Is Composting Toilet System An Effective Way To Compost Human Waste?

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What Exactly Is Composting Toilet All About?

A composting toilet is a form of dry toilet that uses the biological process of composting to treat human waste. Human waste is converted into compost-like material during this process, which results in the decomposition of organic matter. It varies in the complexity of design, energy requirements for optimal operation, and capacity.

There is an old-fashioned method to minimize your environmental impact in the bathroom, and that’s composting toilet. Also known as the biological toilet. It is a device that turns solid waste into compost. It holds and processes waste material to capture the nutrients in human waste, such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

Moreover, it creates an oxygen-rich environment enabling aerobic bacteria to break down waste, considering several factors facilitating this natural process. Your commercial composting toilet enhances this natural process by manipulating the environment in the composting chamber.

When To Consider?

  • Consider it if you want to save money.
  • When you are interested in reducing water usage
  • And when you are looking for ways to minimize your environmental impact.
  • Appropriate for places like a park or a rural locations without adequate sewage treatment, sewers, or water supplies.

What To Consider?

  • If approvals are needed, inquire with the relevant local authorities.
  • For a tiny home, you need to look for a compact model with a smaller waste tank.
  • Always consider the utility setup and household budget when choosing a bathroom that will work best.
  • When choosing the best composting toilet, how many people will use it should determine how big a tank is required.
  • After each use, organic materials, such as sawdust, on top of the waste can block the odor while allowing the bacteria to break down the solids.
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The Two Types Of Composting Toilet

1.) The Self-Contained Design

You can find these toilets usually in tiny homes, RVs, or boats, although you can see some of them in cabins or similar country homes for temporary use. These toilets typically have to be emptied by hand, whereas the other type does not. 

Moreover, a self-contained system consists of a liquid drain for removing waste and a small toilet with a detachable tank. Additionally, some self-contained systems are lightweight and portable, which works for boat rides and camping trips. At the same time, you can set it up in a space where plumbing would not reach, such as a garage or a workshop.

The whole composting process occurs within the toilet. When it is complete, you can remove the tank and empty the manure. Hence these systems sometimes have freshwater tanks or supply lines to flush waste into the chamber below.

2.) The Central Toilet System

It directs liquid and solid waste to a small composter that you can find somewhere else on the property, like a septic tank or compost pile. More effective systems can connect multiple toilets, making them suitable for large homes or compounds. 

Hence composting toilet that works with central systems is the same as traditional toilets. It connects to a system of pipes that brings the waste to a central bio-drum, hopper, or tank, where composting occurs. The hopper stirs the debris, allowing it to break down while also releasing the odorless gases. And when the tank fills, you need to empty it the same as a self-contained toilet.

Furthermore, split systems are more expensive than self-contained composters, since it requires a hopper. You can usually install it below your toilet. Hoppers are beneficial because it significantly increases the amount of compost it holds. Undoubtedly it can be an attractive solution for permanent off-grid or eco-conscious homes, but the setup makes these composting toilets a poor choice for portability.

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How Does Composting Toilet System Work?

Composting toilet utilizes the natural processes of decomposition and evaporation to recycle human waste. Waste material entering the bathroom is over 90% water, evaporating and going back to the atmosphere through the vent system. Moreover, the small amount of remaining solid material is converted to beneficial fertilizing soil by natural decomposition.

Whether a composting toilet uses a central or self-contained system, it needs to establish the appropriate environment for the aerobic bacteria to break down the waste. Doing this requires the proper moisture level, carbon-nitrogen balance, and temperature. If you cannot meet these conditions, you might be greeted with an unpleasant surprise when you empty or inspect your compost. 

Some Tips In Composting Toilet

  • Keep the toilet moist but not wet. Since too much liquid in the composting toilet can drown oxygen-breathing bacteria, so make sure you have the right amount of moisture.
  • Proper disposal of the urine. It also helps remove excess nitrogen buildup in the compost pile. However, adding carbon-rich materials such as peat and coconut fiber to the pile will ensure the right nitrogen-carbon balance.
  • Compost the toilet paper and waste as soon as possible and without odor.
  • Ensure that the finished compost is safe and easy to handle
  • Evaporate the liquid

Advantages

  •  It reduces a household’s water usage by up to 60%.
  •  It also saves money on water for about 6,600 gallons a year per person.
  • At the same time, it also promotes composting and more productive soil.
  • Moreover, it is simple to install and is immediately functional.
  • Undoubtedly inexpensive since you don’t have to pay for anyone to come in and install it.
  • Indeed preserves water since it doesn’t rely on water to operate.
  • It develops composting of kitchen and bathroom waste.
  • Decreases dependence on conventional plumbing and sewage system
  • Reduces overall water use
  • Decreases household maintenance costs
  • Reduces marine pollution
  • Quickly detects water pollution.
  • Ease of property planning
  • Flexibility in land development
  • Reduces gray-water loading
  • Less of a negative environmental impact

Disadvantages

  • Manual removal of waste
  • Not necessarily aesthetically pleasing
  • You can use it frequently in conjunction with a greywater system.
  • Smaller units may have limited capacity for accepting more significant amounts of waste.
  • Most systems require a power source.
  • Improperly installed systems can produce odors and unprocessed material.
  • It may present different risks from traditional flush toilets, as pathogenic bacteria and viruses remain in compost material if not fully processed.
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Conclusion

Composting toilet could be a win-win solution. If you want to save money on power and water, you need to minimize your environmental footprint. At the same time, you can help conserve our water supply. It would be best to consider adding a compost toilet to your existing system or using compost toilets in your subsequent development.

What do you think of composting toilet system? You can leave a remark and share your ideas below!

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