Benefits Of Using A Compost Toilet

By: Ezra Plank

If you are unsure of what a compost toilet is, you're not alone. You know what it means to compost and you know what a toilet does, but for many, connecting the dots between the two might not be so easy to understand.

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Sun-Mar Excel
Composting Toilet

  • odorlessly converts human waste into safe fertilizing soil
  • designed for high capacity use
  • self-contained
  • non-electric model
  • uses no water
  • venting kit included
  • 100% non-polluting

Compost toilets are toilets that are used to treat human waste, producing a useable soil additive, sometimes called humanure. This process is done by means of a composting and dehydration process. The toilets come in many models and designs, which are meant to enhance the composting process. They are not connected to the sewage system, and use little or no water.

Compost toilets are broadly divided into two types: batch systems and continual process systems. With batch systems, a full container is replaced by an empty one. There may be only one replaceable container or there may be three or four that are rotated in as needed. The composting takes place in the sealed container. After a full cycle is completed, the first container is ready to be emptied.

Composting toilet by redjar, on Flickr
Toilet with composting
tank under the floor

With continual process systems, there is a constant state of composting taking place. Matter enters the system and the composting process lessens the volume. The humanure is harvested after 6-12 months, when the container is ready to be emptied.

There are many benefits of using a composting toilet system in the home, both to the homeowner as well as to the environment. The benefits include less water usage, decrease in odor, and reduced grey water loading.

Humanure dry toilet inside view, Mongolian family house, Ulaan Baatar 2010, by Wolfgang Berger by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr
Humanure Toilet
( cheap version )

At present, you will save an average of about $500 per year on local utility charges for sewage and water use. This is bound to increase in the future as regulations tighten up. In fact, in the future you could even get a rebate from the government for having a composting toilet.

A home that uses humanure composting does not have to worry about breakdowns in the local sewage system. There is lower environmental impact as compared to using traditional sewage systems. And there is no risk of sewage leakage, causing waste matter to be flushed into the waterways.

Compost toilet at the cabin by hardworkinghippy, on Flickr
Compost Toilet?

A unique feature of the composting toilet is its ability to make use of other kinds of household waste, such as garbage, used paper, and lawn clippings. You can just dump these into the toilet instead of setting them out by the side of the road.

And finally, a compost toilet can be used in areas where a conventional toilet would be much more difficult to install. If your house is on a rocky hillside, close to waterways, or far away from water and sewage lines, a composting toilet might prove to be an economical alternative.

There is quite a variety to be had, including owner-built, manufactured, and full-flush systems. With so many options available and so many benefits, it is not hard to understand why someone would opt to use a compost toilet over a traditional toilet.

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by Ezra Plank, an Ezine Articles Platinum Expert Author