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Camping Toilets

Compost Toilet

Typical bathrooms have a standard toilet that uses a rush of water to send waste racing through pipes and into the septic system. These toilets work great for waste elimination, but from an environmental standpoint, they fall a bit short. Compost toilets, on the other hand, are environmentally friendly while still achieving the same result, that is, the result of effective waste management. Compost toilets are widely available but not widely used, though the benefits of these toilets make them well worth considering for any home.

Unlike a regular toilet, a compost toilet uses very little water to dispose of the waste. In fact, if the waste is fully submerged in water the toilet won't be able to do its job. So, instead of water, compost toilets use aerobic bacteria and fungi to break down the waste. Where there is very little water, there is very little sewage seeping into the ground and water sources. Sewage waste can have a major impact on the surrounding environment. When this is reduced, everyone benefits.

Not only do they break down waste, the compost toilets dehydrate it as well. The end product is at least seventy percent smaller than its original size. It is called "humus" and is not unlike soil. In fact, some countries use humus as a garden soil conditioner. Human waste is full of unhealthy little organisms that can cause disease. The first and most important objective for the compost toilet is to neutralize these organisms. This, of course, significantly reduces the spread of disease. The secondary objective for a compost toilet is to take the waste and make it into a usable product. Our bodies may not be able to use leftover nutrients in the waste, but the environment can. After composting, dehydrating, and neutralizing organisms the leftover product (humus) is a fully oxidized product that can be used to nourish plants and trees.

The compost toilet benefits the individual as well. First, these toilets save money. Because they use less water, compost toilets help to reduce the water bill of an individual household. Second, they are a means of odor control. The toilets use a suction airflow to pull the waste down. This airflow acts similar to a bathroom fan, but since it is in the toilet, it sucks most of the unpleasant odor down with it. The result is an effective odor control. Third, they have more than one use. Compost toilets are a composter so they can be used to recycle other waste such as paper, scraps of food, grease, and even lawn clippings. Environmentally and individually, compost toilets offer benefits far above and beyond those of the regular toilets; they are worth the investment.