Composting toilets are very popular these days. There are many advantages to composting toilets over traditional toilet systems. One advantage is cost. Here are some pros and cons for composting toilets.
A composting toilet is essentially a form of mini wet room that takes care of human excrement by a natural bacterial process known as lactation. This process causes the decomposition of waste material and transforms human urine into compost-like substance, but generally does not kill all bacteria in the vicinity. The resulting compost, however, is odourless, colorless and tasteless. The smell comes from the breakdown of the organisms in the urine.
As with any other type of toilet, there are certain disadvantages to composting toilets too. A major disadvantage is their minimal sanitary performance. These toilets are very vulnerable to blockages, leaks and overstates. They can also be subject to bacterial overgrowth due to the moisture and warmth in the vicinity.
Off-grid plumbing is a major plus with composting toilets. They are generally designed with nozzles that spray water or leachate into the compost. The leachate is then collected in a collection container where it can later be used for soil amendments, plant nutrients and the extraction of oil. In a typical compost toilet, the lid of the holding container is usually constructed out of metal – either stainless steel or aluminum. The lid may also come equipped with a handle to enable easy opening.
The design of most composting toilets is comprised of a closed design. The inside chamber is composed of a composting bin (sometimes called a chute) which contains the excreta. At the bottom of the bin there is typically a drain tap. The compost is discharged from the bin via a drain hose, normally into a collection container that is separated from the house by a high brick wall. Thus, all the plumbing connections in the composting toilet are located above ground, outside the building.
Composting toilets do not operate at full capacity and therefore require frequent emptying of the holding containers. They also tend to leak during the process of solid waste digestion. If the composting toilet does not possess a septic system, the waste will have to be disposed of through the local household sewer system or by lifting it to the septic truck. This is to avoid contamination with raw sewage from local residents. Some composting toilets are located within apartments; therefore, there is no need to dispose of the waste inside the apartment.
There are two types of composting toilets: the low moisture and high moisture edit systems. In the low moisture edit system, the heating and ventilation system is not functional. The high moisture edit system cleans up solid waste easier. Both edit systems are usually combined with a high velocity toilet that sprays clean water on the solid waste in order to rinse it thoroughly.
High velocity edit systems make use of a high-speed rotating cutter that shreds the waste material into very small pieces. The small pieces are then passed through a high-pressure spray unit that further cleans the pieces. After cleaning, the soil is sprayed with a garden fertilizer to enhance its fertilization capabilities. The composting toilets that utilize this method are often rented from a garden center.
Low moisture toilets are the most commonly used type of composting toilets. They work just like the high speed toilets mentioned earlier. The only difference is the lack of rotating blades. However, it still uses a powerful motor to move the unit through the composting process.
A composting toilet that combines both the low moisture and high velocity models is called the dry toilet. As opposed to the other types of composting toilets mentioned, these composting toilets do not require irrigation. All the waste is expelled through a drain. The dry toilet uses a special siphon connected to a wet/dry cycle. Some homeowners prefer to use a separate outdoor toilet for this purpose, especially if their home faces problems with flooding.
There are several advantages of using composting toilets. They are environmentally friendly and therefore, contribute to a healthy planet. They are also energy efficient because they conserve water and energy. Moreover, the unit takes up very little space since it does not need any electricity or gas to operate. Lastly, self-contained units allow homeowners to control the amount of waste that goes into the composting process, thereby eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming waste disposal.