Friday, April 12, 2013

Reasons to Consider a Composting Toilet

It's the time of year when we start to receive requests and questions about our composting toilets at Shelter.

Composting Toilets are an excellent option for the sanitary disposal of waste when plumbing, water, or electricity are not available or easily accessible. We see composting toilets used in cottages, boat houses, garden sheds, pool houses, barns, remote offices or guest spaces, and coastal cottages where a leach field isn't permitted. Another common locale for a composting toilet is in an older home where toilet waste needs to be removed from an overloaded septic system.

Some households are converting from conventional flush toilets for environmental reasons. Toilet flushing is the single largest water use in the average U.S. home (according to the EPA), accounting for about 30% of total home water demand. More than 4.8 billion gallons of water per day is flushed out of homes in the U.S. That is a significant environmental burden on fresh water resources, municipal sewer systems, or home wells and septic systems. And if the state of our current infrastructure doesn't improvesee the grade here—composting toilets, or something like them, may be much more common in the future.

Visit our store to see the Sun-Mar Composting toilet display models in person to get a feel for the size and shape of the toilets. Our knowledgeable staff has first-hand experience with the Sunmar composting toilet line and can assist you with sizing, installation, and maintenance questions.
When considering a composting toilet you should be aware that they require:
  • A vent either through the roof or through a wall in which the compost gases can be exhausted out of the living space.
  • An excess run-off drain from the holding space of the toilet in which excess liquid can leave the toilet.
  • The unit must be maintained at a minimum of approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit to maximize composting activity. The toilet can drop below that minimum temperature, but the composting process will slow down significantly.
  • Some care and maintenance by the user.
  • In some locales, special permitting.
We have been carrying Sun-Mar units for over 20 years. We can help you identify whether a composting toilet is the right solution for you. Email or contact us to request a free brochure and learn more about composting toilets.

If you use a composting toilet, or just have questions, share your thoughts in the comments below. 


  1. In Surry these toilets are "permitted" as primitive systems. No problem, but there has to be a waste water system for the excess run-off drain.

  2. Awesome! I like the photo of the bathroom with the stylish young lady.

  3. Composting Toilet is a great option of disposing waste and especially when the facilities like water, electricity is around us, well best use of composting toilets are seen in boat houses or remote houses. Proper sanitation is a big issue now a days and composting toilets can be a great alternative in providing neat and clean sanitation to people, especially in some developing countries where maximum population still rely on some other sources for their sanitary activities.