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Composting Toilet System Poses No Threat

January 31, 2017

Dear Editor,

Thank you for covering the exciting news about the City of Santa Monica's plans to build a living building ("Council Rejects Appeal of $75 Million Santa Monica City Hall Annex," January 26, 2017).

In this era of fake news and alternative facts (hoping it will be short-lived), I am compelled to write and set the record straight on Mr. Garden's false accusations about the composting toilets in Seattle's Bullitt Center.

I work at the UW Center for Integrated Design (we are tenants in the building) and in partnership with The Bullitt Foundation lead hundreds of educational tours to thousands of visitors, annually.

The composting toilet system has never been a health and safety threat (period). Since we opened our doors almost four years ago, the black water system at the Bullitt Center has never been a "public health threat" nor have we "struggled to handle the human waste properly."

The human biosolids from our composters are turned into GroCo, a field ready compost made by Seattle Sawdust and Supply. For more details visit and

Leachate, a biproduct of the compost system is taken off site and treated at King County's waste treatment facility in Carnation, WA. After it is biologically treated and zapped with UV light, the liquid is classified as "reclaimed water" and released into the Chinook Bend, a constructed wetlands on site. Responsible and sustainable! (for more information click here.)

I'm hoping to set the record straight by sharing the facts. And thanks again for your reporting.


Deborah Sigler
Program Coordinator Discovery Commons
UW-Center for Integrated Design
University of Washington Integrated Design Lab
Seattle, WA

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