Using The Urine Bottle

Exploring the features of the OGO™ Compost Toilet and the urine diversion system.

How do I empty my OGO™ Compost Toilet Urine Bottle?

By unlocking the drawer hooks from both sides of your unit, you can pull out the urine bottle. Made of HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene), this bottle is very durable and made to last. The bottle features a molded handle, and each unit comes with a bottle cap. Each bottle can hold 9 litres of liquid before emptying. 

The urine bottle is a nice feature for on-the-go situations. When full place the cap on the bottle to prevent unwanted splashing. Lift up and dump.

How and where can I dump my urine from my OGO™ Compost Toilet?

This depends on how and where you’re using your OGO™ Composting Toilet. If you’re on the road, you can use a dump point, public toilet or sewer-connected drain. If you’re in a tiny-home or off grid, you may want to use urine to assist your plants by diluting it and using it as fertiliser.

using urine at home

  • Urine by itself is great for mature trees
  • Urine can be mixed with 8 parts water to 1 part urine and safely disposed to anywhere you like. 
  • If you want to use it for plants, you need to dilute the urine with water. Urine is full of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Plants thrive on this! Since urine is so concentrated you will need to dilute it with water if you will want to use it for your plants.

Do I have to use a urine bottle for my OGO™ Compost Toilet?

We also offer a drain kit that can be installed to divert your urine in a tank or filtration system but is simple and temporary enough that can be taken out for cleaning or moving at any time with ease.

How do you know when your Urine Bottle is full?

OGO™ Compost Toilet has the capacity of 9 litres of urine collection before needing to be emptied. Which is larger than most, but that is not the cool part. The best part about the OGO™ and the urine diversion system is there is a sensor that will trigger an indicator light when it is needing to be emptied!!

Why Do I Need Urine Diversion in a Compost Toilet?

You don’t, but it sure is the better way to go!

A Urine Diverting Compost Toilet, like the OGO™ Compost Toilet, works by separating the solid and the liquid waste into two separate compartments. The separation is key to creating the disposal of waste and minimising the smell of a toilet. In fact, a compost toilet smells better than a traditional flush toilet. When poop and urine mix together it creates sewage creating the smell that you associate with a typical toilet. 

We achieved this by a patented trapdoor and built-in urine funnel in our drain pan. A simple pull of a handle and a uniquely designed bowl help ensure your solids are separated into your bin and your liquids drain to the bottle or drain system.

When you separate solid waste from your urine you are creating two reusable materials that can be put back into the environment. 

BENEFITS OF URINE DIVERTING COMPOST TOILET: 

  • Smells less than a regular toilet 
    • Works by separating liquid waste from solid waste
    • Built-in fans that vent out bad odors outside 
  • Environmentally friendly 
    • Saves a lot of water and energy 
    • Not adding waste to local waste plant 
  • Free plant food 
    • Turns waste into usable compost
    • Separate urine can be used as a nitrogen-rich fertilizer for old trees 

Is there a special way you have to use a compost toilet?

Not, really. We do suggest men sit down to ensure the urine stream goes to the appropriate place, but hey you might be a good aim! The reality is if you are using the OGO™ Compost Toilet, you are “going” the same as a traditional toilet.

For the overspray and stray streams of urine 98% will go into the drain pan of your unit. That is how it is designed! There are two seals from the drain pan and bottle ensuring the urine flow goes where it should. Okay, what about the other 2%, you ask? Well, it is a toilet, so just like our bathrooms found everywhere in our modern world, buildup will occur. Regular cleaning will help keep your unit smell-free and hygienic. There are tons of tips and tricks when it comes to cleaning, but you can read more in our article, Cleaning Your OGO™ 

using the solids bin

Everything you need to know about your solids bin!

How do I empty my OGO™ Compost Toilet Solids Bin?

There are two ways to access the solids bin:

  1. You can lift the top of the toilet bowl and lift the solids bin from the top of the unit.
  2. Unlock the drawer hooks, remove the drawer and urine bottle and remove them from the front.

There is no “right” way, it comes down to your individual space and preference. After removing you can discard your compost medium from the solids bin by one of these methods:

  1. Use a compostable trash bag, we suggest 15–20 litre bags for single convenient single-use dumping. You can see in our video below that this is our preferred method.
    • Once in a compost bag, it can go into a long-term compost bin/pile to finish the process.
    • If your local council allows it, throw it in the trash (It will continue composting inside the bag, even in the landfill which is safer than untreated waste which becomes biohazardous).
  1. Dump bin directly onto a designated compost pile.
    • Your local community may have designated compost dumpsites already set up. If not talk with your local council about setting one up. As composting grows in popularity, the more accessible dump sites will be.
    • REMEMBER composting is a cycle, so while it starts in your solids bin, it will take 6 to 12 months to fully break down into usable and safe compost.
      • Proper rotation is important to remember (FIFO, first in first out) having several bins at various stages of the composting process helps keep the cycle moving.
      • Humanure (compost medium + solid waste) will create nitrate-rich compost, which will need to be balanced out with carbon-rich (leaves, peels, wood, food) compost to be the most effective for plants and gardening.

What compost medium do I use for my compost toilet?

If you google this question, you may get discouraged quickly at the amount of conflicting information on this topic. Compost medium refers to the organic material used to mix with the solid waste within the toilet and picking the right one MATTERS!

For the OGO™ Compost Toilet, we highly recommend peat coir, however, coco coir and sphagnum peat moss is a perfectly acceptable medium as well. Both are really cheap and come in many different sizes, types, and brands.

Some compost waste systems use a wide variety of compost mediums. These systems work by layering, (medium, waste, medium, so on) since there is no mixing needed with this style it does have the benefit of utilising a larger variety of material. However, this method also is prone to odor, and bugs, and takes more medium. Since we have a power agitator, it is NOT RECOMMENDED to use the following in the OGO™ Compost Toilet:

  • Wood chips/shavings
  • Straw/Hay
  • Cat Litter
  • Saw Dust
  • Grass/Leaves/Ash
  • Regular Soil
  • Pine Needles

These materials will obstruct the unit’s agitator, resulting in improper mixing and possible motor failure. 

One of the main factors that are going to keep your unit functioning properly is your compost medium. Having a light, fluffy, and absorbent material keeps away odors and helps the beginning of the compost cycle begin. The microorganisms need oxygen to do their job, they can live on as little as 5%, but having a light compost medium, low moisture and proper ventilation will help everything fall into place.

Why is a power agitator better in a compost toilet?

If you are asking that question, then you have never had to hand crank a full solids bin. That’s okay you are not missing anything except for work. The first couple of times hand cranking is okay, but as it fills up it can take quite a bit of muscle to turn properly. There are foot pedal options as well that definitely take the strain off the arms, but we have this crazy notion, why? 

Most of us are using a compost toilet not only because it is a great eco-friendly, clean, sustainable waste system, but because we are traveling to our next bucket list destination that is going to captivate the wonder in our hearts and maybe even bring a tear to our eyes, so why would we want one second of that to be wasted on our waste? 

For a little bit of power, our 12v system lets you push one button, and our agitator will cycle for 45 seconds, giving you more time to enjoy the reasons you are on this journey.

How do I fill my OGO™ Compost Toilet Solids Bin?

 Here is a great video showing how easy it is to refill your compost toilet with coco coir. Remember to pour water at the sides of the solid bin slowly. This will help avoid leaking.  Your solids bin IS NOT a bucket, so it will not be watertight, when adding water start with less and slowly add more until the desired consistency. Your medium should never be “soupy.”

Cleaning Your OGO™

As with any toilet, regular cleaning of your OGO™ Compost Toilet is recommended regularly to ensure proper hygiene conditions are met. Cleaning also eliminates odour from buildup and debris acquired from usage.

EASY AS 1…2…3…

Remove and empty the urine bottle and the solids bin. Wipe out any visible debris from the solids bin and give the urine bottle a quick rinse. We have found that a pressurised hand sprayer does wonders if running water is limited. Be sure not to directly spray any of your electrical elements, we are talking about a quick rinse of your toilet bowl, urine bottle, and solids bin.


You should be wiping your toilet bowl frequently or utilising a spray bottle to prevent buildup. Every once in a while, you should be cleaning the inner parts of your unit where urine or compost medium can build up. We suggest you do this when you change out your solids bin, but every few months works too.

After you have removed and wiped your heart out, don’t forget the most important part. Disinfecting!

Disinfecting your unit can be achieved in many different ways. We have found that disinfecting wipes work really well on the go, but also know that a good majority want a natural alternative to isopropanol alcohol (80% – 100%) and bleach, which are the two most effective ways to kill germs and bacteria. Other options are vinegar, baking soda, peroxide, and good old fashion hot water (above 60°C) There are others out there and different combinations that can work great for you.


Put everything back together and enjoy!

Electrical System For The OGO™

Being able to stir your compost mixture with a push of a button is one of the best features of the OGO™
Below we go through the OGO’s electrical system and give you an overview of how it works.

What electrical components are in an OGO™ Compost Toilet ?

  1. The Power Button – Let’s start with the push of the button. Our power button has two functions, it will light up when the urine bottle is full and will send a signal to start the 12v motor. With the power button pushed it sends the signal to the 12v motor and begins to spin a series of cogs.
  1. The Motor – As the motor spins it is linked with the bottom of the solids bin. As these cogs are engaged, they move the agitator’s arms, stirring the compost mixture inside the solids bin. The motor works on a 12v DC power 9.0-15.0 voltage system. It has an average draw of 1.8 Amps and a rating of 5 Amps. It has been tested to function between -20°C to 60°C temperatures. The motor will only run when the button is pushed and is connected to a timer to only run for 45 seconds. Older units would be running for 2 minutes, but you can read about this change in our press release.

The most common problem we get is, “My motor will not run/only runs when I hold the button.” These problems are usually traced back to the beginning of the installation and the polarity getting switched. Meaning the red (+positive) wire from the unit did not get hooked up to the red (+positive) terminal from the battery and/or the black (-negative). It is similar to putting the batteries in your TV remote wrong, it just won’t work unit switched, but once this happens in the older units that do not have the updated timer, it will trip the PTC fuse and short out the timer.

Unfortunately, these shorts over time will cause the fuse to degrade and start choking out the current to the motor. So, if your unit is not spinning the full cyclenot spinning at full speed, or not turning on, it is probably due to the timer/fuse/motor relationship. These were some of the major reasons for changing the timer to alleviate these problems of being possible. If your unit is not working correctly, disconnect and contact us immediately, our team can typically troubleshoot over the phone and get a warranty claim started the same day and replacement parts shipped out immediately if needed.

  1. Urine Sensor – We use a sensor to signal the LED light on your unit’s power button. It will light up to notify you when your urine bottle is full. A capacitive sensor is an electronic device that can detect solid or liquid targets without physical contact. To detect these targets, capacitive sensors emit an electrical field from the sensing end of the sensor. Any target that can disrupt this electrical field can be detected by a capacitive sensor.

The sensor has a sensitivity dial that has been calibrated to detect when the liquid levels rise, however, if your sensor light is always on or if is not detecting the liquid levels, your sensor will need to be recalibrated. This is done quite easily and is explained further in this downloadable guide. Remember when adjusting the sensitivity of the sensor trial and error is needed. You will want to either keep an eye on the levels after each use or use water to ensure the indicator light is coming on when it should. Failure to do so may result in overflowing your urine bottle.

  1. Ventilation Fan– The component that keeps everything moving so to speak, your unit’s fan is designed to be quiet and run continuously. This helps with moisture control and keeping the compost mixture in an anaerobic state.

The fan is a little guy that you will find sitting behind your vent housing on the corner of your unit. It is 40mm(40x40x10mm) and some specs are Fan Speed: 3500 RPM (±10%) RPM Rated Voltage: 12 Volt Rated Current: 0.02A Noise: 14.00 dBA Airflow: 4.3 CFM Fan Air Pressure:1.79 mm H2O Fan Life: 40,000 Hours at 25℃, CERTIFICATIONS: CE RoHS Compliant. The fan will draw about 0.48Ah per day. The fan is a good indicator that your unit is wired properly and is ready to go.