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Old 05-31-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
B.E. Coyote OP
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incinerating or composting toilets

Anyone have any real world experience with these? Thinking about one for camp.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:49 AM   #2
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I wouldn't want to sit on an incinerating toilet. Bad enough if my stuff gets splashed, but the risk of having it burned clean off? No, thank you.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:59 AM   #3
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We have a composting toilet in a bunkie (bathroom shed basically) and it works quite well - we have the all in one unit (you can also get remote units that look more like a regular toilet, but require space underneath (a crawlspace or basement)

Ours is the non electric version (no fan, has a chimney that draws air up to help dry the waste out)

Works quite well - minimum of work to it, just turn the drum every once in a while... add peat moss when you "go", and you have to start up the system in the spring (the bacteria dies off in winter) by either adding soil from two different spots or adding a special bacteria mix from the manufacturer.

In winter you can use it still occasionally... it just acts like a holding tank until spring (when you get it going again)
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:31 AM   #4
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Electricity isn't a problem. Would an electric composter be better?
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:51 AM   #5
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It'll help fluid evaporation with an electric fan added - which means it can support more usage (more people, or more regular usage)

Ours works just fine without electricity (and it means one less thing to break) - but it all depends on the usage
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:17 AM   #6
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How does the bowl stay clean without water? Does the TP go in the composter?
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B.E. Coyote View Post
How does the bowl stay clean without water? Does the TP go in the composter?
It has a no-stick silicon liner thing - not much sticks to it, and they give you a biodegradable spray that cleans it and also helps the composting process. And yep, toilet paper gets composted too - then when you are done you toss a scoop of peat moss mix on top of everything.

Advantage of this system is that it's very simple, very reliable - if you follow the direction it'll work well. (But you do have to use the peat moss, put in soil from two places in the spring to start things up if the system was freezing over the winter, turn the drum at the recommended intervals, etc.)

Once it's all composted you pick a garden spot or bit of woods and just dump it out - wouldn't use it to fertilize food myself, but good for flowers or such.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:07 PM   #8
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Forgot to mention, they do have units that flush (bit of water goes down when you flush) but those are the electric units. (personally having used them, I find the extra water tends to interfere with the composting process... and if it's a remote unit (toilet up above the floor, then a pipe leading down to the composter) you CAN get the pipe filling up with waste... and then when you open up the unit to add moss or turn the drum it can kinda explode on you.

(My father found THAT out the hard way... there was much use of hose that afternoon)

So I definitely prefer the all in one unit.... takes up a fair bit of bathroom space, but very simple.. just need to run the vent stack outside. IF you have to put a bend in the vent stack I *think* you also might need an electric fan to make sure it evaporates the water content

(Disclaimer: All of this is just from using one, don't clame to be an expert :)
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:17 PM   #9
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There's an incinerating toilet at a remote site where I work sometimes. I'll never use it again.

The bowl is very shallow and little wax paper liners are provided, since there is obviously no water to cleanse the bowl. "Flushing" opens the trapdoor under the bowl, which theoretically drops the waste into the lighted incinerator below.

If you want more than one or two wipes the little bowl isn't large enough. The first wax paper liner will drop through the trapdoor, because it has the waste in it. If you "flush" with very little waste (or just paper) in the liner it won't fall all the way through the trapdoor, but will lodge in it, keeping the trapdoor from closing and igniting the paper now in the bowl. This means flaming crap, that refuses to fall, is now burning inside your bathroom. Ironically, the very fact that you have an incinerator usually means there is no plumbing or water available . . . so you're going to be hiking out with burned, shit-covered boots.

DAMHIK.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:47 PM   #10
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We also have an incinerating toilet at work. I find it amusing, mostly because it's called incinolet and I never have to use it. But it makes the whole building smell like burnt poop. Not an easy smell to forget. Or eat lunch near.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:46 AM   #11
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Sounds like the incinerating toilet is out.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B.E. Coyote View Post
Sounds like the incinerating toilet is out.
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