We are generally pretty squeamish when it comes to human waste. But, with more of us look for ways to reduce our impact on the planet and reuse, reduce and recycle just about everything, should we all consider the composting toilet?
There are many different types of composting toilet. Some are completely dry waterless toilets, some are fan assisted, expensive, complex or simple and even homemade 'sawdust toilets. All use the same basic premise; human waste is full of nutrients and should be composted and recycled rather than wasted.
The ultimate green credential has to come from being an advocate of the composting toilet system. But, the primary users of such systems, choose the waterless toilet for convenience rather than environmental reasons. Looking at customer feedback regarding the leading brands of manufactured composting toilets and you see that a huge proportion of owners actually had very little choice about what kind of 'convenience' to install.
Holiday homes, trailers and cabins in the countryside are an ideal home for the composting loo. After all, such a system is completely portable. You can set it up just about anywhere. Choosing the right system for the situation can mean needing no electricity and no water supply at all is required. Other, more complex models may use a small amount of water to flush waste. Some use electricity to dry the waste, and some require a connection to some form of septic or sewage system to allow for emergency overflow.
In areas where water is scarce, or for those who just want to do their bit to use less precious water, the waterless toilet is ideal. Even a low flush conventional toilet will use around three litres for each flush. When you total up the number of flushes made in the average home, that is an awful lot of drinking quality water being literally flushed down the drain.
Lakeside holiday cabins can be notoriously difficult to arrange sewerage for, after all, those lakes need to be kept clean from effluent run-off. Presumably this is why the likes of Sun-Mar have so many customers with lakeside cabins.
The composting toilet doesn't need to be a burden on the homeowner. Whilst basic homemade dry sawdust toilets require a little human intervention, the modern compact systems need only very occasional maintenance. With these fan assisted models, humanure is dried so very little bulk is actually produced. Occasionally you will need to empty a drawer of completely composted waste, which will closely resemble soil, with no odour whatsoever.
So whether you're looking for a way to save water, avoid digging drainage or indeed want to save the environment perhaps a composting toilet could be your answer.