Composting Toilets: A Helpful Guide

Composting Toilets: A Helpful Guide

There's a more energy efficient way of utilizing your waste. Most of the time, we waste over 30 gallons of water a day when we flush our waste through the toilet. Because of this, composting toilets were made.

Composting toilets are great because they help you turn your waste into a reliable source of plant nutrients. Continue reading this guide to understand the mechanics of composting toilets and how they can benefit not only you, but also the soil fertility and plant quality in your garden.

How Does Composting Toilets Work?

Composting toilets work by providing a natural way to recycle human waste. The two processes that are used for composting toilets are evaporation and decomposition. When waste enters the toilet, its 90% water. This water evaporates and is carried to the atmosphere via its vent system.

Illustration Of How Compost Toilet Work

The little solid material that's remaining is converted and is used as fertilizing soil via natural decomposition. The natural process, which is the same as in your garden composter, becomes enhanced in your commercial composting toilets by manipulating the environment via the compost chamber.

There has to be a complete balance between heat, moisture, organic material, and oxygen to create a rich environment for your bacteria. As a result, the aerobic bacteria can convert and turn the waste into the fertilizing soil. This helps the waste become fully decomposed and ensures that your plants will grow odor free.

Once human waste becomes compost, it doesn't have any viruses are pathogens. This is because they are destroyed once the bacteria starts to break down.

You can use this natural and nutrient-rich fertilizer around the tree base or on your plants. Thus, it reduces the need to use commercial fertilizers and helps you preserve and maintain the water quality.

Composting toilets have a 3 step process:

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    Compost the toilet paper and waste without creating any odor
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    Make sure that the final product is easy to handle and is safe
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    Make sure that the final product is easy to handle and is safe

Once this process is completed, you'll notice your human waste quickly turning into natural soil fertilizer. Learning how to use a compost toilet is a great skill to help users keep their plants and gardens growing in a faster and safer rate than commercial methods.

Is Human Waste Good For Composting?

The first questions new gardeners tend to ask is "Is it safe to compost our own waste?"

And the correct answer is, "It depends."

Composting human waste isn't always an easy task. In fact, composted human waste is dangerous around berries, vegetables, or other sources of edible plants. While human waste is rich in plant-friendly nutrients, it contains bacteria, viruses, and other forms of pathogens that aren't removed through traditional composting processes.

But, you can use your own urine as a form of compost. Urine is 99% pathogen free. Any pathogens that are spotted become deactivated once the urine ages. Professionals state that you should wait for the urine to age for one month before placing it on your soil.

Composting Toilet In Bathroom

When you apply urine onto your plants, you have to dilute it first. Make sure that you use 8 parts of water to one part of urine. This ensures that you can properly act as a fertilizer on your plants without the urine burning them.

Human waste is great for composting. Once you dilute it to prevent its chemicals from affecting your plants, you have an organic and natural way to keep your plants in good condition.

Why And When People Use Composting Toilets?

People who tend to use composting toilets when they are living in mobile homes. For example, a tiny house, RV, or a boat are great places for people to use composting toilets to help their plants grow.

But, the reason why people use them is more complex than that. People use composting toilets because it's energy and water efficient. Unlike traditional toilets, composting toilets use no water or energy, making it very good to use when out on the go.

Also, the composting toilets don't leave an odorous smell. Inside the toilet is a fan, that helps the directs the air inside the toilet and smells from the outside of the toilet. When the liquids and the solids begin to separate, they don't create a sewage waste smell that lasts for hours.

Maintenance And Tips

Here are a few tips to improve your compost:

Using Coconut Coir

Coconut coir is a popular compost medium. It's already a renewable resource which is faster to grow than peat moss. Peat moss can take up to 9 months for it to grow correctly. Coconut coir takes only 3 months, giving you more time to fertilize your plants with the compost quickly.

Coconut coir is less likely to be infested with bugs and takes less space to be stored. However, they have to be continuously crumbled up and rehydrated in order for it to work properly.


Your composting toilet will need a great deal of ventilation to prevent odor buildup and provide oxygen to your plants. Some composting toilets are opened through one side, while still being faced away from the other buildings.

Plastic Composting Toilet In Backyard

You should plan on getting a door that's 3 quarter lengths that has spaces beneath the vent. If you experience any unwanted smell from the toilet, use sawdust as a form of a bulking agent. This reduces the number of odors from the toilet and reduces the smell from becoming too rancid.

Split Up The Tanks

If you want to experience the best results, your composting toilet should have tanks for solids and a separate one for liquids. This is because human waste such as feces needs to be composted. But, urine can be used on your garden immediately.


Your composting toilet is a great source of plant food. By turning your waste into a reliable source of fertilizer, composting toilets help your plants grow organically and quickly. Ultimately, investing in a compost toilet to ensure that you're creating healthy plant compost every day.

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