How Do Composting Toilets Work?

compost toilet

For some occasions, a composting toilet is your best option. But what is it? What are the pros and cons and how much does it cost? For this article, I dove into this topic and I’ll share all the knowledge I found.

What is a compost toilet?

A compost toilet, in its simplest definition, is a type of tank that turns waste into compost, black soil that can be returned to the ground. The most important goal of toilet fertilizer is that the end product, compost, is completely odorless and harmless. These are the same things that you would buy at a garden center or nursery to buy with your bag or cargo.

There are many different types of composting toilets, from very primitive toilets to modern high-tech systems that look a lot like a regular porcelain toilet faucet. Some even flush with water like a normal toilet.

One of the keys to an odorless composting system, whether you are composting food waste, yard waste, or human waste, is that your compost must remain aerobic. Aerobic composting requires oxygen to supply bacteria that break down waste. The main advantages of air composting are that it is fast, the raw material turns into a final compost in a few months, and it is odorless. Aerobic bacteria do not produce harmful gases as a by-product of the decomposition process.

The fact that modern composting toilets rely on aerobic composting keeps them away from their primitive cousin. Old compost bin cabinets, which are often nothing more than a bucket with a toilet seat attached to the top, have no way to vent the material. Any organic matter that is not vented, be it vegetable peels or human excrement, will start to smell. This is because the mound quickly turns to anaerobic compost, which means that the decomposition process slows down dramatically. Anaerobic bacteria begin to release methane and sulfate gases as a by-product of the composting process. The goal of any modern high-tech toilet is to avoid this possibility entirely.

Composting toilets are very respectful of the environment since they reduce the consumption of fresh water for the transport of waste. It also reduces potential groundwater contamination in developing countries, as there is no waste disposal infrastructure. Even in areas where sewage treatment plants are used, composting toilets are a much cheaper, longer-lasting, and more environmentally stable alternative because they reduce the nutrient load in the aquifer. For anyone building a new home or office, or just replacing an old leaky toilet, modern composting toilet systems are worth considering.

How do composting toilets work?

Most people in Western society will be surprised to learn that there are a variety of composting toilets on the mainstream market. I’m sure most people have never heard of composting toilets. However, that may change soon. Composting toilets in North America can save up to 100,000 gallons of flush water per year. If you live in an area where you have to pay for water in gallons or cubic feet, composting toilets will save you a lot of money.

You may have guessed that composting toilets make up human waste. You might be feeling a bit upset, but keep in mind that, before the recent invention of wastewater treatment plants, everyone on Earth had composted their waste in some way. Either you are leaving it in the forest so nature can compost it or composting it on your property so that your gardens benefit. A properly functioning composting toilet is extremely hygienic and destroys all pathogenic microbes in human waste during the composting process.

How do composting toilets work? Composting toilets have four main components:

  1. A shielded exhaust system has been installed to reduce the release of water vapor, odors, and carbon dioxide.
  2. There is a drainage system so that excess liquid (dripping water) can drain the compost.
  3. Fertilization takes place in the composting reactor.
  4. There is an access door to remove the finished product (or humus)

There are generally two fertilizer reactors. One of them is used until full, and then the second is used while the first is allowed to compost. After the first is emptied, it can be reused while the second is composting.

If your area has regulations that do not allow you to use compost in your yard, you will need to contact a licensed infiltration agent to flush the compost toilet. It’s a small price to pay for big water savings. We all have to do our part.

How much does a compost toilet cost?

The cost of a composting toilet can vary greatly and depend on many costs. The upfront cost of a composting toilet is generally higher than a regular toilet. Still, it can usually be cheaper when you factor in the cost of setup and water bills.

Commercial composting toilets can range from $ 1,500 to $ 8,000 while composting toilets for families of two to three are available for less than $ 1,000.

Our best pick, this Camco Composting Toilet. Easy to use and a very good price/quality ratio. Click here to check the best price on Amazon.

The benefits of a compost toilet

Installing these toilet systems can help make the property more self-sufficient and less dependent on public funds. This can save the landlord a lot of money on water and sewer connection costs.

Is a compost toilet good for the money?

How much do you save? Well, it’s hard to say how much composting toilets save homeowners first, because several factors influence initial installation costs.

The most obvious is the size and model of the system chosen. However, if you compare the initial cost of installing composting and sewer systems, then a composting system is generally 25-75% cheaper than a conventional flow-through system.

The biggest savings you can achieve with a composting system are long-term.

By eliminating wastewater costs and greatly reducing water costs, significant savings can be achieved especially if you live in a place where fresh water is scarce and therefore expensive.

Does a compost toilet save water?

Installing a composting toilet is a popular option for people who are concerned about the possibility of a dangerous long-term water shortage in their area. When water is limited, and people are forced to conserve water, a waterless toilet system is an easy line of defense.

Disadvantages of a compost toilet

Some people ignore the idea of composting because it seems like it sucks or is difficult to handle. The fact is that when the composting system is installed and working properly, it smells less than a normal toilet. This is because air is continually entering the restroom.

Another problem that people face is that composting toilet systems require a lot of constant maintenance and a lot of dirty work. Well, that’s not true either.

Generally, you only need to rinse and treat the systems approximately every three months. It’s more of a problem in your head than it is.

Your local authority may not yet be ready to take advantage of this approach, and a set of rules and regulations is being put in place. In this case, informed persistence is your strategy. Sooner or later, this move (sorry!) Will gain momentum and eventually come to an end.


I'm Wayne, owner of I'm a father of 2. I love reviewing products and showcasing the very best in my best of review lists. I want people to make an informative decision by going through these reviews before purchasing their selected products.

Recent Posts