Biolan Populett Composting Toilet

Biolan Populett Composting Toilet

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The Biolan Populett Composting toilet is a composting toilet designed for high use locations, such as campgrounds and parks. Multiple compost bins can be used to allow for virtually unlimited capacity.  They can be installed directly on the floor surface and is suitable for outhouses where no pit is allowed.  The toilet is odorless, hygienic and environmentally friendly.  Effective thermal insulation and the channel supplying air to the center of the compost mass help to ensure a quick composting process.  The Populett Composting toilet is also suited for composting kitchen biowaste. Emptying is easy by wheeling out the compost bin at the back of the unit. You can empty the bin or purchase extra bins and wheel in an empty bin.  Use the compost as cover soil or for fertilizing plants in your garden.  No water or power supply is needed.  Optional urine separation allows the characteristic hydrogen sulphide smell (the toilet smell) to be eliminated. The vent and covering of the feces with composting material (coco shells, peat moss, sawdust, etc.) prevent any bad odors, as well as the insulated toilet seat that seals odors from entering the building.

Installing the BIOLAN Populett Composting Toilet

While building and selecting a location for the Populett Composting toilet, it is essential to provide sufficient space for use and maintenance of the toilet from the back.  Route the ventilation pipe without any bends through the roof over the ridge and to locate the seep liquid canister in a suitable place. See the dimension drawing for the toilet unit in Product support.  Place the toilet unit directly on a firm base such as plywood, gravel or a concrete surface.

Locating the Populett Composting Toilet

Install the Populett Composting toile through the floor so that the top of the compost tank acts as the seat. The height of the unit is 97 cm and normally the seat height is 45–50 cm. Leave about half of the unit under the floor of the building to achieve a comfortable seat height. Optionally, you can place an appropriate elevation in front of the seat. If you want, you can encapsulate the seat part out of sight. In this case, also provide a hole in the wooden top for the replacement air valve.

Installing the ventilation pipe

The seat top has two holes 110 mm in diameter – one for the replacement air valve and the other one for the ventilation pipe. The holes are identical, so as required you can switch the ventilation pipe and the replacement air valve. Route the ventilation pipe from the toilet unit straight up over the roof ridge. Any bends in the ventilation pipe impede natural ventilation, causing odor and moisture problems. Seal the lead-through on the roof using sealant suitable for the roofing material.

If you have to make some bends, take note that the curvature of such bends must not exceed 33 degrees. You can boost the ventilation and evaporation of moisture by means of the optional Biolan Wind Fan. In complicated venting installations or when installing the Populett Composting toilet in a residential location, it is recommended to use the Biolan Exhaust Ventilator, which is installed in the ventilation pipe. As required, you can even retro-fit the ventilator. Where necessary, the ventilation pipe can be extended using the 3? ABS pipe adaptor. You can purchase ventilation pipes also as spare parts from our webshop.

Before use

Put a layer about 5 cm thick (about 20 l) of Biolan Compost and Toilet Bulking Material onto the bottom of the Biolan Populett in order to prevent the liquid separation system from getting clogged. If the toilet is to be used in urine-separating mode, the separating flap shall be set to direct flow into the separating pipe. If the unit is to be used in seep-liquid-separating mode, the flap shall be left so that it closes the separating pipe.

Adjusting the air valve in the seat top

Ventilation of the Populett Toilet is controlled using the replacement air valve in the seat top. During summer the valve is kept open which makes the ventilation more effective and the evaporation of liquids more efficient. During winter the air valve is kept almost closed, which reduces temperature loss from the composting mass. Keep the thermal seat lid closed, when the toilet is not in use, to ensure the correct operation of the ventilation.

Draining off the seep liquid

If you don’t separate the urine, the amount of seep liquid from the Populett Composting toile is small, depending on the use, about 0.2 to 0.5 liters/user/per day. The seep liquid, however, is extremely rich in nutrients and must not be allowed to enter soil without being treated first.

The optional urine separator at the bottom of the Populett Composting toilet enables the separation of urine and any seep liquid from the compost mass. Separating the urine allows for a dryer compost mass that is easier to remove from the back of the toilet, but requires more frequent emptying of the urine tank.  Place the separating plate into the recess in the bottom of the Populett Composting toilet. Connect the seep liquid pipe to the drain hole in one side of the toilet unit. Route the pipe into the urine tank. Place the urine tank so that the urine flows by gravitation into the tank. Route the hose into a canister that you have placed in such a way that the liquid will flow by gravity alone. If the height is an issue, you can put the tank in a pit with a cover of plywood, or you can lay the canister on its side.  Keep in mind the possible use of the toilet in winter when locating the urine pipe and insulating the tank.

Year-round use of the toilet

The toilet waste freezes in frost. Freezing damages neither the unit nor the compost mass. Decomposing of the compost mass will continue when the air temperature rises. The capacity of the toilet can be increased by utilizing the urine-separating functionality of the Populett. The liquid tank shall be emptied in the autumn. Its filling level shall be observed to prevent it from cracking due to freezing.


The toilet is fairly simple to maintain.  The Populett can be kept clean by wiping down the inside seat area with standard non-abrasive cleaning products. The Biolan Populett toilet container can easily be replaced when it fills up and is wheeled away to the emptying location. The biomass can stay in the container until it has completely composted and can then be emptied completely. The emptying can be carried out either by shoveling, by turning the body of the toilet container upside down, or by tipping it over using the tail lift of a waste truck. The Populett toilet is fitted with a bracket for the waste bin lift of the truck.  Multiple compost containers can be purchased for high-use locations, so there is no downtime for the toilet.

We recommend that a toilet used only in the summer be emptied in the spring, before using for the first time. The emptying process is most convenient and easiest at this stage.

  1. Remove the thermal seat and the sealing strip or cover from between the wall and the unit, if installed.
  2. Take the liquid hose out from the canister/tank and fix it to the hose bracket by turning.
  3. Pull the compost mixer to its rear position.
  4. Disconnect the air pipe from the toilet unit by lifting.
  5. Pull the unit out of the building.
  6. Tilt the unit so that you will be able to put the shaft with wheels in place.
  7. Transfer the unit to the emptying location or leave the mass inside the tank for composting and replace it with a new tank.
  • Volume: 200 liters
  • seat height: 48 cm
  • height: 93.5 cm
  • weight: about 50 kg
  • diameter of the outlet air pipe: 110 mm
  • diameter of the liquid removal pipe: 32 mm
  • color: brown
  • Length of the outlet air pipe: 2 x 1000 mm
  • External diameter of the liquid removal pipe: 32 mm
  • Length of the drainpipe: 12 – 95 cm
  • Volume of the seep liquid tank: 25 l

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