Composting toilets stands out of all varieties of toilets, due to their uniqueness and usefulness.
There will always be locations where you cannot transport fresh water for toilet uses. If you want to have a toilet that uses little or no water but does the toilet job well, then consider going for a composting toilet.
What is a Composting Toilet?
It is a toilet that can conveniently stand in or be used instead of a water flush system. Composting toilet has other names - dry toilets or waterless toilets. These are different terms that mean the same thing.
General Structure of a Composting Toilet
As a standard, composting toilets should have the following structure:
- A seat or toilet seat (that sure resembles any other toilet seat)
- A section or chamber for breaking down sewage and sanitizing same.
- A chamber or section, where moisture escapes to, in order to reduce the weight of the sewage. This could also be a tray.
- Ventilation to prevent abnormal toilet odors.
A composting toilet is set apart from other types of toilets due to its structure and design. It gets rid of human excreta by composting it through the aerobic process.
After each use, certain additives are put or applied to the waste to hasten its speedy decomposition. Easy-to-handle additives like untreated sawdust or coconut coir have been very effective. These materials, which also serve as carbon absorbent, create a shield against the odor from the waste.
What all composting toilets have in common is a mechanism for mixing mulch and waste together, just like the traditional way of turning compost, in order to improve the aerobic breakdown of waste. Compost is emptied periodically from a composting toilet into a non-vegetable garden. Cleaning can be done occasionally. The mechanisms can be manual or automatic.
Composting toilets come in three forms, Automatic, Semi-Automatic and Manual. Your choice is determined by your preference though.
The automatic is electric powered and does all the mixing by itself, usually coming with a fan to blow some heat within the composting section, to facilitate decomposition. The fully automatic version is programmed to mix the mulch and sewage together, as soon as the toilet seat is lowered.
Semi-Automatic uses a fan and heater that runs under the control of a thermostat. The manual aspect of it is using the handle provided by the manufacturer, to be turned to roll the waste and mulch after each use.
For a Manual composting toilet, the distinguishing feature is that no form of an electric gadget is present in it, in terms of a fan being present in the vent. All its operations are conducted manually. Remember that the use of the fan in a composting toilet is primarily to blow some warm air on the waste. This hastens the anaerobic decomposition.
Difference between Electric and Non-Electric Composting Toilets
For the purpose of clarity, the major difference between the electric and non-electric composting toilet lies in the fact that electric composting toilets include heaters and a ventilation system, to aid the process of composting and the sucking away of the odor.
The ventilation system supplies the needed air to enhance the aerobic breakdown of waste. This includes a built-in sewage and mulch-mixing mechanism that help the process.
The non-electric composting toilet likewise comes with a vent, but with the absence of heaters and a self-mixing facility.
What Power Ratings work best for Composting Toilets?
Typically, this depends on the model you chose. Composting toilets use the normal power supply of (110V). It could be battery operated, which will require a supply of 12V. It could also be solar powered. These are options you can choose to run your composting toilet.
Why should I buy a Composting Toilet?
Composting toilets are very useful in situations where there is a limited supply of water. Life is constantly evolving and you may find yourself in places where you will need one either in your RV, a cabin out in the woods, in a boat and the like.
Your purchase of a composting toilet saves you in a great deal the stress associated with other forms of toilets that requires running drain pipes through the walls or the floor to both bring in water and ferry out the waste into a soak-away pit.
You can have it fixed almost at any place outside the regular home, like in a camp location, festival ground or makeshift tent during emergencies.
Things to consider before buying a Composting Toilet
Before picking any, you should look at some important facts and features that will help you decide the composting toilet that would fit your needs.
It makes sense to consider durability and suitability when shopping for stuff like this. A few points have been outlined below after a good research into these lovely products. They will help you make up your mind fast.
The first thing to consider is:
- Power Supply:
The availability of electricity is important when looking to buy a composting toilet, as the ventilating fan and decomposter need it to do their job. In situations of extreme coldness in the weather, they provide heat. This factor, however, depends on the choice you make, whether you will go for the electric model or the non-electric model.
Try and ensure that there is adequate space for the composting toilet wherever you intend to place it. Just like standard flush toilets, they come in different sizes and shapes. So, you will want to get your dimensions right.
This basically is more about cleaning the composting toilet. The procedure for cleaning and maintaining varies for different products, so let your eyes be in the manual.
- Other Materials:
One of the most important supply for a composting toilet is the composting material, usually applied to the waste for decomposition such as untreated sawdust, coconut coir and of course peat moss. Make sure you get the appropriate one to use from the market.
- Municipal Laws:
There are regulations concerning the use of composting toilets in some jurisdictions. This needs to be noted[[
- User Instructions:
Most composting toilets are easy to use and quite easy to install. Likewise, they are easy to disassemble. Most manufacturers also include product guides to assist users. If a product doesn’t come with one, you are most likely to find the operating instruction on the manufacturer’s website.
- Frequency of Usage:
Is the toilet going to be used regularly or once in a while? This consideration is very important. If it’s going to be used regularly then go for a sturdy toilet.
This factor also comes into play when it comes to ease of cleaning. If the usage will be regular, then go for a toilet that is very easy to clean. This factor also determines the location it will be placed in your home or property.
BEST COMPOSTING TOILETS IN 2018
The products listed below are the best picks in the market for now when you talk about composting toilets. The general thing about them is the ability to move them into locations of choice for installation.
Nature's Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet with Close Quarters Spider Handle Design
A master-class product from Nature's Head, this composting toilet is made of a stainless hardware. The seating design is elongated to ensure you get a good seating comfort.
- Sturdy design to accommodate any weight of a user.
- It can be disassembled in seconds for easy mobility
- Contains a urine bottle to separate urine from the excreta, a wise design. Urine separation reduces the moist in the decomposter and aids fast composting.
- Comes with a fan located in the vent, to speed up composting.
- You can install it in your bathroom and it could be in your cabin, or any location in you have in mind.
- Its weighty at 28 pounds but good for its capacity
- You may need to buy more length size of vent hose, as it may not be long enough to reach the roof of some RVs.
- Since it is not fully automatic, prepare to roll the handle after use.
Nature's Head Dry Composting Toilet with Standard Crank Handle
The Dry Composting Toilet is another well-designed product from Nature's head. It can be set up in minutes and is very simple to use. It's semi-automatic.
- Sturdy design makes it balanced on the ground.
- Ruggedly built to withstand harsh conditions
- You can opt to power it with 12-volt batteries or solar panel of at least 50 watts. This can make the vent fan work for 24 hours, an added advantage.
- Good customer service and easy-to-get part replacements/supplies.
- Easy to install and set up
- You may encounter challenges setting up the vent fan as the Manual doesn't give a detailed step by step direction of how to do it.
- You will have to take time to teach your visitors how to use it, being a toilet of a different design.
Sun-Mar Corp. Dry Toilet
This composting toilet is a unique product from Sun-Mar Corporation and is sleek in design. It is made of fiberglass.
- Sturdy looking and sleek in design.
- It features a regular toilet design with a height of 15 inches which is good enough for an average user.
- You can get it cleaned by removing the bowl liner from under the seat.
- It's lightweight at 15 pounds and it's fully electric.
- You would need to purchase an AF waterless kit separately to take care of the odor. This works by drawing down air continuously from the composting toilet.
- It's not electric.
Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Composting Toilet
From Sun Mar Corporation also comes this self-contained composting toilet with user-friendly features. It suits a single individual but can also serve 3-4 people passing a weekend at a camp or in a cabin. It is fully electric.
- Fully electric in operation and converts human waste into safe fertilizing soil.
- It has a height of 21 ½ inches. That's good enough for a tall person and it's not too high for average height people too.
- It includes a vent and fan to draw away the odor from this composting toilet after use.
- It easily fits into any bathroom with its low profile and sleek design.
- At 90 pounds, the Sun-Mar Self-Contained Composting Toilet is heavy.
- A little noise within the vent kit filters out, but you will get used to it with time.
- You need to study the manual well to know directions of use.
- The capacity of this composting toilet is only appropriate for a single individual.
Sun-Mar Excel Self-Contained Composting Toilet
When you see this composting toilet, you will agree that it's a pure package of technology from SunMar Corporation. As expected, it is fully electric, low profile and easily fits into your camp, bathroom, off-grid lifestyle, and your cabin. Let's dig deeper:
- Its sanitary maintenance is excellent at hundred percent.
- It’s fitted with a bio-drum that converts human waste into compost manure.
- The high capacity design makes it serve your family of up to 6 people.
- It is electric and would run conveniently on household current.
- A footrest is inbuilt, though detachable, for more convenience. Altogether, this composting toilet has a height of 33 inches.
- Inbuilt fan in the vent
- 100 pounds weight for a composting toilet is quite some weight.
- Drain hose is way too small to drain out sludge.
- The plastic material from which is made tends to reduce in quality over time.
- The power consumption is a bit up, when in AC Mode.
A composting toilet is an excellent choice in area where getting regular water supply is impossible. Because there are so many options out there when it comes to buying these types of toilets, this guide will help in choosing the perfect composting toilet for you.