Maintaining a composting toilet is not as complicated as some would think. Following the information in this quick guide will ensure you have a happy, productive composting toilet for many years.
While there are a variety of modern composting toilet solutions that work in very different ways,
composting at its core is anything but modern and happens in nature every day. Composting is nothing more than the breakdown of organic material through decomposition. Several factors can speed up or slow down this breaking down process and we hope to shed some light on these to help your compost toilet be as efficient as possible.
So what is the ideal environment for compost to break down quickly and cleanly? A warm, moist (not wet) environment with good air circulation. Many composting toilets include a crank or drum that will also mix and aerate the compost, but in most cases, this is not necessary.
Cleaning your composting toilet
While using the composting toilet, there will be times just like any other toilet when the bowl must be cleaned. In the case of a composting toilet, the worst thing you can do is introduce toilet or household cleaners into the compost bin. These chemical cleaners will kill the bacteria in the compost pile essentially stopping the decomposition process in its tracks.
When you have to clean your composting toilet, we recommend using plain tap water or a mixture of tap water and baking soda.
If you would prefer a more commercial cleaner, you can always purchase a bottle of Compost Quick. It can be used as a cleaner but also has enzyme additives to accelerate the composting action in your toilet.
When it’s time to empty your composting toilet
Emptying your compost toilet is the part that gives most people the heebee geebees. But with a little planning, it can be clean, odorless, and easy to do. It is recommended that you wear gloves when handling human compost.
If you toilet system is the type that separates the new compost from the finished compost, emptying your bin is as simple as pulling out your finish tray, use a rake to inspect the finished compost and ensure it is fully composted, then empty it into your landscaping or flower bed.
If you have no landscaping or flower beds, sealing the compost into a compostable bag and disposing of it in the garden trash bin is acceptable in most municipalities.
For toilets without a separate bin for new and finished compost, wait at least 8 hours after the last use before emptying your bin. This ensures the solid waste has had time to settle and reduces any odors you may want to avoid. When you are ready to empty the bin, bag the waste in a compostable bag for disposal or add the compost to your compost pile in your yard.
That’s it, you now know what you need to keep your composting toilet healthy and functional for years and years. If you have thoughts on anything I missed, please comment below and let me know!