PORTABLE COMPOSTING TOILET AND METHOD OF USE

In one embodiment, a composting porta potty comprises a housing, an access panel, a waste holding container, and a composting system. In one embodiment, the composting system comprises an open container, a scoop, and a suitable composting material (e.g. sawdust). In another embodiment, the composting system comprises an enclosed container, an outlet, an outlet covering, and a handle for releasing the composting material directly into the waste holding container.

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Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/708,975, filed on Oct. 2, 2012, which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present technology relates to portable toilets, also known as a porta potty or port-a-potty, and related devices. More particularly, the present technology relates to a porta potty composting system and method for making compost.

BACKGROUND

Portable toilets have been used for many years, and have been particularly popular since the 1960s. They are typically used to fulfill the need for a toilet at construction sites and large gatherings of many kinds. In order to remain easily portable, they remain self-contained units, which means that human waste remains inside of the porta potty enclosure until it is manually emptied. This has the negative effect of creating mal odors, which is unpleasant and may also be unsafe for the user. In an effort to combat this problem, a variety of different methods have been introduced, with the most successful being chemical treatments. These chemicals have ranged from Lyes, bleaches, formaldehydes, nitrates, and others. However, recent trends have seen the use of other compounds, such as glutaraldehyde and quaternary ammonium compounds, and also enzyme hybrids, which are less likely to cause irritation to the user and are generally accepted with greater ease at treatment facilities. While these chemical means have been accepted by those in the industry, they can remain costly for the vendor and are not an ideal solution. Further, with the amount of porta potty use ever increasing, there remains a need to more effectively dispose of this waste.

Composting is a form of aerobic decomposition that dates back to at least early Roman Empires, although the modern era did not really utilize it in industry until around 1920. Composting has proven to be very beneficial to the agriculture industry because it is rich in nutrients. It is generally added to soil, or other matrices such as coir and peat, as a tilth improver. It is also useful for its pesticidal qualities, allowing a user to eliminate unwanted plants or seeds.

Composting toilets have also evolved, allowing human excrement to become compost. Typical methods involve the addition of paper and an additional carbon source, such as sawdust, to the excrement. This commences thermophilic decomposition, in which bacteria that thrive at high temperatures oxidize the waste into its components, some of which are consumed in the process, reducing volume, and eliminating potential pathogens. However, these systems have always been non-portable solutions.

Therefore, there remains a need to reduce the waste, odor, and chemical cost and treatment of porta potties. The present invention seeks to solve these and other problems.

SUMMARY OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

In one embodiment, a composting porta potty comprises a housing, an access panel, a waste holding container, and a composting system. In one embodiment, the composting system comprises an open container, a scoop, and a suitable composting material (e.g. sawdust).

In another embodiment, the composting system comprises an enclosed container, an outlet, an outlet covering, and a handle for releasing the composting material directly into the waste holding container.

In another embodiment, an enclosed container comprises a rotatable device. A user may actuate the device to release a predetermined amount of composting material into the outlet.

In yet another embodiment, the outlet is received beneath the toilet seat to allow the flow of composting material directly into the waste holding container.

In another embodiment, a composting porta potty comprises a space for receiving an adjustable container, a horizontally advancing means, a gear mechanism, and an actuating pedal.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a rear perspective view of a composting porta potty with a removable container

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional side view of a composting porta potty using an open composting container and scoop

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of a composting porta potty with an enclosed composting system with a handle

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional side view of a composting porta potty with an enclosed composting system with a rotatable mechanism

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional side view of a composting porta potty with an enclosed composting system with a rotatable mechanism with the outlet being received beneath the toilet seat

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side view of a composting porta potty with an enclosed composting system on the side thereof with a handle-style rotatable mechanism with the outlet being received beneath the toilet seat

FIG. 7 is a front view of a composting porta potty with an enclosed, foot-pedal actuated composting system adjacent to the waste holding container

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

The following descriptions depict only example embodiments and are not to be considered limiting of its scope. Any reference herein to “the invention” is not intended to restrict or limit the invention to exact features or steps of any one or more of the exemplary embodiments disclosed in the present specification. References to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” “various embodiments,” and the like, may indicate that the embodiment(s) so described may include a particular feature, structure, or characteristic, but not every embodiment necessarily includes the particular feature, structure, or characteristic. Further, repeated use of the phrase “in one embodiment,” or “in an embodiment,” do not necessarily refer to the same embodiment, although they may.

Accordingly, the particular arrangements disclosed are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of the invention, which is to be given the full breadth of the appended claims and any and all equivalents thereof. Moreover, many embodiments, such as adaptations, variations, modifications, and equivalent arrangements, will be implicitly disclosed by the embodiments described herein and fall within the scope of the present invention. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation. Unless otherwise expressly defined herein, such terms are intended to be given their broad ordinary and customary meaning not inconsistent with that applicable in the relevant industry and without restriction to any specific embodiment hereinafter described. As used herein, the article “a” is intended to include one or more items. When used herein to join a list of items, the term “or” denotes at least one of the items, but does not exclude a plurality of items of the list. For exemplary methods or processes, the sequence and/or arrangement of steps described herein are illustrative and not restrictive.

It should be understood that the steps of any such processes or methods are not limited to being carried out in any particular sequence, arrangement, or with any particular graphics or interface. Indeed, the steps of the disclosed processes or methods generally may be carried out in various different sequences and arrangements while still falling within the scope of the present invention.

In general, a composting porta potty 100 is illustrated in FIG. 1. The composting porta potty 100 being comprised of a housing 102, an access panel 104, and a waste holding container 106. Waste holding container 106 comprising a means for facilitating easy removal and replacement of waste holding container 106, such as a tongue and groove 107 or similar means known to those of skill in the art. When waste holding container 106 reaches capacity, a user may empty, remove and empty, or replace waste holding container 106 via the access panel 104. The use of an access panel and a removable container is readily apparent—it allows the resulting compost to be removed easily and frequently, without requiring the use of large machinery or trucks.

In one embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, a composting porta potty 200 contains a composting system 202 that is comprised of an open container 204, a scoop 206, and composting material 208. Once a user has finished using the toilet, they use scoop 206 to add composting material 208 to a waste holding container below the toilet seat. For example, the composting material 208 may be sawdust, which not only reduces the mal odor commonly associated with porta potties, but it is also a suitable agent for aiding the aerobic composting process. While sawdust is used as an example, other suitable composting materials known to those of skill in the art may be used.

In another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 3, composting porta potty 300 contains a composting system 302 comprised of an enclosed container 304, an outlet 306, an outlet covering 308, and a handle 310. Once a user has finished using the toilet, the user actuates the handle 310, moving the outlet covering 308 and allowing for the flow of composting material 312 into a waste holding container through the opening of the toilet seat. A user may refill enclosed container 304 by adding composting material 312 through opening 314. Opening 314 may be removably covered or coverless.

In another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 4, a composting system 402 may be comprised of an enclosed container 404, a rotatable mechanism 406, and outlet 408. Once a user has finished using the toilet, the user actuates rotatable mechanism 406, which is divided into separate chambers 410. Chambers 410 hold a predetermined amount of composting material 412. As a user actuates the rotatable mechanism 406, a chamber 410 is emptied into outlet 408, thus aiding in obtaining an equal distribution and use of the composting material 412.

In yet another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 5, enclosed container 502 comprises outlet 504 with outlet opening 506 being received beneath the toilet seat and flowing directly into a waste holding container.

In another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 6, the enclosed container 602 may be placed in any convenient location, whether inside or outside (not shown) of the porta potty. Rotatable mechanism 604 may also be comprised of an external handle 606 or similar mechanism to facilitate rotation of the chambers 608.

In another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 7, composting porta potty 700 contains a composting system 702 comprised of a space 704, an adjustable container 706, horizontally advancing means 708, gear mechanism 710, and actuating pedal 712. A user enters porta potty 700, lifts toilet lid 714, where waste can then enter waste holding container 716. Once a user has finished, they actuate the pedal 712 which turns the gears (or equivalent means), raising the floor of adjustable container 706. As the container rises, compost material is pushed upward, extending into an opening above space 704. Horizontally advancing means 708, such as a scraper or plowing device, moves horizontally, pushing the compost material above space 704 into the waste holding container 716. With each use, adjustable container 706 becomes smaller and smaller. Once emptied of composting materials, the gear 710 is released and the adjustable container is expanded to fill space 704 once again, where it may be filled with composting material again. It will be appreciated that adjustable container 706 may be manufactured from cloths, silicone, or thin rubbers that allow it to be maneuvered and pass along gear mechanism 710. Further, the adjustable container 706 may be accessed from either within the porta potty, or externally thereto. Horizontally advancing means 708 may be made from metals, plastics, or other materials of sufficient strength to push the composting means into waste holding container 716.

It will be appreciated that while some illustrations generally show an enclosed container as being a pentagon, and the outlets as being tubular in shape, other shapes, sizes, and locations may be utilized without departing herefrom.

A method of creating compost using a porta potty, the method comprising using a portable toilet, human waste, and a composting material (e.g. sawdust). The portable toilet may be comprised of a standard porta potty, or may be comprised of the composting porta potty system disclosed herein.

Claims

1. A composting portable toilet, comprising:

a housing;
an access panel;
a holding container; and
a composting system.

2. The composting system of claim 1 comprising an open container, a scoop, and composting material.

3. The composting system of claim 1 comprising an enclosed container, an outlet, an outlet covering, and a handle.

4. The composting system of claim 1 comprising an enclosed container, a rotatable device, and an outlet.

5. The rotatable device of claim 4 further comprising at least one chamber for dispensing composting material.

6. The outlet of claim 4 being received below the toilet seat.

7. The composting system of claim 1 comprising a space for receiving an adjustable container, a horizontally advancing means, a gear mechanism, and an actuating pedal.

8. A composting system for use with portable toilets, comprising:

a container for holding composting materials; and
a means for delivering the composting materials to the waste holding container.

9. The means for delivering the composting materials of claim 8 comprising a scoop.

10. The means for delivering the composting materials of claim 8 comprising an outlet, an outlet cover, and a handle for actuating the outlet cover.

11. The means for delivering the composting materials of claim 8 comprising a rotatable device and an outlet.

12. The rotatable device of claim 11 comprising at least one chamber for dispensing composting material.

13. The outlet of claim 11 being received below the toilet seat.

14. The composting material of claim 8 comprising sawdust.

15. The composting system of claim 8 being located within the housing of a portable toilet.

16. The composting system of claim 8 being located on the outside of the housing of a portable toilet.

17. A method of making compost with a portable toilet, the method comprising:

receiving human waste in a container; and
adding composting material to the waste container by use of a composting system;

18. Wherein the waste container of claim 17 is removable.

19. The composting system of claim 17 comprising an open container, a scoop, and composting material.

20. The composting system of claim 17 comprising an enclosed container, an outlet, an outlet covering, and a handle.

21. The composting system of claim 17 comprising an enclosed container, a rotatable device, and an outlet.

Patent History

Publication number: 20140090162
Type: Application
Filed: Oct 1, 2013
Publication Date: Apr 3, 2014
Inventor: Matthew Gunn (Toquerville, UT)
Application Number: 14/043,841

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Enclosed Receptacle Type (4/476)
International Classification: A47K 11/03 (20060101);