Privy Council: a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on state affairs.
Privy: Privy is an old-fashioned term for an outdoor toilet, often known as an outhouse and by many other names.

Privy Councelors: An initiative to consult, guide, and facilitate the use of simple stand-alone composting toilet facilities for community gardens, farms, parks, and other seasonal day-use properties.

The modern privy:

How it works:

The privy bench utilizes a urine diverting insert (made by Separett). The divided bowl allows for urine to divert through the front partition to a separate holding tank, while feces and toilet paper drop through the rear partition into a collection bin. For best results, everyone is asked to sit down to urinate. A urinal can also be provided, plumbed to also plumbed to the holding tank, for those wishing to stand up to urinate.

Urine is typically transferred to larger tanks where extended storage allows for reduction of potential pathogens. Solids compost is transferred, as needed, to larger sequestering bins where it decomposes over an extended period (time/temperature dependant). The urine tank and solids bin are both accessed through a rear hatch on the back side of the privy. Urine can be applied directly as a fertilizer after long term storage. The methods for beneficial use depend on local regulatory requirements, if applicable. In all New England states, finished compost from a composting toilet can be land applied, with adequate cover material (specific requirements vary by jurisdiction).

Options & Details:

There are several options and finishing details to consider, including handicap accessibility, lumber choice, artistic details, hardware, finished surfaces, paint, lighting, vent fan, etc. The degree of choice and customization is the buyers choice.

Educational Build-out Workshop

The Privy Councilors strive to use privy construction as an educational opportunity. We welcome discussing the option of facilitating a privy build-out workshop to teach basic carpentry skills as well as ecological sanitation concepts. We can design a workshop appropriate for various age groups, audiences, and skill sets. This is a great volunteer activity for community gardens, conservation groups, school groups, and the supporters of your work.


The cost of a Privy varies depending on options and materials. We can provide a detailed estimate based on your needs and preferences.

For basic options, we can also provide detailed plans for DIY construction.

Getting started

The best way to get started is to send us an email or give us a call. Some information we will need to help shape our recommendations:
-number of visitors to the site (daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal fluctuation)
-features and layout of the site
-future growth potential
-anticipated timeline