Yes, a short film about a remote toilet!
Well, now every topic does seem to have a film about it: A documentary about a toilet?
Nearly two miles from the nearest road, Mt. Shasta’s composting toilet at Horse Camp sits at 7900 feet. A breathtaking destination for skiers and hikers, this popular spot was also chosen as a location for a composting toilet. Previously, visitors were required to take their waste with them when they left—a special paper with a target printed on it was provided for folks to aim true when doing their business and packing out of the area.
The Sierra Club originally purchased the land in the early 1900s, and the need to address the amount of human waste at the site was apparent as early as the 1950s when a pit toilet was installed. This was followed by a solar composting toilet in 1992. Seven thousand uses have been logged on the current commode.
Interviews with everyone from local 5thgraders to traveling toilet patrons to “Senior Toilet Engineer” Rick Chitwood reveal that while the toilet is well-loved, it also requires some work.
Four to five hundred pounds of compost are hand shoveled out every spring, then being transported on a rescue toboggan to the finished product’s final resting place. While smell is not well communicated through film, the visual does not look much like human waste, more like a thick mud in a freshly tilled and watered garden.
While seemingly a very narrow subject for an almost ten minute short film, it is surprisingly informative. It gives very interesting information on how a composting toilet works (without any disturbing images), and the rich history of the destination also brings the glorified port-a-potty to life.
Way To Goplays continuously in “Locals Only: Docs” program May 22 – June 14 free for both subscribers and non-subscribers.