How to Compare Composting Toilets


Composting toilets are one of many modern recycling items used today. These biological toilets have existed for more than 30 years, according to the Environmental Protection Agency; recent advances in technology have made them more accessible and closer to traditional toilets in aesthetics. Composting toilets can be used as an alternative to sewage systems or to set up modern facilities where no sewer system exists.

Step 1

List the goals you want to accomplish from using a composting toilet. Set these goals and other priorities in order of significance. Goals can include reduced water or electric consumption, environmental impact, reduced maintenance or other goals. Composting toilets have various water and electric consumption rates as well as maintenance needs.

Step 2

Identify the potential location for the composting toilet. This helps determine the need for electricity as well as the type of toilet you can use at that location. Composting toilets used in vacation cabins may not require electricity. Compost toilets being connected into a multi-unit system will require the use of split or remote system where the waste flows into a central composting chamber from different rooms.

Step 3

Research the various sizes of composting toilets. Composting toilets come in different sizes depending on the number of people regularly using them. Look at the sizes with an eye towards the total number of people who will use the toilet, including guests if you have many visitors.

Step 4

Examine the maintenance requirements of the compost toilets on your list. Maintenance of composting toilets takes time. The EPA states that human waste compost must be removed from the composting container from as little as every three months up to every other year. Depending on how comfortable you would be in cleaning the composting container, the time frame can become a factor. Passive composting allows material to decompose naturally and will take less maintenance because of fewer parts. Active composting speeds up the process but also involves fans, pumps, mixers and routine care.

Step 5

Read consumer reports and reviews of each toilet still remaining on the list. Consumer and government reviews can provide information on the benefits and disadvantages of each type.

Step 6

Keep three composting toilets on the list. Take these three choices and compare pricing, service and warranties. Write down two lists, one for benefits and one for disadvantages. Make your determination from this point.


  • Environmental Protection Agency: Conserving Water
  • TLC: How Green is a Self-Contained Composting Toilet
  • The Composting Toilet Store: Frequently Asked Questions
Keywords: compost toilet, composting toilet systems, toilet comparisons

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.