Composting toilets are the most common, simple and robust dry toilets on the market. Unlike you might expect, modern compost toilets are odorless and very nice to use and service.
In compost toilet, all waste drops in a single container including urine, solids, and toilet paper. In majority of use cases some dry material like peat or saw dust is also added to the toilet. The purpose of the dry material is to absorb some of the liquid into itself. The end product of the toilet is odorless, nutrient rich mulch that can be used for example in gardening.
There are two important features that make up a well-working composting toilet: separation of excess liquid and sufficient ventilation. Both of these features are prerequisites for efficient composting process. Most commercial compost toilets separate excess urine (= urine that is not absorbed in compost mass) inside the toilet container. The excess urine (a.k.a. leachate or seap liquid) is led out from the toilet to separate canister of biofilter. Efficient ventilation is also critical particularly in indoor compost toilets. The ventilation not also prevents problems of smell but also dries the compost pile so that it can absorb more urine.
Where does composting toilet fit best?
Traditionally, compost toilets have been used in outhouses in summer cottages and holiday homes that are disconnected from sewage systems. However, more and more often compost toilets are being used indoors as well. It is important to choose the right model individually for every use case and install it according to instructions. Although many of us are looking for the fastest and easiest quick fix, we would like to point out that in case of dry toilets careful planning and proper installation almost always pay off in the end as the outcome is usually a toilet that is completely odorless, very nice to use, keep clean and maintain.
A common misconception is that compost toilets cannot be used in winter when it may be freezing. However, we have for example made tens of compost toilets to Iceland where the average climate temperature is close to 0 * Celsius degrees. There are certain special things to consider when making a compost toilet for cool climate, but the headline is that compost toilets work just fine year-around even in cold climate.
Does a composting toilet smell?
This is the most common concern people have about composting toilets. Many of us have bad memories of terrible smelling toilets from the 80s and 90s. Historically, “compost toilets” have mostly just been large buckets without any separation of liquids nor efficient ventilation. Consequently, the “compost” has in many cases been extremely wet, rotting sewage. Fortunately, this have changed towards better.
Nowadays, modern composting toilets can be completely odorless – even less smelly than the water toilet. You can safely put your outhouse next to your main house or have a composting toilet indoors. The separation of excess liquid and efficient ventilation guarantee a nice user experience for everyone. The most demanding part is the planning and first installation. Luckily, here at Pikkuvihreä, we have almost 30 years of experience in dry toilets of all sorts. Let us help you by contacting us via email or Whatsapp.