Composting Toilets – Not Just For Conservationists Anymore

If you are familiar with composting toilets of the past, you may be surprised to learn that today’s systems have changed a lot. The composting toilets of yesteryear, those large, unattractive, and potentially smelly commodes, are gone. Today’s composting toilets are guaranteed 100% odorless, and they feature clean, sleek, modern designs that fit into any upscale residential bathroom. Composting toilets aren’t just for extreme conservationists anymore. Whether you believe it or not, they may be the next ultra-eco friendly product that’s poised to go mainstream.

When we talk about composting toilets, we’re not talking about latrines, outhouses, or trench pits. In fact, some of the newest composting toilets look so much like traditional fixtures, guests in your home may not even realize that it isn’t a regular toilet. Modern, high-tech composting toilets often feature a water flushing toilet fixture in the bathroom, connected by standard PVC plumbing pipe to a central composting unit located in the basement of your home. The primary benefit: you, your family, and guests in your home can use a regular flushing toilet and the compost is then transported to a central unit in the basement where it is processed.

The most important facet of today’s composting toilet systems is that they are guaranteed odorless. Regardless of whether you’re using a central composting system, as described above, or a self-contained unit, where the composting drum is contained within the toilet itself, all modern composting toilets are outfitted with a fan and venting system that prevents any possible odor from entering the bathroom. People who have made the switch to composting toilets often times say that they smell even less than their old traditional toilets. Think of it like having an additional fan in your bathroom, only this fan is actually inside the toilet itself.

While it may be difficult to imagine your mom or grandmother trading in their standard porcelain fixture for a compost toilet, stop and think about the potential cost savings. Many of today’s composting toilet systems require no water, which is one of the biggest expenses in maintaining a traditional toilet system. Americans flush thousands of gallons of fresh drinking water down their toilets every day, just to transport waste from one location to another. And the really ludicrous part of all this is that once the wastewater reaches its final destination, a huge amount of energy and chemicals will then be used to separate out and dispose of the waste and treat the water to make it drinkable again. As more and more U.S. cities face water shortages and price increases in their water bills, composting toilets may suddenly sound like a more attractive option.

After the initial shock factor of waste management taking place in your home rather than somewhere else, most people begin to realize how much sense these systems make. The cost of a new composting toilet, while expensive, is still only a fraction of the cost of a new septic system. In addition to the up-front cost savings, there are residual savings as well, when you factor in reduced water bills and septic or sewer costs. While it’s true that composting toilets still make a lot of sense in rural and remote areas, cabins, outposts, and parks, it’s also true that modern composting toilet systems are poised to make their way into urban areas, too. The modern composting toilet is ready for mainstream residential homes, just as soon as the public is ready to welcome them in.