What are the differences between composting toilets and dry toilets?
And here we are again on the subject. Is it a dry toilet or is it a composting toilet?
If you search the internet, you'll find some sites that talk about composting toilets and some sites that talk about dry toilets.
I have noticed that most of them actually mean the same thing.
The dry toilet needs no water and what is most important for me: no chemicals.
The dry toilet separates the liquid (i.e. urine) from the solid. This happens without water and chemicals. That's why it's called a dry toilet.
Or, to be more precise: "dry separation composting toilet". I think such long words only exist in Germany 😉 .
However, I would like to mention one exception: There are also waterless urinals and camping (emergency) toilets.
These do not separate, but also do not need water. Everything goes into a container or bag. They are quite practical for emergencies. And quite cheap to buy.
Now there is also the composting toilet. I don't want to go into that now, because it's a bit more specialised.
What are the distinguishing features of dry toilets or composting toilets and what are the advantages?
1. No water is needed for flushing
This has the decisive advantage that you do not use fresh water, which means it is not a scarce resource.
Especially in places where water is only available to a limited extent or not at all, the dry toilet (separation toilet) has huge advantages.
This can be in a garden shed, in a mobile home or on a boat. (Whereas on a boat, of course, you have water 😉 .
Because no additional water is added to the collection container or tank, the toilets can either be made smaller or the time for emptying them can be extended.
As a counter-example, I would like to mention the standard chemical cassette toilet.
The usual 20ℓ cassette tank later contains 4-8ℓ additional (formerly) fresh water, depending on use.
What a waste! And then you have to carry it away and dispose of it....
2. The liquid is separated from the solid
Hence the term separation toilet. Apart from the exceptions of camping emergency toilets or bag toilets, this is also common practice with most dry toilets.
The separation of the liquid and the solid via a separating insert has the charming advantage that the urine does not mix with the faeces.
It's hard to believe, but it doesn't create those permanent unpleasant odours that people usually try to fight with "smelly" chemicals.
Try it once!
Pee in a bottle or container and let it sit for an hour or two. It really does not smell unpleasant.
The same goes for the solid. But you should sprinkle it so that the moisture is removed...
You will notice it. And you will be surprised.
The smells actually come with the mixing of urine and stool.
I'll be honest, I couldn't believe it either at first. But all those who have experience with urine-diverting toilets will confirm this.
You can leave your opinion in the comments.
This is where the next big advantage comes in:
You don't need any more chemicals to fight the odours, or rather to "over-scented" them. I wrote this blog article on the subject of separating inserts.
3. No chemicals are required for the use of the dry toilet or separation toilet.
The guys from the chemical toilet faction always say that the chemicals are there to decompose the faeces beforehand so that everything can leave the cassette better afterwards when it is disposed of.
I don't see it that way.
I've been travelling with a motorhome for a few years now and such a mixing toilet or chemical toilet is installed as standard.
For reasons of smell (I don't like the smell of chemicals at all), I equipped the motorhome with an extraction system (SOG) and have not used chemicals since then.
Apart from the fact that the mixture was no longer green and the smell when empty (well) smelled extremely like the actual contents, there was no difference.
Everything came out of the cassette just as light or heavy as before.
However, I would like to raise the thought of what we are doing to the sewage treatment plants when we dump the chemical cocktail into the waste disposal system. And how many more are doing it...
And for what? Only so that we don't see the colour of our excrement or over-smell the stench that we ourselves cause through less than ideal use of a toilet.
Think about it....
And that gives us the next advantage:
4. Easy disposal
Since no chemicals are used here, you don't have to worry about disposal.
Of course, I don't mean that many thoughts ;-)
At some point, even with a separation toilet or dry toilet, the time will come when you are allowed to empty the containers.
However, it is by far not as disgusting as with a chemical toilet.
And I know what I am talking about.
During my motorhome trips I had the "pleasure" or better the punishment almost every day - but at least every 2 days.
So what do we have to dispose of?
First of all, the urine.
Depending on the type of toilet, this is drained and collected in a bottle, canister or tank.
Since no water is added there, it does not start to stink.
By the way, what stinks are the decomposition odours of the urine. The fresher, the less smelly.
The urine can simply be disposed of. That is, you simply tip it into a normal toilet.
In an emergency, it can also be dumped into the sewage system. It's a natural substance.
You can even use it as fertiliser. But you should dilute the urine with water.
By the way, horses and cows also pee a lot on the pastures... just a thought...
We usually dispose of the urine in disposal stations or in the toilet at home.
Then we have the solid.
This is usually no longer pure, because you always add some "litter" to set or cover it after going to the toilet. (more about this in another article)
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This way everything dries faster and no odours remain.
Depending on the type of toilet (see types of separation toilets) you have a (compostable) bag in the bucket or it goes directly into the bucket.
The drying process slowly transforms the solid matter into a kind of peat.
By the way, if you hold your nose over it, it also smells like peat.
What do you do with the full bucket/bag now?
Simply dispose of it! That is, you put everything in a bag (if not already collected in advance) and then put it in your rubbish bin with the rest of the waste.
If you like it more alternative, you can also throw it on your compost.
Then you can fertilise your flowers with it later.
Important here: Please use compostable bags! We want to be environmentally friendly.
The bags can be bought cheaply everywhere. It could hardly be simpler.
My conclusion on dry toilets and separation toilets
So, what do you think of a dry toilet or a separation toilet? It's a great thing, isn't it?
I would be pleased if you would write a comment on this. You are also welcome to link the text.
By the way, from time to time I will write blogs here about certain topics related to the separation toilet.
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