Compost toilets are not only an environmentally responsible method to do your business, but they are also financially effective, saving homes hundreds of dollars each year on water and sewer charges. The days of toilet seats installed on top of 5 gallon buckets are long gone, as are the crude fixtures of the mid-twentieth century. Compost toilets of today are sleek, sophisticated, and fully odorless, merging in flawlessly with even the most opulent private bathroom.
Composting toilets are rapidly becoming popular in affluent nations such as the United States, where water scarcity is on the rise. The average American family of four flushes around 46,000 gallons of water down the toilet each year, making the potential cost savings of a waterless system quite real. Tax breaks in certain localities can even cover a portion of the cost of a new compost toilet system, implying that the unit will pay for itself in even less time.
Composting toilets have long been utilized in rural locations where there are no municipal sewage connections. The former practice was to construct a septic tank when building new residences or cottages in certain regions. The cost of a new septic system today might range from $5,000 to $25,000, depending on location and ground conditions. In comparison, a whole-house composting toilet system might cost between $2,000 and $4,500. With statistics like these, it’s no surprise that rural homeowners are seriously exploring composting toilets as an option, not only for new homes but also for existing homes when septic tanks fail.
So, what are the genuine environmental advantages of compost toilets? What makes these fittings so environmentally friendly? We’ve already discussed how a waterless system may save tens of thousands of gallons of water each year. Because municipal wastewater treatment plants consume massive quantities of power to filter all that filthy water and dispose of the sludge extracted from it, consuming less freshwater results into large-scale energy savings. Because the solids in our wastewater frequently wind up in landfills, compost toilets reduce the wasteful filling of landfills with fecal matter, where it decomposes and creates methane gas, a significant cause of ozone depletion.
The true environmental benefit of utilizing a composting toilet is that you have a self-sustaining system that recycles waste back to nature in a clean and non-polluting way, independent of any public service or utility. What is it about these systems that makes them non-polluting? This is due to the manner in which trash is treated. A specifically built drum within the machine aerates the material, allowing air to feed the aerobic bacteria that break it down. In contrast, in a wastewater treatment facility, the processing processes are primarily anaerobic, resulting in a sluggish and wasteful process that emits odorous and hazardous methane gas. Aerobic bacteria, on the other hand, do not emit methane.
When a composting toilet has done its work correctly, you will be left with clean, dry, hygienic compost that looks and smells much like regular garden soil. This rich, fertile earth may be tilled into your garden or put to your landscape, offering great nutrients for flowers, trees, and shrubs.