Composting Toilet Pros and Cons

Learning about composting toilet pros and cons before buying is the best idea. After that, you can decide whether you need it or not. In addition, you can check all available models with different functions to choose from.

You may have many questions to be answered before picking one. What is a composting toilet, how do these toilets work, what are the benefits, will there be any odor left etc. Without knowing and understanding those questions and answers, you can’t buy one.

Moreover, you must know the difference between regular flushing toilet and composting toilet. Usually, we get info about a products good things and benefits. Not much about their negative impacts.

However, please be easy. Surely, we will discuss about composting toilet pros here. But, you will get our unbiased opinion about its cons too. Therefore, you will get everything you need to know about the composting eco-friendly toilets.

What is a Composting Toilet?

As the name implies, composting toilet breaks the human waste into compost within the built-in composting area of the toilet.

This type toilets don’t use any water. Moreover, the waste will be stored in separate chamber of the toilet. Thus making the toilet odorless.

Decomposing the human waste takes time so it has a limit how much waste it can decompose regularly. Moreover, specific and fully functional ventilation system ensures complete bad odorlessness of the toilet.

How Does It Work?

So, how does this eco-friendly toilet system work? Regular toilets use flushing to get rid of waste into the waste tank. Costs a lot of water.

Composting toilets don’t use any water. It works as regular regular composters you may have around your home. The composting tank of the toilet decomposes the waste using natural aerobic bacteria.

The whole process works exactly like regular composter. In addition, the end product will be same soil like or humus. You can discard them as garbage or use them as fertilizer in your garden.

Composting System

You may find different composting system toilets. However, the base composting procedure is same for all models and systems. All have similar ideas and features to make the waste into compost.

These systems requires composting container,  an access door to empty the container, air in and exhaust system and most importantly electricity for fan or heater whichever the toilet has.

There are some systems contain only one chamber or container. Where the waste come from one way and the processed compost gets out from other way.

However, many models have more than one container. When one container gets full of waste another takes its place. The full container processes the waste into compost materials and you can remove the container to empty it. These process continues simultaneously.

You may find 2 types of composting systems mainly. One is true composter contains full system including ventilation and other process. In other words everything needed in one complete composting toilet system.

Another known as dry toilet system, where you need extra features like heating or fan to complete the composting process. It takes more to complete the composting process along with more work.

Important Composting Toilet Pros and Cons

Like everything else of our life, composting toilets have advantages important for our life along with disadvantages those come with it. However, we must compare these pros with cons to make the ultimate decision.

We have listed the pros below and after that comes the cons. Then you decide what you want to do either buy it or go with the tradition flushing toilets.


Water Consumption

According to our calculation, a compost toilet can save around 30,000 to 35,000 liters of water every year. If you compare it our daily water usage, then you can fill a standard sized pool with it.

Moreover, a family of 4 need around 30,000 liters drinking water. In other words, a composting toilet will save a year worth of drinking water. Its great for saving water and better usage of water. Most suitable as composting toilet for RV where every drop of water counts.

Energy Saving

As we all know, the heater or fan of composting toilet uses electricity to operate. It may be an extra cost operating it. However, you can use a solar panel for the heater or fan. This way, you are not spending electricity and saving the environment.


We are in an era of global warming, where every bit of energy you spend using counts. However, composting toilets not only save water but energy that you might use to pump those water.

After making the soil like compost, you can use them as fertilizer or regular soil. In other words, everything involving composting toilets are eco-friendly. You have no interaction with sewage plants so less chemical use to process the human waste.


After installation, there aren’t many cost involving the toilet. Occasionally, you may need toilet cleaners and enzyme. You also save a lot water other cleaning items. Ultimately save a lot and you expense a lot less.

Also, composting toilet comes with full setup, so installing process is simple. Moreover, installation cost comparing with regular toilets is really low.

Regular Maintenance

Composting toilets need more care than regular toilets. But those care for taking care of the compost and regularly emptying the container.

However, it needs less cleaning other maintenance. So, overall maintenance time and cost are nothing much comparing your traditional flushing toilet maintenance.

Smell or Bad Odor

Irregular maintenance of composting toilet may incur bad odor or smell. However, if you do your due tasks regularly, then there will be hardly any bad odor or smell involved.

Space and Design

Split system composting toilets requires spaces under your house. However, if you don’t have space under house then you can go with self-contained one. Same working procedure but different models.

Various designs and styles available with composting toilet various models to choose from. Although, there aren’t many models available like traditional toilets. However, there are enough to choose from from wide array of sizes and shapes.

Social Awareness

It will be a talking topic around neighborhood and friends if you install a composting toilet. The more talk about it will ensure more people will be interested about it.

Therefore, you will increase social awareness among all around you. Even if one gets encouraged to use it after seeing you using it, you have a huge success. This way, you will increase social awareness. Moreover, it will be one small step towards the great eco-friendly society in the near future.


So far, we have discussed about pros, however composting toilets come with some serious cons. You should know about them if you want to learn about both composting toilet pros and cons. Please check below:

Not Practical for All

If you live in a city or an apartment without much ventilation. Then, its not for you. Its good for house owner with less people and home around.

Without better ventilation and regular maintenance, composting toilet can become a burden. Moreover, with a busy daily life schedule, its impractical to be eco-friendly with bathroom.

Electricity Consumption

The fan or heater of the toilet requires electricity to operate. Therefore, whether you use solar power or other, it still consumes a lot of electricity. Daily cost may not seem much but if you combine year long electricity usage then, it may cost around a hundred dollar.

Slight Bit of Odor

Although, its specially built as odorless however sometimes its may not be the case. You can get a bit of odor after continuous use for a few weeks. If your bathroom has enough ventilation, it may not be a problem.

However, the odor can become intolerable if ventilation becomes a serious problem. Moreover, without proper maintenance, odor will become regular problem.


The price of a composting toilet is 2-3 times larger than regular toilet. Though, the cost can minimize over time. However, as a time one time cost, that is a huge amount for many. Moreover, overall installation charge may be lower than traditional toilet, but the difference isn’t big.

Maintenance Headache

Though, maintaining it be simple, however it requires regular maintenance. If you neglect it for many days, you will have serious odor and hygiene problem. So, if you choose to pick one, please make sure you have enough time to maintain it regularly.

Restricted Use

Using it is different than using regular toilets. Sometimes, we may mistake about using water. Cleaning can become hard if we use water. Good for RV or motorhome in open air space. Therefore, if you are using motorhome lifestyle, then its highly recommended to use it.

End Words

After reading the above article, you may come to make a decision. If you still indecisive whether you want to use it or not, then ask professionals. Moreover, you can ask others who already using this. They can share first hand experience about composting toilet pros and cons.

Although, the pros are more attractive and sensible comparing the cons. But, with current busy and congested urban lifestyle composting toilet isn’t practical. Its more perfect with rural and free area lifestyle.