The 6 Best Composting Toilets of 2021 – (Reviews & Guide 2021)

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Indoor plumbing is a relatively new concept, and flush toilets only gained widespread popularity in the mid-1800s. Our ancestors traveled to annex bathrooms for thousands of years, usually separated from the main room. Today, having water on demand for bathing, cleaning, washing clothes and drinking certainly makes life easier. Composting toilets give us the opportunity to eliminate human waste without relying on fresh drinking water.

Last update on 2022-11-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here are the 10 Best Composting Toilets in 2021.

Let’s take a look at the Best Composting Toilets!

Last update on 2022-11-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Finding the best was next up on our list of challenges. After several hours of testing, we decided on a few models that we think are suited.

Here are the Top 10 & Best Composting Toilets in 2021

Bestseller No. 1
Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet with Close Quarters Spider Handle Design
  • No one - and I mean no one - will beat my customer service and individual support
  • Easy to install by any reasonably handy person.
  • Absolutely No Odor. No Maintenance. 5 Year Warranty.
  • Huge Capacity. 2 people using full time will empty every 4-6 weeks. Easy empty in 5 minutes.
  • A vast improvement over older composting toilet designs. This one works!
SaleBestseller No. 2
OGO Composting Toilet | Waterless Self-Contained Toilet | Marine Head | RV Toilet | Toilet for RVs, Vanlife, Skoolies, and Tiny Homes| Power Agitator | Urine Diversion | Liquid Level Indicator
  • Electric agitator with an easy to empty solids bin
  • Modern, sleek compact design with very small footprint
  • USA Made with direct human contact customer service
  • Urine level indicator light with urine separating trap door mechanism
  • 2.4 gallon urine bottle and 25-30 use solids bin
Bestseller No. 3
Thinktank Composting Toilet
  • Brand New Composting Toilet solves major problems with existing compost toilets.
  • Airtight with separate air intake and exhaust pipes. No loss of heated or cooled air. No insects!
  • Men can stand when using!
  • Very easy to clean. No bowl to get messy. Waste is contained in compostable bag.
  • Easy to use. Never need to add peat moss or turn a handle.
Bestseller No. 4
Poopoo Pucks Coconut Coir Disks for Composting Toilet Organic, Natural 7 to 8 disks 4-inch Diameter
  • Contains 4-inch (10cm) coconut coir disks, approx. 720 grams (7-8 disks).
  • Suitable for all standard size composting toilet reservoirs.
  • Disks are easier to crumble and ready to use in minutes compared to coir bricks.
  • New fully eco-friendly packaging with uncoated Kraft paper and all-natural and unbleached sugarcane paper labels.
Bestseller No. 5
Nature's Head® Self Contained Composting Toilet with Foot-Spider Handle
  • Item Category: Toilet Seat
  • Item Trademark: Nature's Head
  • manufacturer: Nature's Head Inc.
  • Item shape: Foot-Spider
Bestseller No. 6
Separett Villa 9215 AC/DC
  • Composting,Waterless,Urine diverting, off-grid, toilet
Bestseller No. 7
Shannons Odor be Gone - 5 POUNDS All Natural - No Chemicals Composting Sawdust for Compost Toilet - No More Odor
  • 5 pounds of 100% Organic Sawdust & Shavings, Dry & Clean
  • Removes the Odor in Composting Toilets
  • Our Own Perfect Blend of Pine & Hardwood Sawdust / Shavings for masking odor in composting toilets
  • 100% Chemical Free Environment Friendly
Bestseller No. 9
Nature's Head Dry Composting Toilet Urine Bottle
  • Urine Bottle for use with Nature's Head Dry Composting Toilets
SaleBestseller No. 10
The Humanure Handbook, 4th Edition: Shit in a Nutshell
  • Jenkins, Joseph C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 300 Pages - 05/06/2019 (Publication Date) - Joseph Jenkins, Inc. (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-11-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is Composting Toilets?

Best Composting Toilets

Composting toilets are a form of “dry toilets” – primarily because they recycle human waste through decomposition and evaporation, and do not water for flushing. The biological process of composting turns human waste into compost-like material, although not all the pathogens are destroyed in the decomposition process. The composting toilet provides an aerobic condition for bacteria and fungi as well as other microorganisms to carry out the composting process.

The water in human waste is evaporated back to the atmosphere, with the solid material being converted to fertilizer. Unlike other toilets, the composting toilets do not use water for flushing and that is why they are referred to as “dry toilets.” Also, unlike traditional bathrooms, they do not have to be connected to a septic tank or sewer systems. Because of their flexible nature, they are commonly used in ecotourism resorts, national parks, remote areas in developing countries, and holiday cottages in rural areas, among other places. Here are more details about composting toilets.

How Does a Composting Toilet Work?

Composting toilets encourage healthy, high-temperature, aerobic decomposition. Unlike anaerobic decomposition where oxygen is not present, the millions of microbes thrive in oxygen-rich atmospheres go to work. They break down human waste quickly, efficiently, and, most importantly, without foul smells.

Composting toilets avoid the accumulation of dangerous pathogenic waste. Municipal sewer systems regularly send sewage sludge to landfills. This results in harmful components such as pathogenic organisms, organic compounds, metals, phosphorus, and nitrogen can leach into the environment.

Does a Composting Toilet Require a Septic Tank?

Americans flush the toilet an average of five times per day, using between 6 and 18 gallons of water each day. This amounts to about 24% of their daily water use. On a yearly scale, the billions of gallons of fresh, clean water flushed down the drain adds up to about $5 billion in water costs. Simultaneously, more than one-third of cities and towns worldwide might experience severe water shortages in the coming years. The impending water crisis should encourage homeowners to reconsider the intelligence of using water to dispose of our human waste

On the other hand, composting toilets allow for a healthy, sanitary way to deal with human waste without a separate septic tank. An additional benefit, composting toilets can prevent contamination of groundwater and surface water sources that commonly occur with septic tanks and sewage systems.

Benefits of a Composting Toilet

Contrary to what you might think, composting toilets are clean and relatively odorless. There are many benefits to owning a composting toilet.

Eco-Friendly

What could be kinder to the planet than a composting toilet? All the waste matter can be recycled and spread onto your non-edible plants.

Uses Less Water

Unlike a flush toilet that uses liters of water, a composting toilet is a dry system. It uses aerobic bacteria to decompose the waste matter slowly, enabling the material to break down naturally.

Recycle Your Waste

Properly composted human waste is as nutritious to plant life as any other form of compost. You are saving the planet in baby steps, but you are also enhancing your plants in the garden. It’s a win-win!

Ideal for Remote Areas

If you have a remote cabin, or live an off-grid lifestyle, a composting toilet is the answer to your dreams. You can install them anywhere.

Ideal for Boats and RVs

Rather than filling a black waste tank on your boat or RV, why not install a composting toilet. You’ll save dollars in the long run when you no longer need to pump out the waste tanks.

Disadvantages of a Composting Toilet

For every advantage, there are disadvantages.

Not as Convenient

Nothing quite beats the convenience of going to the toilet and flushing the waste matter away. You don’t smell it, and you don’t see it once flushed.

Extra Costs

Not only do most composting toilets cost more, but they also come with ongoing maintenance considerations. You need to add carbon-matter like sawdust and wood chips.

Requires Discipline to Use

Unlike a flushing toilet, composting toilets require discipline and constant monitoring to ensure that the composting process is working and there is no cross-contamination.

Can Be Unhealthy

An improperly installed toilet can lead to smells and insect infestation, which is a matter that is difficult to dispose of.

Can You Use Toilet Paper With Composting Toilets?

Toilet paper is a source of carbon, breaks down, and can be used with composting toilets. Marine and RV toilet paper often breaks down the quickest and is recommended. Tampons, wipes, and diapers should not be disposed of in a composting toilet because they are usually chlorine-bleached and made from a mix of non-organic cotton and rayon.

Do Composting Toilets Smell Bad?

Composting toilets rely on high-carbon content to neutralize the smells of human waste. They create an ideal atmosphere where microbes, healthy bacteria, and other microorganisms can begin the decomposition process. The finished product of a composting toilet is humus, a rich, fertile soil that smells like a forest floor. The common practice is to add a few scoops of sawdust, leaf litter, or other dry, high-carbon material to the toilet after each use. The high carbon organic material immediately neutralizes the smell and encourages microbes to begin the natural decomposition process.

The ability to legally install a composting toilet differs by region and municipality, dependent on building and plumbing codes. Composting toilets that comply with the National Sanitation Foundation’s NSF/ANSI Standard #41 or Electrical Testing Labs (ETL) often meet these local codes. Still, it’s necessary to consult local codes before purchasing or installing to understand guidelines or restrictions.

Composting Toilets and Blackwater

Putting human waste in water also creates a considerable risk of contamination. Combining water and human waste that is high in nitrogen is a perfect recipe for putrid-smelling anaerobic decomposition where pathogens can quickly multiply. As a solution, blackwater is buried underground in septic tanks or sent to a municipal sewer system. Flushing the toilet, then, is an “out of sight, out of mind” solution where we rarely consider the downstream, long-term effects. Recently, black water discharges near Niagara Falls caused a putrid smell that turned away tourists and visitors.

How Often Does a Composting Toilet Need to Be Emptied?

Best Composting Toilets

In our case, we used a raised cinder block tank. We retrofitted a ceramic toilet for the toilet seat. The tank, where water is usually located for flushing, is filled with sawdust that you scoop out and throw into the tank when finished using the toilet. When the tank fills up, usually every six months or so, we shovel the mostly decomposed material into a wheelbarrow through an outside access door, and take it to the compost pile. There, we add some more leaf litter or sawdust and let the compost age for 12-18 months. By this time, it has transformed into a pleasant smelling, rich, black compost teeming with earthworms and other healthy soil life. This compost is added yearly to our peach and macadamia nut orchard, undoubtedly contributing to our peaches’ sweetness. This high temperature (thermophilic) composting process, added to the extra year of aging, ensures that any pathogens are eliminated before being sent to our fruit trees.

How Do You Clean Composting Toilets?

Unlike the “out of sight and out of mind” mentality characteristic of flush toilets (and many aspects of modern-day society), composting toilets require a dutiful sense of responsibility and accountability. The cyclical process of returning our waste to the soil from which it originally came creates a direct connection to the ecosystems we live in.

Who Might Consider Using a Composting Toilet?

Composting toilets can be used in virtually every household, from rural homesteads without access to municipal water sources to inner-city homes in high population density areas. However, there are certain situations where composting toilets work best. 

While composting toilets can be used almost anywhere, the EPA states that the composting toilet is well suited for remote areas where water is:

  • Scarce
  • Low percolation
  • High water tables
  • Shallow soil
  • Rough terrain

In these conditions, there is a high probability of contaminating important water sources. Other environmentally sensitive areas where a septic system might cause harm would also benefit from composting toilet systems.

Composting toilets are an excellent alternative for tiny homes on wheels. Space is at a premium, and connection to sewer systems is not an option.

Are Compost Toilets Good for the Environment?

Composting toilets can reduce the amount of phosphorous, potassium, and nitrogen entering wastewater by 50 percent, 60 percent, and 90 percent, respectively. This can lead to a reduction of nutrient pollution in waterways and groundwater. Composting toilets can also further reduce bathroom water usage by 25 percent and eliminate toilet water use.

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