Composting Toilet: Part 3
This is a follow up blogpost after using our composting toilet for six weeks, some of that time consumed by our recent haul out.
Emptying of Liquids Container
One of the first lessons we learned is that our (small) liquids bottle only lasted two man-days (one person for 2 days or two people for a 1 day) before it needed to be emptied. The instructions that come with the composting toilet don't mention anything about this fact.
|Our original installation with the small 1-gallon liquids |
container shown in the lower front of the toilet.
|The small round window (upper center of this image) is practically useless |
in terms of knowing when to empty the liquids container,
|The large liquids container shown here has a 2-gallon capacity.|
Emptying of Solids Container
Height of Toilet
We felt that height of the toilet was a problem right from the start. The height on our installation is particularly acute because the toilet is installed on a shelf in the hull liner which is about 5 inches above the shower grate. Consequently, the distance between the toilet seat and the shower grate (floor) is 24 inches--compare this height to your toilet at home which is typically 16 inches. We use a small stool in the head to help compensate for the extra (8 inches) toilet height and we are both on the tall end of average. For shorter people and kids the height of the toilet has to be an issue.
Improved Space Utilization
The increased available space has proven to be the biggest advantage of the conversion to a composting toilet. We gained space for a 19-gallon auxiliary diesel tank plus much more space in two cabinets in the head. However, there are several consumables you have to store related to the composting toilet which uses some of that gained storage space.
Unbleached Biodegradable Toilet Paper
While this was not necessarily part of the conversion, we have switched to unbleached biodegradable toilet paper for environmental reasons. We started out by simply trying a 4-roll pack that we bought on amazon and, later, we found out we could order larger quantities through Home Depot and have it shipped to our local store free of charge.
|We first tried a 4-roll pack of Seventh Generation-brand unbleached |
toilet paper that we purchased on Amazon.
|12-cup Unbleached Coffee Filter|
We managed to find 12-cup unbleached coffee filters from webrestaurantstore.com for under $10 per 1000 (but again, the shipping cost was more than the filters). While cruising, I imagine that the two of us will use 4 filters per day and the 1000 filters will last about 250 days (the entire 8 months we will be cruising each year).
After six weeks, we are very pleased with our AirHead-brand composting toilet. It is still a little strange not to have to flush anything. If we lived aboard full-time, I'm sure we would be completely used to not flushing by now.