St Peter’s Church, Staple Fitzpaine gets new environmentally-friendly toilet

11th May 2023

After receiving a quote of £120,00 to install a toilet in their church and enduring a rather smelly temporary portaloo for some months, St Peter’s Church, Staple Fitzpaine, near Taunton are instead are enjoying the benefits of having a new environmentally friendly compost toilet.

Rebecca George, Churchwarden at St Peter’s says, “The church is important to the community with a number of regular activities over and above religious services.  

“I have an elderly mother and I wanted her to be able to come to my church, but she didn’t feel confident without a handy loo. So, with permission, I ordered a portaloo which was installed about 100 yards from the church. This was a temporary solution but proved very popular. Suddenly the Pop Up Cafe got more popular, more people like my mum came to services, and it became possible to put on more events for a wider range of people.

“But it wasn’t pretty, and had a chemical smell, but was very welcome. The composting toilet requires no foundations, water supply, or access for machinery to install it.”

Because composting toilets eliminate the need for flushing they reduce water consumption, estimates suggest that using a compost toilet can reduce the amount of water used by an average household by as much as 30,000 litres a year. Power, chemicals and resources are also used to process the waste flushed away in a conventional toilet. 

Rebecca says she knew little about composting toilets until she began her research, “I visited one in and was immediately very impressed. It was a fully fitted out disabled loo with a separate urinal, not smelly at all.

Working on getting the compost loo began in October 2021 and was finished and ready to use in January 2023. Not only is it good for the environment the toilet has had an impact on the people coming to the church as Rebecca says, “having it there is so important, there are many people, old and with young, who feel they can come and take part in religious or community activities at St Peter’s, and they just wouldn’t come without a loo.”

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