Composting toilets way of the future?

6 Replies

I was watching that Bill Gates documentary and he was talking about the toilet of the future and how he is funding competitions for university students to design it. It seems like the modern toilet is wasteful of water and expensive to hook up to sewer. Anyone ever use a composting toilet in their personal home or dare I say in a rental? What brand of composting toilet did you use? From some brief research it seems like its a promising area but not sure the technology is there yet to match the ease of use of a standard toilet.

Watch a few YouTube videos of tiny house owners and RV'rs and their composting toilet adventures. I don't see this happening on a large scale for a long long time. But heck, you can get the ball rolling right now!

Originally posted by @Joseph Weisenbloom :

I was watching that Bill Gates documentary and he was talking about the toilet of the future and how he is funding competitions for university students to design it. It seems like the modern toilet is wasteful of water and expensive to hook up to sewer. Anyone ever use a composting toilet in their personal home or dare I say in a rental? What brand of composting toilet did you use? From some brief research it seems like its a promising area but not sure the technology is there yet to match the ease of use of a standard toilet.

 Maybe in Portland or some similar area. Rest of the US? Doubtful.

Love the tech, but sanitary napkins and Lego and everything else your tenants and their kids regularly flush won't compost too well.

@Flash Alexander From what Ive researched the top brand of composting toilet is the sunmar centex series. It offers a very similar experience to a regular toilet with water flushing. That being said there are some major design flaws. For one it requires someone to crank the composting chamber once a week. Which is complete BS. Why do they have a manual crank when they could have a motor do the crank and have a timer that does it automatically. I also saw that it requires adding sawdust or peat moss once a week. Why not have a hopper full of a years worth of peat moss and distribute it into the chamber automatically. Overall I think its a good design but like I said earlier the technology hasnt come far enough for it to be a legitimate replacement for a standard toilet. Correct me if im wrong. I’d be glad if someone in the forums could chime with some first hand experience.

@Joseph Weisenbloom "complete BS" hahaha - I immediately saw the unintended pun. Anyway, I think most of the current designs are meant to work in off-grid situations; cabins and such. However, having both the automatic and manual option might be nice. @Flash Alexander is correct. Users must be educated and that isn't always possible. And manufacturers should come up with biodegradable feminine hygiene products. No cure for toddlers and Legos - that is going to happen no matter what kind of toilet you have. 

Found this blog post (Impermanent Structures For Summer Vacation or all Year Rentals.) a while ago, I'm in the middle of buying my first property on 5 acres and I'd love to rent out all the units and live in an impermanent structure if the town allowed it. It could work for the right person, I'll let you know if I ever end up using one. @Teri Feeney Styers That would be nice, but I've seen a lot damage from "flushable" wipes in my work, so I think we've got a ways to go. Folks with private sewer usually know because they have to pay for the clogs, but the same thing occurs with public systems.