Composting toilet myths abound in the land of the internet! If you’re considering a composting toilet or have ever spoken to others about them, we’re sure you’ve heard some yourself. But the truth is that most of the rumors about these eco-friendly toilets are unfounded and untrue.
In this article, we’re breaking down the benefits of these excellent toilets and addressing the most common myths. Let’s get started!
What Is a Composting Toilet?
Before we get started, let’s cover the basics. A composting toilet is a waterless toilet that separates liquid and solid waste. The solid waste mixes with organic material to form compost.
Composting toilets are popular toilet options for boating, RVing, tiny homes, and off-grid communities. These toilets are simple to use and make an excellent option for any mobile or off-grid application.
Pro Tip: Read more to find out What’s So Great About RV Composting Toilets? before making the switch to avoid disappointment!
Benefits of Composting Toilets
There are many benefits to composting toilets. Here are the top three reasons these toilets are so popular!
Composting toilets are eco-friendly. The compost from solid waste is organic and can help boost the breakdown process of other materials that it comes into contact with.
These toilets don’t require water, so owners save thousands of gallons of water a year. That’s definitely an eco-friendly bonus point!
Easy to Use
Going to the restroom with a composting toilet is a straightforward process. No learning curve required!
Likewise, dumping your composting toilet is easy, too! The process of emptying a compost toilet is much less involved than dumping an RV black tank. All you need is a garbage bag and a place to dispose of the compost.
Doesn’t Need Water
Many RVers love that these toilets are waterless, with no need for plumbing, freshwater, or a black water tank to be fully functional. They’re self-contained, which makes the installation process easy, too!
It will amaze you how much water is saved. Instead of sending it down the drain into your black tank, your precious freshwater can be used for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. All of this will help extend your boondocking stay length if you’re camping off the grid.
Pro Tip: Find out more water conservation tips while boondocking.
5 Common Myths About Composting Toilets
Compost toilets are very misunderstood. Many myths are floating around about these awesome toilets that just aren’t true! Here are the five most common myths you should ignore.
Myth #1: Composting Toilets Stink
They honestly stink way less than your standard RV toilet. If you have a regular RV toilet, chances are you’ve gotten a whiff of the RV black tank when you flush. When the tank is nearing capacity, the scent is almost enough to make you blackout!
Composting toilets never smell like raw sewage. The solid waste smells like dirt or earth. The liquid container can develop an odor if you don’t dump it or rinse it frequently enough, but it’s never a noxious sewage odor.
Myth #2: Composting Toilets Are a Biohazard
In reality, composting toilets are among the more sanitary options for collecting human waste. An EPA report states: “A composting toilet is a well-ventilated container that provides the optimum environment for unsaturated, but moist, human excrement for biological and physical decomposition under sanitary, controlled aerobic conditions.”
Disposing of composted waste is safer and more sanitary as well. You don’t have to transport hazardous waste or worry about leaks at the dump station.
Myth #3: It’s Illegal to Dispose of Composting Toilet Waste
It is illegal to dump raw human waste–also known as sewage–anywhere but at an approved dumping station or in a toilet.
But it’s legal to dump your composting toilet in many places. You can dispose of the compost part with regular household garbage. And, depending on local rules and regulations, you might be able to spread the liquids on the ground or dump them in a flush or vault toilet.
Myth #4: You Can’t Use Toilet Paper
You actually can! But if you’re using the toilet often, it may be wise to have a dedicated garbage bin for your toilet paper.
Adding the toilet paper to the compost toilet is perfectly safe to do, but it will make your solids bin fill up faster, and you’ll have to empty it more. It can also disrupt the composting process by absorbing or adding too much moisture to the mix.
We recommend having a separate trash bin for #1 toilet paper and putting #2 toilet paper in the solids bin for a good balance.
Myth #5: Composting Toilets Are Difficult to Install
Contrary to popular belief, composting toilets aren’t challenging to install. There are many different kinds of composting toilets that have different installation processes.
The most challenging part of a standard compost toilet installation is running an electrical wire for the 12V fan that likely comes with it. With YouTube, you could probably figure out how to do it yourself, but such a small job wouldn’t cost much for a professional to do if you’re more comfortable with that.
You can watch our composting toilet installation video below – and NO, you do not have to rip out your RV’s black tank!
Composting Toilets Are Awesome
Composting toilets are excellent alternatives to traditional flush toilets, both for home and mobile applications.
These eco-friendly toilets are easy to use once you get the hang of them. RVers love these toilets for the added freedom when boondocking and the ability to turn the black tank into extra gray water storage.
Pro Tip: Convinced to make the switch to a composting toilet? Try out one of these 5 Best Composting Toilets On The Market.
Tiny homeowners love them because they don’t require water or plumbing! And they’re super easy to dump.
We hope that we’ve helped shed a positive light on these fantastic toilets by dispelling the common myths surrounding them.
Have you ever tried a composting toilet? Drop a comment below!
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Case W Garrison
Monday 20th of September 2021
I'd certainly love any option that lets me skip the black tank dumping experience. Are there capacity constraints? I would have to assume two people using a composting toilet isn't the same as putting one into commercial use in a building.
With two adults and two kids, is a composting toilet feasible? Also, is there any issue using one intermittently? Our camper will be in storage for long periods of time; perhaps a month or more at a stretch without use. Does that impact anything negatively?