Composting toilets are a relatively new option, but they can be a great option in the right circumstances. These toilets convert human waste into natural fertilizer.
The composting process decomposes the waste through manually created bacterial activities. In short, they are eco-friendly portable toilets. Below we share how to shop for the right fit, and share our picks of the best composting toilets!
Table of Contents
- Our Top Composting Picks (Updated)
- Comparison of the Best Composting Toilets in 2022
- Composting Toilets Explained
- 2 Different Types
- Reviews of the Top 5 Composting Toilets
- Benefits of Composting Toilets
- Composting Principles
- Common Issues
- Choosing Factors
- Installation and Maintenance
- Wrapping up
Our Top Composting Picks (Updated)
|💧||Nature’s Head Self-Contained Toilet|
Comparison of the Best Composting Toilets in 2022
Composting Toilets Explained
A composting toilet is a variant of a waterless portable toilet that produces compost fertilizer from solid and liquid waste. It does this by adding peat moss, fibrous plants, or sometimes sawdust to it the waste. These natural elements act as decomposition agents, activating air circulation to trigger the processing of sewage.
The waterless, pre-assembled design of these units makes it a highly effective toilet solution for camping, RVs, small boats, and hiking sites, and for people who live in the woods like forest rangers.
Also, there are many areas where water is still scarce, and there are vast areas where a proper sewage system has not been developed.
2 Different Types
These toilets are available in both electric and non-electric versions.
The modern self-contained units need electricity to run a fan or a heater in the base to banish the gases and odors. The power input for average models ranges between 80 and 150 watts. The essential requirement is a standard household 110-volt power supply.
For optimum effect, an electric-powered toilet would be a great option to carry with you because of the level of warmth generated by the thermostatic elements. It improves aerobic action and bacterial activity. The biggest advantage of the self-contained toilet is that no plumbing is required.
The only job for you is to set up the vent stack correctly, that’s all. As far as the cost is concerned, these units are cheaper than any other composting toilet type. Another bonus advantage is that you can use this toilet in colder regions as well without a problem.
✓ Central Units
These toilets are a two-piece structure that closely resembles traditional toilets.
The central unit lives in the basement of the unit. There are two further categories of composting toilets based on the flushing system. The first type is 1 pint flush in which the central composting unit is hard-wired 15 to 20 feet below the toilet.
You will need a 3” pipe to connect the composter to the basin. The second kind is waterless. Such systems involve a 10” plumbing pipe connected to a composter under the toilet. The pipe creates an intense vacuum action in the toilet to draw the odor down.
Reviews of the Top 5 Composting Toilets
We have reviewed the most prominent compost models available on the market today. What makes them more advantageous and gives them better value than the others? Keep reading to find out.
Customers are raving over this composting toilet! It has the size of a standard toilet, with the functionality of a composting toilet. Installation is straightforward, and buyers agree that smell isn’t an issue. They are also happy with how easy this is to empty.
Summary of Recent Reviews
Buyers have put this one to the test and have been delighted by the performance of this composting toilet. Customers like the straightforward yet efficient functionality of this design. Multiple buyers followed up after long periods of time stating the toilet was still working efficiently.
3. Nature’s Head Dry Toilet
4. Sun Mar Compact
5. Biolet Toilet Systems
The Biolet Toilet System is another non-electric toilet that delivers outstanding performance. It can easily accommodate 4 to 5 adults out on a weekend vacation. The product is ready to use right out of the box so there is no need to find any hookups to activate the function.
The unique two-batch system is behind the exceptionally high capacity of the unit. Its compact dimension lends a minimal footprint to your RV, boat, or caravan. The aesthetically crafted body will complement the décor of any RV bathroom. It is essentially just like a top-end traditional toilet from a renowned brand. The crank handle facilitates smooth operation and ease of relocation.
Among the cons, we would like to see the makers focus on improving the quality of the drain tube. If not set up correctly, it would cause leakage.
Benefits of Composting Toilets
For travel enthusiasts, composting toilets are a worthy replacement for more traditional models. Converting the feces using woody plants or sawdust is an idea far ahead of its time.
We all read about saving nature, planting trees, and have watched videos on global warming. Decomposing our sewage is a great way to make our surroundings better. You can use organic waste to boost the growth of the trees and plants in your garden.
Although the initial cost is a bit high, keep in mind that it will save you money each month as there will be little to no consumption of water for toilet flushing purposes.
Installing this kind of toilet is as easy as it gets. In many states, you can get the job done for a small amount. As mentioned above, composting toilets pay for themselves.
The technical elements that help you get rid of the waste quicker include a cranking handle. By cranking the handle, you can accelerate the decomposing process. Try to find a model that eliminates the urine from the basin automatically.
You may have heard about compost toilets and now wonder how they work. The primary requirements to initiate the actions are simple: a proper vent system, a favorable warm environment, and a mechanism to handle the material.
Human solid waste is 90% water, so the ventilation system evaporates the water to shrink the volume of the substance and release the odor. The decomposition process takes place faster when there is a sufficient level of warmth in the environment. If you’re going to travel in a freezing area, perhaps you should reconsider buying the best composting toilet. You will have to empty the basin at regular intervals to keep the toilet clean and odor-free.
Maintenance of the toilet includes stirring and removing the waste. This step needs to be performed carefully, so as to not create a huge mess. This step is the only instance when traditional toilets get an extra point.
You will need to buy the right composting materials. Materials such as peat moss or sawdust, are put into the basin, then stirred.
You will need to empty the storage regularly. That’s a pesky job!
Also, you have to ensure that the vents are working fine. They should be creating adequate airflow inside the unit to allow the stink to escape.
As unpleasant as it sounds, doing the whole thing wrong can trigger a horrific smell. But aside from the negatives, it is an actually cost-effective, eco-friendly method to use your waste for a noble purpose.
If you’re thinking about altering your existing toilet, you must measure the rough-in. It will determine the suitable toilet size for your bathroom. This step is particularly important if your bathroom is small.
Self-contained units require more space than central composting models. The latter type needs an exterior vent hole and a lot of space directly below the toilet to place the tank.
Low power consumption is a prominent feature in upscale composting toilets. If you don’t have a steady electricity connection, you may look for a solar-powered unit.
The non-electric models run on batteries so, it would be better if you keep some batteries in your pocket. The electric models run on the domestic power output of 12 V to 110 V to move the extraction fan or heater.
Most modern designs are easy to use and maintain with the user needing to empty the storage space only once in a while, whereas certain products have a more involved maintenance procedure.
Go through the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to know how frequently you have to dispose of the by-product. If you don’t want to involve yourself in the cleaning, you may take the help of a professional. But yes, promptly emptying the compost tank is imperative to eliminate the odor and keep the system running efficiently.
After assessing the essential features and functionality, you will be able to judge more realistically whether the product is worth the price or not. There is no point in investing a fortune on an over-priced model where you’re getting similar qualities from another model at almost half its price. Have your requirements clear in your head and trust your gut.
If you are running on a shoestring budget and unable to find something that fits your needs, you should take some extra time to save up some more instead of opting for a cheap item. Toilets are long-term investments. When you’ve determined to own one, make sure to get a product worth every penny of its cost.
Portable vs. Composting
If a toilet uses no toxic chemicals, it’s considered to be environment-friendly. But if a toilet is “composting”, it’s a bit different. It means that its waste can be safely used as fertilizer.
Some toilets also come with a special gel that you can use to treat the waste before dumping it. However, these toilets are not referred to as composting toilets. If you want to make fertilizer, be sure to buy a toilet that makes compost.
Tank capacity is another crucial thing that you should consider. Depending on how many people use the toilet, it can take weeks or even months to fill up the tank. However, if you are buying the toilet for your RV or boat, it’s a bit different.
As a rule of thumb, you should buy a toilet that can last at least 5-7 weeks without emptying. Most toilets on our list have a capacity of over 5 gallons, which is more than enough.
Choosing a Model
When choosing a toilet, you should always consider utility usage. Although they are composting, some toilets might still use water. Some might even use electricity for the composting process. If you want to save on the bills, you might want to buy a solar-powered toilet.
For people who want a dry toilet, ideal compost materials are sawdust and peat. You should also consider if the media is easily available for you.
Now, let’s talk about smell. Most units use special traps to prevent the smell from leaking out. However, it means that everybody would have to sit while urinating.
Benefits of Waterless Toilet
There are many benefits that waterless toilets provide. First, it will save you a lot of water each month. When you do the calculation, you will realize how much you will save annually.
Another great about these toilets is that the waste from them is completely usable for garden fertilizing.
On top of that, you will be independent of the sewage system. Since the waste is converted into fertilizer, you won’t need to dispose of it in the sewer system.
Installation and Maintenance
Obviously, the installation of these units requires no plumbing. You only need to ensure two things. One, there should be enough space so that you can remove the waste bin. Two, you should be able to rotate the handle that actually starts the composting process.
Usually, you will need to attach the toilet to the floor with brackets as well as attach the hose for ventilation. The hose is not always included in the package, so you may need to visit the hardware store.
The maintenance of these units is very simple. You should press the handle each time you put solid waste into the toilet. Apart from that, you will only need to monitor the bins. There are usually two bins: one for liquid and one for solid waste. The liquid waste bin should be emptied every few days.
Composting toilets are a much more convenient option than traditional flushing toilets or even bag-type portable models when you’re on the move. Plus, the decomposition process turns useless waste into something beneficial.
The steep price might be a turn-off for people with a limited budget. However, investing in a composting unit is going to save you a great deal of hassle and money in the future.
This toilet mechanism also offers an efficient approach to water shortage and underdeveloped sewage system problems.
Switching to a relatively lesser-known toilet from a regular flushing toilet might not sound convincing enough for many of you but once you know how impactful, cost-effective, and convenient a quality model can be, I assure you’ll change your mind.