depending on how you dispose of the solids. 

Having said that, there are many benefits to this approach:

  1. No need for expensive chemicals

  2. No need for a black water tank and dumping in designated dump points

  3. No need for water

  4. Little to no smell (a properly working compost toilet should smell like fresh dirt - remember, it's the mixing of urine with no.2 that is largely responsible for the bad smells!)

Because of these benefits, this approach lends itself very well to those who need a toilet solution for long-term or permanent use, especially where you don't have ready access to dump points or a large availability of water.

OK, so how do they work?

You put in some composting material (like sawdust or peat moss) at the bottom of the container to absorb moisture and do your business. You might sprinkle some more on top after going or once every few days to help keep things dry.

Why is the Joolca 'Compost' Toilet better than the others?

  1. We use a completely sealed slide valve system (very similar to ones used in chemical toilets), to create a fully air-tight seal. This means we don't require any electricity or fans and ducts for venting!

  2. Our solids containers are designed to have bin liners installed prior to use, making the emptying process about as easy as it can get and just that much nicer!

Above and below: You can use the container without a liner if you want to empty directly onto your compost heap. But if you're planning on bagging for disposal, line your container with a liner first to make the emptying process as clean as possible. In this example, we haven't lined the bin bag with any cover material which you would normally do.

3) Bag Toilet

Finally, if you're going away for a short trip you might not need to go through the bother of using the composting cover, you can just go straight into the bag, knowing that it's completely sealed and it won't smell!

.... So you have all the options!

Above: The Joolca Toilet gives you three options for dealing with your solids - all with the same exact toilet. You can do this by swapping the collection containers for the one that suits you!!


See how people everywhere are using their Joolca HOTTAP, or share your setup on Instagram.

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