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Composting Toilets

 –  Hygienic waste disposal is a tricky process that most people take for granted. If you live somewhere without easy access to water and/or a sewage system, however, you might want to consider investing in a composting toilet. These systems allow you to process waste in your home safely and easily. Here at drugstore.com, we have a wide selection of composting toilets that can help you turn excrement into usable, germ-free fertilizer with a waterless system.
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What Is a Composting Toilet?

Unlike traditional plumbing or even septic systems, many people have never heard of composting toilets. The use of these waterless systems dates back more than 30 years, however, in European countries like Sweden. When you install a composting toilet in your home, water is no longer the primary mechanism used to flush away waste. Instead, aerobic bacteria break down excrement and toilet paper into a material that resembles soil. Once processing is complete, the end product doesn't contain any of the potentially harmful components of human waste (such as viruses and bacteria). Remnants can be used as fertilizer--a process known as "humanure"--or disposed of by septage haulers.

Why Use a Composting Toilet?

The most common reason why people consider installing a composting toilet is because they live in a remote area without easy access to traditional plumbing or water treatment systems. If your home isn't part of a sewer network, for example, then onsite waste treatment might be easier and cheaper than taking it offsite. These toilets also use little or no water or are completely waterless, so they are ideal for homes that rely on trickier water sources like wells. In addition to being used for human waste, many of these systems are also designed to help compost kitchen waste, which can reduce your household's overall garbage production. The fertilizer that results from the composting process is typically rich in nutrients and can be helpful for plant growth.

Disadvantages to Composting Toilets

Potential disadvantages that might arise from choosing a composting toilet are mostly based around maintenance. Whereas traditional plumbing typically requires little effort to maintain, you will be responsible for keeping up with cleaning and regular care of a composting toilet. Improper maintenance of composting toilets may lead to waste not being properly treated, which has the potential to create unsanitary conditions.

How Do Composting Toilets Work?

Using a composting toilet is actually very easy. There is no flush mechanism and these toilets are waterless, so you simply toss in a specially formulated compost mix every time fecal matter is deposited in the toilet. Aerobic microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi--which are naturally present in human excrement--will actually break down the waste and decrease its volume by up to 90 percent. Once the process is complete, these microorganisms are unable to survive, and they die off over time, leaving a germ-free finished product called "humus" behind. Certain composting toilets have mechanisms within them to stir up waste and move the process along more quickly, while others rely on harnessing the heat of the sun to create an inhospitable environment for germs once they are done breaking down waste.

If waste disposal is a concern in your home, then a waterless composting toilet might be the perfect choice. Browse our selection of composting toilets at drugstore.com today to find the right system for you.

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