Let’s face it; today’s consumers are looking for ways to be thrifty. While there are many tips people use to cut back on bills, few look to their toilets for answers. In fact, there now exist many composting toilet manufacturers that introduce products that cut back on water bills in ways previously unimagined. As a result, some people have taken to composting their own sewage to conserve water and cut back hefty sewer authority or septic cleaning bills.
How Composting Toilet Systems Work
Composting toilets apply the same concept of recycling that many people are familiar with in their own households. Whether you are recycling plastic, paper, or sewage; the foundation of all recycling is returning refuge to its purest original form so it may be reused rather than buried in a landfill.
The original form of human waste is simple-carbon-based-nutrients, which constitute much of the earth’s soil. Only 2-10% of human waste is actually solid, the remainder is moisture. The goal of composting toilets is to remove the 90-98% parts moisture, while breaking down the solid portion of waste into soil. This is done using oxygen, heat, and microbes (microscopic organisms that convert waste molecules).
Composting toilets use a variety of methods to accomplish decomposition, ranging from simple pits to three-chamber electric powered converters. The end results are generally the same–a small tray of compost emptied monthly or annually depending on the system. Contained in this tray is a soil which the EPA has deemed germ-free and safe for use in gardens and other compost applications.
Composting toilets, if installed properly, are odor-free and simple to maintain, although certain additives are often needed such as peat, and microbe food to help the decomposition process.
Are Composting Toilet Systems Economical?
Costs of wastewater treatment vary greatly from household to household depending on water use. A family of four, however, can be thought to spend on order of $400-$1000 annually for wastewater treatment directly. Indirectly, municipalities spend millions to tens-of-millions of dollars, depending on population size, in a given year on treating wastewater. This bill becomes part of the tax burden.
Composting toilets cost between $1500 and $4000 depending on capacity, brand, and type of system. Additives such as peat, and other microbes sometimes add to the cost of maintaining a composting toilet. Economically, owners of a composting toilet can expect for it to pay for itself in one to two years.
People who are considering the purchase of a composting toilet should read toilet reviews closely. Certain brands are better than others and important information regarding how completely waste is composted should be considered before making the purchase.
All around, though, composting toilets are more environmentally friendly than flush toilets, and cheaper on homeowners and municipalities; although, composting toilets can create an uncomfortably close relationship between people and their waste. Consumers looking for a way to be both eco-friendly and wallet-friendly can consider composting toilets as a viable option.