Q. When is a compost toilet not a compost toilet?

A. When it doesn't produce compost!. Ours starts the day you start!

The Thunderbox Mobile Compost Toilet has gone ICONIC! Not only famous as an environmental alternative to the chemical toilet on the festival circuit, we are now copied by other manufacturers! We take it as a compliment but are they as good?! We are best sellers at a camp ground near you as well as The National Trust, Forestry Commission, Natural England and many forest schools, private estates, Allotment Associations and of course glampers galore!

The key difference with our system is that we use a large but very tactile container that provides massive maintenance free capacity but, (along with our proven design) also creates an incredibly efficient composting container. This means no heavy handling involved with bins and buckets or environmental health issues relating to moving un-composted materials. Our system has been approved by the Environment Agency and we even have our own code of practice with them. This is because we're professional composters, not just a timber retail outlet.

Here at the Thunderbox Collective we make a variety of compost toilets to order, or you can hire them for festivals and other short term events. From as little as £1600, Thunderboxes are a virtually maintenance free system that is ideal for a wide variety of situations. They are pleasant to use, require no water or electricity, or even vehicle access, and most importantly make great compost! Not only have we been making Thunderboxes since 2003, we use one ourselves so we know how little maintenance is needed. Our family of 6 has been using our present tank for over year and it's only half full, whereas a wheelie bin would last us 25 days!
Thunderboxes give total flexibility whilst maintaining sanitation standards and user comfort.
There are clear social, environmental and cultural benefits for using a viable alternative to chemical toilets for off-grid provision. We, the Thunderbox Collective are on that mission!

A Thunderbox at Westonbirt Arboretum
 

Thunderboxes are made using sustainably sourced durable timber from our own woods. These are managed using continuous cover techniques, and the timber extracted is assisting the conversion of the plantations back to native broadleaved woodland. So you can be sure you are buying British and supporting a rural business.
A number of other components used in the construction of Thunderboxes (including the bulk containers) are of recycled origin.

By definition, a compost toilet should produce compost, not waste. Thunderboxes have demonstrated easy production of friable compost.

How does it work?
To create safe and useful compost, the material needs to either spend considerable time composting away from human contact, thereby breaking the pathogens cycle, or by rapid “Hot composting.” Oxygen loving bacteria are present almost anywhere there is a organic matter to break down and an oxygen supply - they just turn up!

They do have specific requirements though. The more material the better. The reason we use our bulk tanks means less servicing and better compost due to air circulation. Just like a fire they need oxygen and fuel in the right condition. The “fuel” in this case is our “deposits” plus “soak”, usually sawdust or straw. This produces a mix of carbon to nitrogen around 30:1. The oxygen loving or aerobic bacteria will attack this with fervour given good oxygen supply. That's why we use fitted pipe chimneys to create a "draw" just like a regular fireplace, allowing composting to occur in situ.

The bulk container can be used as a tumbler if the tank is replaced. On small scale ventures this may never occur due to massive capacity, super efficiency of our venting system and the associated composting.
A cubic metre of fresh compost will reduce by one third in a month and reduce to one tenth of its original bulk eventually. Sometimes we get heat developing which is a sign of rapid composting but generally we compost for months and generally don’t use our compost inside two years. By then it is virtually soil and full of nutrients and high humic content.

 

 

Purchase your Thunderbox either as a DIY kit (recomended as you will then know how to put it up and manage the compost side of things) or we could come and install. We also make wheelchair accessible Thunderboxes as well as a moveable 'shifty' version with a towbar.

We have a number of units available for event Hire including our new "Multi-unit" for bigger gigs. We generally only operate in South-West England due to the generation of ‘poo-miles!’ but are building a franchise network, so do contact us via the contact box below.

Run your own Thunderbox Business and get paid to go to festivals/parties! We are looking for like-minded people to take Thunderboxes to places we don't reach, and are therefore offering Franchise deals - talk to us!

There are a number of regulations and laws concerning composting and dealing with human waste. We take these issues very seriously…its our business too! They become particularly important for larger events and more Authorites get involved. We've been building compost loos since 2003 and so we have considerable experience in all scales of events and sites. We have also been working with the Environment Agency over the last few years to develop the new code on composting human waste, based on the Thunderbox method - legal recognition at last!
We also hold generic risk assessments and safety records as well as special excemption licences for some of our clients. 
It is important to talk to us early in proceedings to allow time for the paper trail to catch up with our bacteria!

We like to think we can offer custom prices to meet your needs:

A single Thunderbox can work out as cheap as £1600 although if you want wheels and whistles it'll cost a bit more! 
A double Thunderbox (2 cubicles back to back) costs around £1800 depending on your particular wishes. We can offer discounts for larger orders, festival toilets and franchises - talk to us!

The all new wheelchair accessible Thunderbox with ramp, handrails and easy access sliding door! Comes as a double with larger than normal cubicle on the other side. Price £3500 including local delivery and installation.

Those of you with larger events will usually need site specific discussions beforehand but will have the advantage of economy of scale. 
Generally, the hire of a double unit works out around £300 (or £150/loo) without servicing, but includes delivery (within 30 miles), collection and subsequent disposal. All our loos come with lighting, sawdust, loo roll, magazines, a pot of flowers and LOVE! (by the way, there’s no VAT on love or any of the rest either!)
We know we are a tad more expensive per unit than the conventional portable loo on the shorter hires….sorry, but there is simply more work in composting and no price tag (as yet) on the hidden costs of chemical usage. We do work out a lot cheaper, depending on length of hire, for larger events where the costs of emptying chemical loos really start to stack up. With 500 litres capacity under your seat there’s no fear of getting full! We do take “poo miles” seriously - so sorry, but hire outside of Devon will incur additional transport and carbon sinking costs.
  

 
   

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