Many of us want to save water and make life a little greener. But for most of us, the idea of the composting toilet is a step too far. With modern toilet composting systems you need never get face to face with all that human waste though.
Modern, commercial toilet composting systems come in numerous forms, but all are designed to let you avoid confronting all that humanure.
The general idea is that you have a conventional toilet bowl in which to 'do your business'. Often, with each solid addition to the waterless toilet, you are required to sprinkle a little carbon based compost activator, to speed up the process of decomposition.
The waste moves to a separate chamber. Here evaporation or filtration removes water. Some models will use a fan to assist this evaporation, incorporated into a vent pipe to take away odours just like a soil pipe on a conventional flush toilet.
Depending on the size of waterless toilet you purchase, and the number of people regularly using the toilet, the compost tray will sometimes need to be emptied. This is not a nasty job by any means. The poo you remove will be completely composted and look more like ordinary garden soil than anything else. There will be no odour to this composted humanure. You simply empty the tray into an ordinary garden compost bin, or bury it in the garden. Replace the tray and you're ready to use your composting toilet again.
If you choose a centralised composting toilet system the receptacle for the waste can be as large as you can afford. The larger the tank, the less often it will need to be emptied and you could find you really do not need to consider emptying the system more than once a year.
The new breeds of toilets composting systems are designed to be as user friendly as possible and 'hands free' as much as is practical. There are models with sensors which only open the 'trap door' to the tray below, when someone is actually sat on the seat, so no-one needs fear viewing other peoples additions! There are even models that incorporate a tiny volume of water to use as a flush. These make many people feel more comfortable as they're flushing just like they're used too.
The most basic models need to be fitted directly above the storage chamber, making them most useful in properties with basements, or in raised cabins. But if you wish to install one on a solid floor, there are even models that incorporate a vacuum system able to flush the waste upwards, round corners or wherever it needs to go.
Whichever type of toilet composting system you choose, remember it's great for the garden and much better for the planet to keep your poo at home.