What You Don’t Know About Electric Composting Toilets

Sponsor/Writer - LouAnn Moss

We’re all looking for ways to go green — or at least become more environmentally conscious than we are right now. But if you’re already eco-friendly, you may want to go the extra mile, looking beyond recycling or utilizing a vegan diet. With that being said, some people find that the best ways to be environmentally friendly are in fact a little intimidating and even unattractive. Much of your hesitation about certain aspects of going eco-friendly, however, may in fact be rooted in misconceptions or a lack of knowledge. This is certainly the case regarding electric composting toilets.

Electric composting toilets can be used by virtually anyone. After all, everyone needs to use some kind of toilet — so why not use an electric composting toilet? The environmental benefits of this type of product are manifold and they’re much more accessible than you might think. Still, many people decide against installing them. Why is that the case?

Well, it’s largely because lots of people are put off by the idea of composting toilets without understanding how they actually work. They have this idea that human waste is going to be left sitting under their house, or that it’s something like an outhouse. Perhaps older versions of composting toilets have also led people astray — many don’t even realize that electric composting toilets are now available! With that being said, let’s look into some of the misconceptions regarding them as well as how they really work.

What Is An Electric Composting Toilet?

When people think of composting toilets, they often have the idea that they’re something like portable toilets at concerts. Many people also compare composting toilets to outhouses. Much of this is because we’re so used to the idea of a standard modern toilet that we can’t imagine an alternative. Nonetheless, an alternative does exist, and it can help us fight the current environmental crisis that we’re dealing with.

On a scientific level, a composting toilet relies on oxygen to create an environment in which aerobic bacteria can break down waste naturally, rather than relying upon water to flush it down a plumbing system. It could essentially be called a waterless toilet.

Now, you’ll typically see two different types of composting toilets. One will be a self-contained toilet, which will essentially do the composting within the toilet. This means that there will be a composting chamber attached to the toilet, where the waste will be broken down. Usually, these aren’t meant to be used within a residential home, but within an R.V., a boat or even the ever-popular tiny home.

If you’re in a larger, residential home, you’ll want to look into a central composting toilet. This type of toilet directs solid and liquid waste to a different location. Depending on the weather, the waste is usually directed towards a location in the basement, or even outdoors. Depending on who’s utilizing the system, these types of composting toilets can potentially be connected into one central system, much like conventional toilets that use water. Of course, these systems are changed even more once you factor in electricity.

How Do Electric Composting Toilets Work?

Electric composting toilets work a bit differently than conventional composting toilets. Obviously, they do remain waterless; however, original composting toilets that did not utilize electricity essentially relied upon gravity and strategic construction. Electric composting toilets, as the name suggests, rely upon electricity.

Electric composting toilets are great for those who live on grid systems, as they can be used to break down waste more efficiently. They aren’t perfect for everyone, however. If you live in an area that is too close to marine life for a grid system, they may not be the best option, and of course, if you live on a boat, an electric composting toilet may not be the best idea.

Different types of electric composting toilets offer different features, like odorless technology, as well as certain airflow functions and adjustable details. While an electric composting toilet may not be for everyone, they’re much easier to install and maintain than they once were, and offer many benefits.

What Are The Benefits Of Using An Electric Composting Toilet?

There are many benefits of using an electric composting toilet, some of which may have not even occurred to you. The most obvious benefits, of course, have to do with the fact that these types of toilets are not reliant upon water. Now more than ever, people are focused on saving water and thus benefiting the environment. Right now, it’s estimated that just 1% of the Earth’s water is suitable for drinking, and much water that could potentially be suitable for drinking is used, unnecessarily, for conventional toilet systems throughout the world.

This is one reason why the 1990s saw new laws passed for the sake of water conservation. These brought low-flow toilets into production, which underlines how important the toilets we use are to conserving water. Furthermore, if you’re using less water in your home, you can potentially save a good amount of money in the long term. Lots of people also find that composting toilets can potentially be more convenient to maintain than conventional toilets, which are often so complex that if they are damaged, you must rely upon a professional plumber for help. Electric composting toilets are often simpler to use.

Feature image: Giorgio Trovato via Adobe Spark

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