E+H in gardentour+toilet

Hilde Maingay and Earle Barnhart were founding members of the New Alchemy Institute, a research and educational organization that operated in Hatchville, MA between 1971 and 1991 with the following mission:

Among our major tasks is the creation of ecologically derived human support systems: renewable energy, agriculture, aquaculture, housing and landscapes. The strategies we research emphasize a minimal reliance on fossil fuels and operate on a scale accessible to individuals, families, and small groups. It is our belief that ecological and social transformations must take place at the lowest functional levels of society if humankind is to direct its course towards a greener, saner world.

Earle and Hilde now operate their own organic landscaping business on Cape Cod and run a small non-profit, The Green Center, Inc., dedicated to the same principles that guided New Alchemy. They offer their own household as an example of how people on Cape Cod can live healthier and more productive lives with less impact on the environment by recycling everything we tend to think of as “waste.”  The current debate over Cape Cod’s wastewater issues and the contamination of local ponds and estuaries compelled them to share their knowledge about eco-toilet technology with the wider public through an initiative to fund an eco-toilet demonstration project in Falmouth.

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2 responses to “About

  1. Are sample regulations available for municipalities to approve/monitor compost toilet and graywater systems? I live in Charlottesville / Albemarle countey, Virginia (home to University of Virginia) and am exploring use of compost toilet and graywater treatment systems for a property where I want to build a New Paradigm home. The County health department which is charged for regulating human waste systems has no authority or standards on the books to approve or disapprove these symptoms and since any new home must have their approval to be built, I cannot build a home with these symptoms. The department may be receptive to establishing regulations and so I am looking for a template from which they can begin this regulatory process.

    Also, I would like to present to the health department evidence of the benign and beneficial effects of these symptoms, and their superiority and need over the existing wasteful and harmful treatment symptoms, accepted and demonstrated by other municipal departments. the experience by another public and environmental government office will be proof that these symptoms are proven scientifically safe and are acceptable under public health standards.


    • Hi Phil! Thanks for contacting us. Every state has different regulations, but they pretty much all are meant to serve the same purpose: to keep pathogens from harming people. Many states and municipalities are making headway in permitting eco-toilets, since they are designed to do just that, while also preserving precious resources. Here is our Explanation of Regulations in Massachusetts, with links to the plumbing code. You might also want to contact our friends at ReCode, a group in Oregon that’s working hard to get a nationwide standard for eco-toilets in the plumbing code. Good luck, and please let us know how it goes!

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