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Composting Toilets for RV’s & Tiny Homes

  • Date: August 13, 2021
  • Time to read: 8 min.
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In today’s world, people are increasingly becoming more aware of the environment and how we are harming it. One area that is having a huge impact on our earth is the wasteful use of freshwater that flushes all the waste down the toilet and into water systems. Hence we see the increasing demand and benefits of composting toilets. This wastes our valuable resources, which also puts strain on local sewage treatment plants as they try to process everything being flushed down toilets across the globe.

This article will aim to cover composting toilets in detail and give you all the knowledge you need before deciding if it’s something for you or not.

One major issue with composting toilets is that they can’t be used in dry areas because compost needs to be kept moist so that bacteria can break down organic matter. If composting toilets were not allowed in dry areas then many places would still have little or no indoor sanitation. However, composting toilets do not make use of any water and work using composting which breaks down waste into a fertilizer that can be used for plants.

Composting toilets generally refer to dry composting toilets, this method of composting uses no water so it can be placed in areas that have very little to no natural resources available. There are two main methods of composters, ventilated or non-ventilated. Non-ventilated composters use only an air supply from outside which is needed because bacteria needs oxygen in order to break down organic matter properly.

Composting Toilet Ventilation

helps with odours while allowing proper ventilation inside composters which reduces composting time. This composting can be done in a few different ways, either in a composting bin or composting chamber. A compost bin is made with wood and some type of plastic while compost bins are generally elevated off the ground to reduce contact with leaves or any other organic waste that may fall into it which will contaminate your compost.

Composting chambers are large metal boxes that have holes all around them for airflow but they also require no turning so make composting much easier than composters that do need to be turned regularly. The main thing you have to think about when choosing whichever one you want is how much bathroom space you have available to get enough room for the lid as well as space for compost to build up inside the composting chamber.

Composting is a simple process that uses compost bacteria and oxygen to break down organic matter into compost, this compost can then be used on plants or in gardens for fertilizing. There are two main composters that most composting toilets use, active composters and passive composters.  Active composters rely on the user to add wood chips and other things needed to break down waste while passive composters don’t necessarily need constant attention. Passive composters also tend to produce more methane because they utilize anaerobic bacteria which helps decompose the waste faster but without all of the hard work of chopping up materials that you have to do with active compost bins.

Ventilated composting will generally take about three to four weeks to compost waste without much user input but composting will take longer if you want it to. Non-ventilated composters generally compost faster by using extra resources or having more ventilation from fans which help speed up the process of composting and break down organic matter faster.

Composting isn’t easy so if you can find a service that comes in a few times a week to empty your compost for you then I would suggest doing so because it’s never fun cleaning out compost bins especially when they get very full as this can cause them to be smelly. If not, then the weekly routine is pretty straightforward, just remove any waste from compost bins and turn the compost every few days to keep aeration levels up. If you compost in composting chambers then you don’t have to remove compost which will save time and composting chambers also don’t produce any bad odours so emptying compost bins is easier.

Financial Benefits Of A Composting Toilet

Composting toilets can be cheaper to maintain because they use no water so there are no costs associated with collecting or disposing of human waste and fewer chemicals need to be used as well. Because composting takes longer than the average toilet, composters generally employ a dual compartment system, one for urinating which requires more frequent changing and one for faeces which requires less attention but compostable products such as bio-degradable bags can help conserve space in your deodorant compartment by storing both types of waste together. The only thing that needs special attention is the composting bins and chambers themselves as they require cleaning every few months to keep good composting conditions.

Composters are also much easier on the environment than other methods of waste disposal because composting toilets rely on compost bacteria to break down organic matter which is a natural process that doesn’t produce any harmful chemicals or substances so it’s safer for our water and soil quality. Composting can be better for the environment because composters take advantage of nature in order to compost waste rather than using electricity, water, chemicals, or any other resources other types of modern toilets use so composting uses very little energy but does compost better than most other types of toilets.  

Compost is an organic substance that is added to the soil which functions more than just being a fertilizer. It is a mulch, a soil conditioner, and something that will help the soil give the best nutrients and minerals your plants need. With compost, the soil also is able to hold more water, which is also beneficial to your plants.

Types Of Composting Toilet

There are several composting methods that you can employ or use. The so-called “no-turn” composting method seems to be the easiest. Like what the title of the method indicates, you don’t need to turn the pile of compost at least once every week to quicken the process of decomposition. In this “no-turn” technique, all you need to do is add a lot of coarse materials to your compost.

Adding a lot of straw would do just fine. What the straw does is create air pockets and allow the pile to be aerated. You can expect your compost to be developed at the same rate as when you employ the traditional “turn-over” composting technique. When you use this composting technique, be sure to get your compost from the bottom of the pile. Just add new organic materials on the top keeping in mind adding coarse materials as well.

If the only available composting materials in your yard are piles and piles of leaves, then don’t worry. Creating composts from leaves alone can be done. You just need a couple of things and some very simple techniques. Select a place where you will make your compost pile. For the leaves, the place ideal would be a well-shaded area which will help keep the pile damp or moist. Also, keep in mind that the pile should not be packed tightly. Keep it loose to allow the air to circulate.

In four or six months, the compost from leaves should be finished and ready to be applied to the soil. Take a mental note, however, that the compost created from the leaves does not contain enough nutrients and microorganisms to function as a fertilizer. The finished compost, however, is great as a soil conditioner.

When composting, you will need materials rich in carbon and nitrogen namely fruits and vegetable scraps and other table scraps except for leftover bones because they attract a number of pests and animals. Other products include eggshells, grass or shrub clippings, pine needles, seaweed and kelp, coffee grounds, wood ash, tea leaves, cardboard and shredded paper, corn stalks, wood chips, and sawdust.

To discourage fruit flies and other pests from grouping together on your pile, it would be best to cover the pile or add lime or calcium over the top or whenever you add new materials to your compost. The lime and calcium also help neutralize the odours from your pile.

I hope you were able to have a simplified view of the composting and got some useful and simple tips from the article. Just remember that composting is difficult only if you want it to be.

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