The Toilet That Will Change the World!

DryFlush Toilet

by Kristina Von Kroug

Republished from http://freerangequest.wordpress.com/

Living full-time on the road and in the woods has put our survive and thrive priorities up front – instead of paying someone else to take care of our needs, the basics take up a good chunk of our time.

Shelter, food and water, hygiene, animal care, and the big one – the bathroom.

Toilets in all of their incarnations symbolize a place of urgency and importance, it is the throne after all.

Our bathroom is a scant 2 ft. x 3 ft. — So you can imagine the challenges we have had building our biddy in a bus!

Go here if you are more interested in an inexpensive composting toilet solution.

We have spent MONTHS researching options for a mobile commode! Everything from Ed Begley’s composting Envirolet toilet, to the more compact/travel versions, like Air Head, and Nature’s Head (which cost over a grand after you get all the proper accessories). One thing we learned from our composting toilet option: Strong odor results from solid waste mingling with urine. Separate the two and the smell is waaaaay limited. We nearly went with the composting option – but since we are not stationery for more than a few days tops, and we use our toilet often, there really wouldn’t be enough time to fully break down the material as compost requires — The smell is limited, but not eliminated.

Range Quest's toilet

We also tried the chemical RV option for awhile and porta potty (which we soon nixed – it’s why most RVs smell the way they do). They are just plain awful to operate or empty — and, in our opinion, are only good for very limited or emergency outdoor use.

We even looked into incinerator toilets (warning, that link goes to a very graphic video explaining how incinerating toilets work)! They leave very little waste, but take a lot of power to run and aren’t the safest option for a traveler in motion.

(See also: Our travel tips and galleries on HoityToilets.com)

Thanks to the DryFlush waterless, compact, travel toilet, we have been able to go three-plus months on the road so far without any smells, leaks, or awkwardness! It also costs half what a compact composting toilet will set you back.

DryFlush Toilet

The DryFlush is a space-aged emerging technology perfect for our small bathroom space in A Little Further. The unit is compact, yet the seat size is standard. The DryFlush toilet flushes via an electrically charged battery that can be charged via any average 120v outlet. We charge it by plugging it in to an extension cord once a month (we have gone longer, but if you let the battery sink too low, we have found that the unit uses more power and cartridge resources — so charge when you can!). There is also a solar option!

Once you’ve done your biz, you hit the button and listen for the swirl – the device sucks the air out of the chamber, shrink wraps the waste, then compacts it into the bottom half of the unit, where it is stowed inside of a larger bag that, once full up, you simply pull out (without having to see, touch or smell anything offensive!) and dispose of in a trash bin (no awkward moments at a dump station or rest stop!).

There is seriously NO ODOR. AT. ALL. And you don’t need to cut a hole to vent it out of your vehicle!

Check out a video of exactly how this revolutionary toilet works!

There’s been no leakage and aside from the twinge of guilt for taking up landfill space (the DryFlush company is currently developing a biodegradable/compostable option!) the unit has saved us many painful cold, late night trips to the woods or the restroom.

Our only criticisms of the unit is that a little extra TP is needed to soak up the liquid as the unit gets fuller to avoid being forced out with the air — but the positive is that you can use any type of toilet paper, unlike in a typical chemical or enzyme plumbing system found in most RVs that require special toilet tissue that is expensive and not too skin-friendly. Also, the cost of the cartridges that hold your waste can be steep for a full-time user, but this company is relatively new, and we have been told that in addition to the biodegradable solutions they are working on, they are also redesigning their cartridges to be more affordable, since they are a disposable item. Our suggestion to DryFlush: nix the plastic and try a fabricated (perhaps coated?), recycled cardboard for the ring!

The DryFlush is a truly incredible invention that can solve so many problems for travelers, disadvantaged areas with poor plumbing and sanitary conditions, military units, off-grid homes, boaters, ice fishers, you name it!

The DryFlush retails for $420 at this time and comes with one battery and one refill installed. Three refill bags retail for $49.95.

Until we land and are able to build out our ultimate dream bathroom – the DryFlush is our choice for the road!

best travel toilet

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Barbara - April 24, 2014 Reply

Great information!
Thanks for sharing. I really like the oderless option. So many great points especially for tiny spaces.

Larry - April 24, 2014 Reply

Trash bin? Seriously?

jc - April 24, 2014 Reply

I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to dump human waste in the trash. it will never break down wrapped in plastic.

    Kristina - April 24, 2014 Reply

    It’s no more eco-unfriendly than a chemical RV toilet — In fact, it’s more eco friendly, and as the article mentions, they are coming out with a totally biodegradable option, this has been more of a prototype to figure out the demand and mechanisms; it’s very new! Dumping human waster is not illegal — it’s just like dumping the contents of a diaper genie. And soon it will be even better, it will be like a composting toilet, but without the odor and wait time.

      Dorothy - April 29, 2014 Reply

      Putting human waste in the garbage is illegal in my city. Technically the solids from disposable diapers are supposed to be emptied into the toilet before putting them in the trash.

      RV toilet tanks are emptied into the waste water system, just like a home toilet.

    Michelle Rhodes - April 28, 2014 Reply

    While disposing of the contained waste is not the most environmentally ideal, it is not quite as dramatic as some of these comments illustrate. How many of you have used or heard of disposable diapers???

Joy - April 24, 2014 Reply

OMG…they shouldn’t even be thinking about marketing this , untill they have bio-degradable bags for it. As is..this is just gross.

    Yojimbo - April 24, 2014 Reply

    Agree.

    Irresponsible of Kent to give a product placement like this uncritical play.

    A truly biodegradable option is the only ethical solution.

      Kristina - April 24, 2014 Reply

      It’s no more eco-unfriendly than a chemical RV toilet — In fact, it’s more eco friendly, and as the article mentions, they are coming out with a totally biodegradable option soon. Dumping human waste is not illegal — it’s just like dumping the contents of a diaper genie.

      RedShirtGuy - May 16, 2014 Reply

      @YOJIMBO: You are the “critical play.” Breathe.

Gloria House - April 24, 2014 Reply

Hey! I don’t get the prob-they let me dump dog poop in the regular trash?

    Kristina - April 24, 2014 Reply

    Exactly, and most dog poo bags are made of a corn-based, biodegradable film (better and cleaner than tossing a baby diaper) — this is what they are working on for the Dry Flush.

      Thomas - April 24, 2014 Reply

      Biodegradable bags go into the dump, where they will sit with boxes, bottles, construction waste, candy wrappers, lipstick dispensers and old TV sets. It makes us happy to think they will be planted into the ground somewhere, where they will gently decompose into the earth… but sorry, no, that never happens. Biodegradable bags serve their purpose, which is to make us feel better about ourselves. The fact is all our garbage goes into a pit, or is piled high into a mountain. Someday earth will be piled over it and the area will be called a park or a sledding hill or a gold course. But the bags will still be there, crushed down with all the other garbage, for a very long time.

        Tim - April 24, 2014 Reply

        Agreed!

        Christopher Stoney - April 25, 2014 Reply

        Don’t forget that eventually, long after they are filled and covered with earth, our dumps will become archeological sites through which our descendants will sift for clues about our ‘ancient’ civilization.

        Maria - May 30, 2014 Reply

        What about recycling all that stuff you mentioned?

Philip Taccetta - April 24, 2014 Reply

Battery powered? Mechanical device? $50 refills? I don’t think so – not for me anyway. A urine diverting toilet using biodegradable bags – simple, efficient.

    Kristina - April 24, 2014 Reply

    The refills are $15. It’s no more eco-unfriendly than a chemical RV toilet — In fact, it’s more eco friendly, and as the article mentions, they are coming out with a totally biodegradable option soon — this is the goal — it’s the technology, odorless design, and off-grid applications that are exciting here. This prototype comes from a very new company. The battery is solar powered, or it can be plugged in to charge unlike a typical RV chemical toilet.

Tabitha - April 24, 2014 Reply

If it’s illegal to dump human waste in the trash, then why do we wrap our babies in disposable diapers made with plastic that doesn’t break down?

Ken - April 24, 2014 Reply

You would thin that here on Tiny House Blog, they wouldn’t be pushing such an eco unfriendly item as this. Sealed in plastic? Then in more plastic? Then to be dumped into the trash, where it will be handled by unknowing trash people? And dumped into a landfill somewhere where it will never break down. I think this is a really bad idea!

    Kristina - April 24, 2014 Reply

    It’s no more eco-unfriendly than a chemical RV toilet — In fact, it’s more eco friendly, and as the article mentions, they are coming out with a totally biodegradable option soon. Dumping human waster is not illegal — it’s just like dumping the contents of a diaper genie.

MMA - April 24, 2014 Reply

It reminds me a bit of the Diaper Genie that I had when my son was an infant. That thing worked pretty well.

    Kay W - April 24, 2014 Reply

    Exactly – adult sized diaper genie. 🙂 Room for improvement, but a great start!

Gabriella - April 24, 2014 Reply

Being a bit obsessed with the whole toilet in tiny house thing (you never appreciate the vital importance of a toilet until your composting toilet system doesn’t work), I wanted to jump in to say that we have researched every single toilet option out there and tried a couple ourselves, and that we have FINALLY found our long term solution, the Separett!! Urine diverter, no odor, easy install, solids go into biodegradable plastic bag, no mechanical parts, and it looks like a pretty darn normal toilet. It’s a big financial investment but worth every penny as it will last us for years and years.

    Ben - April 24, 2014 Reply

    I must Agree with Gab, I have been using a Separett for about 3 years now and find it perfect for my house. I use cheap degradable bags and dispose in a composting way. Simple, no crazy setup and completely clean. I think the “keep it simple” strategy works best when it comes to waterless composting toilets.

      Tim - April 24, 2014 Reply

      That sounds like a viable solution as long as the solid waste is composted properly and not just thrown into a landfill site.

        JJ - April 27, 2014 Reply

        I’ve been reading this list of responses to the article and I’m a bit confused by this indignation at the thought human waste ends up in a landfill. I’m not sure if everybody is aware that poop flushed down a municipal system has a good chance of ending up in a landfill… which is nothing more than a giant plastic wrapped hole in the ground. So, just not seeing the issue with this.

        Is it the be all, end all for toilets? No, I don’t think so. I think everybody failed to read the specific use case that the author was presenting. There is no true composting for somebody on the move. The space requirement is about six square feet. They do not like the smell of poo in their home, which is always on the move. For what they are looking for this solution looks very effective.

          Hollymaren - April 27, 2014 Reply

          I love this whole concept. I went to the website and found out that it only holds 15 uses before it should be replaced. Sort of disappointed in that number, as that would only last a couple of days on the move in our trailer.
          Maybe volume could be improved on the bags. Not sure how this might work, however.
          I still would consider this above all other options.

    Philip Taccetta - April 26, 2014 Reply

    Hi Gabriella! I totally agree! After living with a “composting toilet” for many years, we went with a Separett. It has worked flawlessly for for several years now. I believe that there are over 200,000 in use in Scandinavia! I’ve posted on this several times before – seems like most people don’t want to research something before giving it a try…
    The composter was bad enough to clean out – I wouldn’t want to attempt a fix on a “mechanical poop wrapper” in the toilet described – and $50 for refills – no way!

Zach - April 24, 2014 Reply

I would have no problem with this if:

1. Biodegradable and based on recycled products for the materials. That way I can continue to operate in the “BTM” protocol – “back to nature.”

2. Cost of cartridge needs to be drastically reduced. I’ll go outside before I pay that much! And I still don’t agree with tossing in the trash – compost or burn it.

There needs to be some serious rethink to this “device” – but at least it’s not as expensive!

    Yojimbo - April 24, 2014 Reply

    Bingo.

    Nikki - May 8, 2014 Reply

    Not sure that all neighborhoods would allow a burn. Ours certainly would not. I personally like the idea for use in a small moving home. If that home becomes permanent, then these people would probably be looking at something totally different, I would think.

Peter - April 24, 2014 Reply

This might be convenient and odourless, but it’s very envionmentally unfriendly to seal human waste in plastic and send it to the local landfill site where it will sit undecomposed for eternity.

    Kristina - April 24, 2014 Reply

    As the article mentions, they are coming out with a fully biodegradable option… The technology, solar power options, odorless design and water-saving/chemical-free option is what’s exciting here.

renee - April 24, 2014 Reply

Glad people are coming up with different solutions, but the throwing away in plastic bags bothers me. As does putting diapers and dog doo in the trash (even though EVERYONE does this)

    Kristina - April 24, 2014 Reply

    Most dog doo bags are made from the same biodegradable “plastic” that is used for produce at many organic markets (typically a corn or soy based film) — This is what is in the works at this Dry-Flush company. If the waste is “contained” (even in a compostable container) it is legal: think diapers, feminine hygiene products, diaper genie bags, adult diapers, etc. 🙂

Arizona - April 24, 2014 Reply

Thank you so much for sharing! Perfect timing!

Holly - April 24, 2014 Reply

If you read the FAQs from the company, waste IS allowed in landfills as long as it is contained in plastic. I think this toilet looks like a reasonable alternative to those ‘smelly’ RV toilets.

    Kristina - April 24, 2014 Reply

    Just like dumping the contents of a diaper genie! The company told us a biodegradable version is in the works, they are very new and this was the first version (it works great, and we love that it is odorless and waterless and runs on solar or a plug-in rechargeable battery…. And no, I do not work for them 🙂

      Schwenk - April 28, 2014 Reply

      ..Are you sure you’re not working for them?
      Because scrolling down the comment section, I see the exact same comment from you posted under a lot of peoples opinions.
      Get a life.

        Mark A - May 4, 2014 Reply

        Yea, that’s because it’s her article and she’s trying to respond to comments.

        Telling her to get a life was unkind and unwarranted.

        Maria - May 30, 2014 Reply

        Maybe she has to repeat it over and over bacause people didn’t actually read the article. No need to be rude. She’s trying to help. I thought Tiny House people were nicer. Nicer than you.

hunter - April 24, 2014 Reply

I don’t think they are speaking of the USA. where everything seems illegal. Just the words used say’s not American English. so take it for what it is information. thanks for the great story.

Wendy - April 24, 2014 Reply

It’s an interesting concept- but I also wonder about the legality of dumping human waste in a garbage can. Also wonder if it is legal in California, where for some stupid reason composting toilets are not (although a LOT of off-grid people still have them). These are way cheaper than composting toilets, which can cost several thousand dollars.
Anyway- as I said, it’s an interesting concept and hopefully they will make improvements that address the questions people have raised.

memyselfandi - April 24, 2014 Reply

With biodegradable bags and a helping of “Poo Powder” (trademarked), this might be a reasonable option. But, for the price, I’ll keep using my bucket with biodegradable bags and Poo Powder. Poo Powder is just polyacrylamide powder. With water, it forms a gel. It is used in diapers. The biodegradable bag and contents are legal to dispose in a landfill in the U.S. The waste, both liquid and solid, are odorless.

Patty sullivan - April 24, 2014 Reply

I bought one for my airstream trailer and am very happy. I use the trailer as a guest cottage. It is totally legal to wrap human waste and put in trash just like we do with dog poop and baby poop. Glad they are working pm biodegradable

chip - April 24, 2014 Reply

I think we will stick with our sawdust mulched, composting bucket system. Low odor(unless urine is insufficiently covered in the night), and easy to maintain, with free sawdust from a local mill. Dumping buckets into a double composting bin, to be used as mulch and compost next year. Have used this system for seven off-grid years, and no complaints, from visitors or the county.

    Andrea - April 24, 2014 Reply

    Chip- my hubby and I are building a bucket compost toilet and compost bin system like yours (humanure handbook, right?). I’d like to get some pointers from you if you don’t mind. My email is kewlcop@yahoo.com. Hope to hear from you- Andrea

      Philip Taccetta - April 26, 2014 Reply

      It seems like I’m always on here advocating Separett Urine diverting toilets. The same site that sells them also has fairly inexpensive urine diverting “seats” – you can build your own – much cheaper. Eliminating urine from the equation makes a bucket system much more viable. Adding a .2W “muffin fan” to vent to the outside makes it virtually odor free! I believe it would be a perfect option for small/tiny house living!

    Tim - April 24, 2014 Reply

    Now you’re talking! 🙂

DryFlush Toilet - April 24, 2014 Reply

[…] tiny houses. What’s great is that it’s 100% odorless and uses no chemicals or whatever. Here’s a great review of the DryFlush over at Tiny House […]

Rebecca - April 24, 2014 Reply

I love the round of horror at using plastic bags from folks who live eat and sleep in plastic. Better use of plastic than most. I encourage the manufacturer in its search for a biodegradable alternative without the melodrama.

    Christopher Stoney - April 25, 2014 Reply

    Hey, every plastic bag that is buried in a landfill is fossil-fuel carbon that does NOT end up as CO2 in the atmosphere. Plastic in landfills is Carbon Sequestration!

DeWhit - April 24, 2014 Reply

Why not go one step further and market the bags of poop as human compost ?

Maybe use different colored bags and charge a premium for vegan poop, grad student poop, etc.

Maybe offer an online discount for large orders of fresh bagged poop. Postal poop ?

Janet Giroux - April 24, 2014 Reply

Hello
Nobody talks about bugs and rodents with these things. I have heard that bugs are a big problem with composting toilets what about with the dry flush?

    Philip Taccetta - April 26, 2014 Reply

    I can’t believe I’ve spent so much time talking about poop! Having lived with a “composting” toilet for many years, with many calls to the manufacturer, using all the correct products, every 6 weeks we’d have a hatching of tiny flies. Tried everything, including totally emptying and cleaning out the entire unit – not a pleasant job! Switching to the Separett was the best thing I’ve done. No, I’m not affiliated with them in any way – just a satisfied customer. I’ve made a couple of other reply’s on this today, and several in the past. Research!

tinyhousetom - April 24, 2014 Reply

“Approximately 15-17 flushes/refill” – from the manufacturer’s website.

Or in other words a dollar a use.

Biodegradable plastics often require very specific conditions to degrade. They act like regular plastic in landfill.

Niche market product but not a world changer.

Rick Negus - April 24, 2014 Reply

$50 for three refills at 15-17 flushes per refill works out to about a dollar every time you go potty

This is the razor model, sell toilet cheap, refills very expensive. It would not take long to pay for one of the good composting ones and no dumping of waste in the trash bin

Donatella - April 24, 2014 Reply

I’m thinking what would work is a separate bucket with a toilet seat for peeing, and a composting system of some kind (sans plastic) for poop; water down the pee and add it to flower gardens and trees as fertilizer along with all gray water from the house, and it would be nice to be able to burn the dried poop as a power or heat source, from there to be used as bacteria-free compost. Perhaps the poop could be used to produce electricity which runs something else? This problem is really only a problem in high-density living situations like cities, not out in the country where most tiny homes are likely to be based. Geez, sometimes I miss my grandmother’s two seater outhouse. It was cold in the wintertime but you sure knew you were alive out there… 🙂

david head - April 24, 2014 Reply

Kristina, it sounds like a wonderful product, and you sound so enthusiastic. Thanks for sharing.

Heather - April 24, 2014 Reply

Thank you for posting. I appreciate reading about toilet options that are comfy and don’t stink (eco-friendly or not).

alice h - April 24, 2014 Reply

This is a good option for a home that’s always on the move without access to a composting site and especially good for urban stealth camping. I’m happy with my cheapie sawdust bucket system but I can see where this has it’s place. May not be the most eco friendly option but it isn’t the worst either. I’d seriously consider it if the prices were a lot lower.

    emme - April 30, 2014 Reply

    Does your sawdust bucket work well on the road? I’ve always been concerned about spills. Plus, where do you empty it on the road?

      alice h - May 5, 2014 Reply

      I’m not currently on the road, my setup is permanent so I have a dedicated composting spot. When it was used in a mobile situation I used to dump the contents in outhouses at campsites or at various places I was visiting, either in their outhouse or their toilet compost pile. I used a much smaller bucket then, not a 5 gallon, and used campsite toilets rather than the sawdust toilet most of the time. It was mainly for emergencies and night time. Some people also dispose of bagged up soiled sawdust in garbage cans. The poo powder stuff is handy but not exactly cheap either. http://www.cleanwaste.com/poo-powder-waste-treatment

      The sawdust toilet can be odour free with the right setup but you definitely want a tight fitting lid while travelling. Also good to secure it well to keep it from tipping over and spilling. I found it worked best if you emptied it before the day’s travel. I wouldn’t just dig a hole and bury the stuff because you may not be familiar with the local water situation and could risk contaminating the water table or a nearby well.

The portable DryFlush toilet by Kristina Von Kroug | Home Harmonizing - April 24, 2014 Reply

[…] For more details on the DryFlush, you can check out the project at Tiny House Blog. […]

Jay Brooke - April 25, 2014 Reply

I think it’s a great idea. I’ve had RV’s and the toilets system is the nastiest!

As for all of the comments about plastic in the landfill , REALLY? I know none of use live a completely Earth Friendly lifestyle. We drive cars and trucks and at least ride in them. I don’t think I need to go any farther.

tj - April 25, 2014 Reply

And what happens when something breaks down? Then you are left peeing and pooping in something not so easy to empty that will get really smelly fast.
I can see this working if you are extremely upset by your excretions but I think you would have to be prepared for something truly disgusting in the event of a leak or break in the plastic.
We have experience with a non separating composting toilet. It was NOT good. I realize this is different but I am thinking ahead to the inevitable, when it does not work…..
I think I will stick to the separating,composting* toilet that we have been using full time for the last year. It has the option of a secondary containment for the poop so it has time to actually compost or be disposed of. After one year we have not gotten around to venting it due to the fact that there is so little smell. Pricing is similar to this one without needing to purchase refills.
A little more work perhaps but a much more eco friendly and simple design. Ours is a C-Head. Not affiliated with them just a satisfied customer.

*none of them really compost unless you leave them unused for long periods,but that is the word used to describe most of the waterless toilets out there.

The Toilet That Will Change the World! - April 25, 2014 Reply

[…] choice of toilet is a major concern. They describe the one they chose in the Tiny House Blog as The toilet that will change the world. It is called the DryFlush, ” a space-aged emerging technology perfect for our small bathroom […]

David Remus - April 25, 2014 Reply

Disposing of quantities human waste into a regular landfill is unwise and illegal in many places. Just ask a park ranger when you are camping somewhere, ‘OK if just dump my big bag of ‘****’ in the trash can you’re unloading?’ and see what happens.

The cost of the bags far outweigh the long term costs of a composting toilet. Chemical waste from RV toilets is later processed at regular sewage treatment plants, it isn’t just dumped somewhere. There are good reasons we don’t just throw all of our human waste into a landfill.

A poor idea. It’s a very shortsighted solution to a very long term problem.

Hollymaren - April 25, 2014 Reply

I love this idea! We are redoing our vintage Airstream and have been looking at options for toilets. This is it. I will probably wait till the biodegradable bags are available, but this is so much better than hooking up sewer hoses and dumping stations.

Hank - April 26, 2014 Reply

This is a great article. Thank you for the information. I will be watching as this company develops its products. What they have done so far is definitely an advance in the art (of toiletry). It looks better in many ways than most of what else is out there.
I am building my small house next year (2015), and it has always been an issue as to what toilet to use. I don’t want lingering smell; I don’t want to pollute the environment; I don’t want yuck; I don’t want something that requires extensive restructuring connections (like piping through the wall or a chimney vent through the roof); I don’t want something that requires more electricity than the sun and wind could give me; I don’t want something that my visiting friends and family will be afraid of; and I want to be able to use my favorite bum-friendly toilet paper. It appears that we cannot have it all, but I have to say, at the end of the day, after I research to death every system I come across, I still think that the humanure system is worth the first try.
Regarding Dry-Flush: With a few tweaks by the manufacturer (cost of replacement bags, composting issues . . . both of which are deal-breakers for me) though, I think that this system in the future might be good for the second try. I will wait and watch. I also really like how the company seems to be trying to do something and seems to recognize the issues that the other toilet manufacturers have basically made us live with for too long.

Maria - April 26, 2014 Reply

Thanks for your article.

I have a couple questions for anyone. It sounds like from the comments that we could replace the manufacturer’s non bio bags with our own biodegradable ones? Also, how many uses do you get before you have to throw the bagged poop away (or compost if in a bio bag)?

thanks so much!
Maria

Claudia - April 27, 2014 Reply

It’s a really promising concept, as long as they follow through with developing biodegradable cartridges. However, I also hope they find ways to manufactures cartridges more cheaply — at about a dollar per use, it’s currently quite an expensive option!

Just an Idea - April 27, 2014 Reply

Thanks for the post, Kent. To the readers who are outraged at this option — I am all for environmental conservation and will eagerly await the biodegradable bags.

But, I thought this site was also about tiny living. This is seems to be a good option. While I’ve been working on plans for a tiny home since 2006, I’m not willing using a portable toilet that takes effort to separate urine from feces — I want to down-size, but am definitely a fan of convenience and feel that this is not an all-or-nothing venture. There will be compromises along the way. You can turn more people off to the whole idea of tiny living by demanding everyone subscribe to the exact same ‘level’ of asceticism. I like tiny, but with convenience, style, and luxury — and that’s okay. If that can all be done off-grid and with zero environmental impact, even better. But, I like having a dishwasher and in-home laundry, etc.

Kudos to Kent for at least showing us what’s out there. I’ll look forward them developing less expensive biodegradable options (don’t throw the baby out with the prototype). Thanks!

David Lacey - April 27, 2014 Reply

The Nature’s Head toilet is the perfect choice I think. It is compact and only requires a small 12v battery and tiny solar panel to run a vent fan. Mine has run for 2 years and no issues whatsoever. The Stuff eventually can be put in the garden, but that will be a very long time as it composts to nothing.

The last time I pooped in a plastic bag……..well, that was a very long time ago!

tony - April 27, 2014 Reply

This is no way an advance on the Earth Closet, invented by the Rev W H Moule in the mid 19C. This consisted of a container into which dry topsoil was sprinkled on the faeces which could be used to fertilise the soil after decomposition. Plastic bags in landfill, burying potential fertiliser? Surely we can do better.

Adina Hirschmann - April 27, 2014 Reply

Biodegradable bags or not, human waste does not belong with regular trash. There is a reason why the majority of households have flush toilets—many bacterial diseases are spread through feces and urine, especially in underdeveloped countries that don’t have proper sanitation. A single bout of the “runs” could infect a whole family. I would not want to be a worker handling such a thing at a garbage dump. Chemical toilets have disinfectants that break down the bacteria before the holding tank is emptied, at a facility meant for this purpose, to eventually end up at a regular treatment plant. There are also recirculating toilets that use fresh water. Having traveled with my folks in RVs that use both, I would much prefer to flush the regular way.

Hu - April 27, 2014 Reply

I spend a fair amount of time in my Motorhome for leisure. from day one I saved up the plastic grocery bags and when nature called for a sit down trip to the potty I stretched the plastic bag over the toilet, proceeded with business as usual, any time of toilet paper will due, then tie up the plastic bag and toss in a plastic pail with a tight lid. when dropping off trash out it goes.

my black water only has liquid waste and dumping the rig is so simple.

    DeWhit - April 30, 2014 Reply

    Why would it be more of a chore to empty the solid waste thru the same system the motor home was built with ?

    I worked in several Smokey Mountain campgrounds and trail centers that were serviced by us as employees of the national park service and bags of feces were disgusting to deal with.
    I hope you aren’t one of the RV and trailer crowd that empties their holding tanks in the night or early morn before leaving sites.

Teri - April 27, 2014 Reply

Kristina, thank you so much for your review! I found DryFlush a looong time ago and pinned it immediately on my Tiny House pinterest board http://www.pinterest.com/terijanefoster/teri-s-tiny-house/. I first loved the shape (doesn’t look like a spaceship ready to take off) and the simplicity. It was fun watching their “flushing” over and over on their website. And like you, I will move my TH about once a year so composting isn’t an option for me. I was going to order one early just to see how I could work around the bag issue and plastic ring…hope they are successful reconsidering these materials. I was going to see if I can toss some sawdust on top of poop to minimize the “flush” after each use. Do you think that’s a viable idea? After I build my TH I plan on taking my DryFlush with me tent camping, so I love the portability. It’s great to find someone who loves it as much as I think I do! Thanks again for your article! (P.S. don’t let the crabby people get you down 🙂

Therin - April 28, 2014 Reply

I’m thinking also, if each cartridge holds 15 to 17 flushes worth of urine and poo, how heavy is that bag to lift out for someone with a bad back or perhaps a shoulder injury ? Not to mention if you accidently dropped it in your tiny house. Just wonderin !

Wendy - April 28, 2014 Reply

Okay, honestly folks here, how many of you men simply step outside when nature calls? “Urine diverter”? I have one…it’s called “the bushes”. It may not be strictly legal, but unless you are in a public or urban setting- why not compost directly in the wild? Why store urine? Isn’t urea a component in many fertilizers? I have a studio in the woods that I use on occasion as a guest house. There is no plumbing. In case nature calls during the night and my guests don’t feel like hiking up to the house to use the facilities, I have a five gallon bucket with a toilet seat and lid discretely in the studio for the ladies- the men are invited to “step outside” and let it fly. Of course if it is anything serious, I ask them to come into the house and use the flush toilet. So far it has worked great.
Obviously this wouldn’t work on a permanent basis but if you’re talking about a traveling toilet- seriously- don’t you just step outside if you can discretely do so?

    Philip Taccetta - April 29, 2014 Reply

    I find some of these comments hard to believe!” I’m not willing using a portable toilet that takes effort to separate urine from feces”.”If that can all be done off-grid and with zero environmental impact, even better. But, I like having a dishwasher and in-home laundry, etc.”I’m in a passive solar adobe – yesterday began my 34th year off grid. The outhouse was fine for me, in fact I miss it! My wife was happier with indoor facilities. Already talked about our composter – yuck! The urine from my Separett goes to a “French Drain”. If I built a house that had a way to send the urine to a container that was accessible, I would collect, dilute, and use the urine for gardening.(peeing outside is one of the best parts of living in the country -for guys anyway) A dishwasher? Really? In a “tiny”or even small house? Water is a MAJOR issue – do the dishes for 1 or 2 people in the sink! I do have a Staber washing machine. Made in USA, energy and water efficient. Passive solar dryer. (AKA “clothesline”)
    Back to “Dry Flush”- I find it hard to believe that it is that odorless! The waste is in “the bag” until the”paperwork” is done. What prevents the “odor” from escaping? On the Separett, the little .2W “muffin fan” that was originally in the vent for the composter, prevents odor from escaping. If one walks into the bathroom it’s impossible to tell if someone just combed their hair, or just took a dump! My last comment on this thread….

emme - April 30, 2014 Reply

So many people commenting here seemed to have missed one key point: this isn’t for stationery tiny homes, but RVs. Simple bucket composting toilets are great if you have some place to compost. What do you do though when your home frequently travels down a highway and you move on to a new place several times a month? I’ve been looking for an option for late night trips that can be used in a stealth van. I don’t want to cut holes for a vent (no longer stealth then) and don’t want to worry about spills. Anyone have a better idea than this one?

    DeWhit - May 2, 2014 Reply

    There was a time when many of us travelling used a five gallon paint bucket with a snap on lid that were everywhere and set them inside a simple three sided fruit crate box and snapped the lid back on after use. Some boxes went fancy with a seat attached.

    After a couple days of filling your bucket, you go dig a two-three foot hole with your little fox hole military shovel that everyone seemed to have a couple of and pour your poop into mother earth and cover. swish a little dirt and bleach around and put the lid back on for a new load.

    It wasn’t technical and it wasn’t fancy and it worked each and every time and nothing had to be handled beside the bucket. Of course, you had to dig a hole and fill it back in, but a little labor was not an issue. You also dug and turned your firepit then too, but that was just common courtesy also.

    People have been taking a dump for years and disposing responsibly, so all the handwringing over toilet matters is a bit overblown.

    Even small homes or trailers/campers/cabins can have a small septic system dug that will handle wastes easily if one is not opposed to a bit of physical labor.

    Anything is better than putting bags of crap in garbage cans. How can anyone claim to have any respect for their fellow man doing such a thing ?

Mark Kenney - May 3, 2014 Reply

Looks like a version of the PACTO toilet. Good to see a new option!

di - May 10, 2014 Reply

I like the simple space-saving style.

Sandy Graves - June 23, 2014 Reply

This is a great discussion about waste management in a limited space but there is a lot of misinformation and opinion to wade through. Someone has mentioned the C-Head and I am the designer and manufacturer of this product. I would be glad to answer questions regarding waste management in general and the C-Head specifically with respect to tiny houses or any other application with the same problems. I can gladly answer questions about the ethics and methods of your waste management, how a urine diverting composting system works exactly and I can address installation issues. I truly believe that the urine diverting composting toilet is the wave of the future in so many areas.

    Kerry - December 16, 2014 Reply

    Have a question regarding the dryflush toilet. We can’t afford to put a bathroom on main floor of our house. It will be hard for my husband to get upstairs to the bathroom so I was looking into this toilet to put in the sunroom off of the kitchen. Bad idea, so-so idea or good idea?

      Sandy Graves - August 12, 2015 Reply

      There is no reason that you couldn’t do that with a BoonJon (google it). I would get a wood grain model so that it looks like furniture. You don’t need to vent the BoonJon and there is no smell when closed and only a brief basement smell while using it.

      Jessica - July 20, 2016 Reply

      BUY A BUCKET AND SOME GARBAGE BAGS

      I purchased this product and would like to share my experience……here are the problems and claims made by Laveo I recently purchased a Dry-Flush toilet through Home Depot, we were excited about all the info and it looked like a great fit for our van. However we have begun using it and have been rather un satisfied with the results. My complaints: – When liquids are “flushed” sometimes they are not completely removed thus a second flush is needed, this is costly. -Once the liquids are removed they seep back up into the bowl, they also combine with solids and make “sewage” this smell is not pleasant. -I have been using your refills with the provided black plastic bags and noticed that the silver mylar liners had leaked out into the bag, most recently both bags leaked. This left me with a drum full of waste. This is exactly the reason I got this product, to avoid having to handle and dispose of waste directly. I have contacted the source and the manufacturer. The manufacturer is unwilling to do anything other than have me send this unit in to be “evaluated” they offered no clear solution other than they will look at it. I want a refund as this product was falsely advertised. At this point I am out $700 for an un useable toilet that I feel is a flawed design, do not be fooled by the claims that this product is “odor free” or that you will not come into contact with sewage. Both of these unpleasant things are in your future if you purchase this product. Anyone with questions I would be happy to help.

S. Sloan - July 19, 2014 Reply

It’s a Litter Locker for people! I don’t have to see it to know it will work – I use a Litter Locker for my cat’s litter, and it does this exact same thing (only with a hand crank). No smell, empty it when full. I’m impressed!

mark plum - September 10, 2014 Reply

i just bought an ecojohn for my cabin in big bear, california. an incinerating toilet. man i love this thing. a little pricey at $3,995 but worth it. works perfect and very sturdy. these are supplied to the us army and marine corp. i have the propane model that also uses a small amount of electricty. we use the cabin about twice a month and usually it’s four of us. works like a charm. i was surprised by no odor. i really thought that would be a problem. anybody else have one??

    roxanna - November 26, 2014 Reply

    I too live in BBC, restoring a small vintage trailer, and developing a small garden nursery using off the grid tech…would like to connect. Roxanna

Nerida - October 6, 2014 Reply

I cant get my head around a plastic bag full of human waste, even if wrapped in plastic – because it wont stay that way for long, being thrown in a garbage bin and going untreated to landfill! Does anyone else have a problem with this?

This would not be acceptable where I live.

It does look like a nice tidy unit but I think I will go the composting route even though i dont like the look of them or an incinerator type.

    Brenda - February 21, 2015 Reply

    What’s the difference from a diaper genie. They have been out for years. Tons of households use them everyday. They go into landfills with the diapers that are not good either.

    Tania thorn - April 26, 2015 Reply

    I agree! I used to live on a boat so I get the need to think about these things, but poo in plastic bags in landfill? Ugh! Composting toilets way to go!

    Teresa - June 3, 2015 Reply

    Uh… how many people have pets and put their poop, untreated, in plastic bags and put them in landfills? Most people who will use something like this DON’T have pets, so what is the difference, really?

      Rebecca - April 10, 2016 Reply

      What’s the difference? There is none which is terrible. No form of sending feces in plastic bags to the dump is ideal for the environment. Composting is the natural, sustainable way to go. Burning is an interesting thought, but incinerating toilets use so much energy.

    vicki - September 29, 2015 Reply

    Watch a video on composting toilet questions by Gone with the Wynns. The media used in it helps breakdown waste materials. It’s like a composting bed in your garden.
    Once broke down, there is no harmful bacteria. It then can either be dumped in your garden or disposed of in trash container.
    I would guess where you live compost is ok for gardening.

gloria - November 6, 2014 Reply

How long do the cartridges last?

    Kristin - November 15, 2014 Reply

    17 flushes. We found out the hard way while staying in a tiny guest house. Lol.

Angela - November 15, 2014 Reply

I could not use a product that prioritizes convenience over the environment. I hope the manufacturers are working hard on a biodegradable option.

Richard Brunt - November 20, 2014 Reply

I don’t think that is a very ecologically minded way to go. Untreated poop in a landfill (that bag will quickly break, by the way) is a health risk to sanitation worker and anyone else that comes upon it. It would also likely be illegal in some areas (like Canada). Why not just poop in a plastic bag then? Composting toilets are a better idea, and if cost is the big issue then you can build your own, as I detail on my site. http://sustainable-solutions.info/diy-composting-toilet/

    Tania thorn - April 26, 2015 Reply

    I completely agree! Made my hair curl;-) I’ll check out your diy composting alternative 🙂

Richard Brunt - November 20, 2014 Reply

May I also add that replacement cartridges are $55 for 3. Each cartridge is good for 15-17 flushes. So you definitely can’t flush after each pee – that would get expensive quickly. Two people, flushing only for solids, will go through 2 cartridges per month. That is $440 per year! In 10 years, almost $5000 on toilet cartridges. Composting toilets have practically zero operating costs.

    Stephanie - April 3, 2015 Reply

    Your calculations are based off of 10 years. This company is new and growing. Chances of them still charging that amount even in a half a year from now is not very likely. Just keep an eye on the product if it’s tickling your fancy future tiny home builders. Compost toilets still a great idea.

crittergarden - January 12, 2015 Reply

This seems like an AD! Sounds perfect. I’ll have to see someone else promoting it before I’ll believe it wasn’t written by the marketing team!

    Kent Griswold - January 12, 2015 Reply

    It is an ad for Hari’s workshop, how else would you learn about it?

Brad - February 18, 2015 Reply

There is an error here. It says composting toilets reduce but do not eliminate odor. This is 100% false. I’ve used several composting toilets, including the Airhead and Nature’s Head, and there is absolutely no odor whatsoever. The toilet featured is much more expensive in the long run because of the bags. Plus you are creating garbage, and contributing to the problem instead of helping solve it. If you can’t afford a compost toilet then build one, but don’t use this wasteful and expensive contraption!

    Amber - October 31, 2015 Reply

    I completely agree with Brad. I live full-time in my Airstream, & I have had my Nature’s Head toilet installed for nearly a year now. There is no odor whatsoever. It’s fantastic!

      Ben Pahlow - November 30, 2015 Reply

      Almost about to buy a nature’s head compost toliet for Tiny Home. Can you email me so I can ask questions? My wife is freaking out. LOL

Camb-Loos - February 18, 2015 Reply

It looks like a neat and compact toilet but looking how you’ve described it (almost perfect, without smell and all that), it just becomes questionable, you know? And as you said, using it is relatively easy but we wouldn’t go for that knowing that it isn’t very eco-friendly.

Gisele - April 9, 2015 Reply

This toilet just create more garbage to our Earth. It is definitely NOT a smart solution.

Suzanne - April 18, 2015 Reply

Did you know that it is illegal to dump solid human waste into landfills? People do it all the time with diapers even though if you look at the packaging it says to remove and flush the solid waste into the toilet. Furthermore, this is not “off the grid.” Sure you don’t get a water bill but you still have to rely on a manufacturer to supply you with refills and you still need electricity. A composting toilet or an electric incinerator (solar powered) would be truly off the grid.
I just don’t like the idea of putting poopie in a case (biodegradeable or not) and then another larger case and then sending it to the landfill. I don’t think that it’s a tiny “twinge of guilt” that most people feel about this subject.
Finally with a composting toilet eventually you make up for the cost because once you buy/make it you don’t really need anything else if you use a solar option or make one yourself. With this unit you have to perpetually buy these refills… Forever…. Just like your double bagged poopie will be around in that landfill…

samuel - June 14, 2015 Reply

i like to be a business man.

echo59 - August 7, 2015 Reply

i’m late to this party…sorry.
some ?s for everyone:
if the bags were bio would that make a diff? if they were compostable and could just be thrown on the compost heap would that help? if the cost per “flush” was around 5 cents would that work? oh, and if you didn’t need power?
just wondering….

Nick - August 12, 2015 Reply

How could anyone support this terrible toilet? First of all you can get a composting toilet at the same size, if not smaller. I can’t believe the the price on this thing, it is NOT “half the price of a composting toilet. Sure maybe compared to some retail composting toilet models… but I don’t need some fancy machine to stir my poop and look pretty. That’s not even mentioning the operating costs. This is probably somewhat of an upgrade from a conventional toilet but the problem with our society comes from making complex issues out of simple solutions. The average simple composting toilet is effective, has no smell, and does the same thing.

Wxm - August 25, 2015 Reply

I agree with earlier comments. Bad form to discard human waste in a refuse facility. The pathogens in animal waste and human fecal matter are not the same. Diapers in the dump are a travesty for multiple reasons. Let’s work to reduce the mess that we are leaving, not just move it around.

    Tee - September 8, 2015 Reply

    Actually, in Toronto Ontario we have ‘green bins’ in which we can put diapers, pet waste, along with vegetables and other traditionally compostable items. All of it goes into a compost. It’s a great program and would make having this toilet a viable solution.

Anna - August 25, 2015 Reply

It’s a packaging toilet. These have been on the market for decades.
I doubt this is only $420, but perhaps it is. I had an early version of this called the Pacto-San. No one would buy it except crane operators and prisons where they do drug tests. I ultimately did give it to the Boston Building Materials Cooperative.

Carol - September 4, 2015 Reply

We are planning to get a Dry Flush toilet for our motor home. Do we need to get the floor mount too? Thank you.

Trudie - October 19, 2015 Reply

As if there’s not enough diapers filled with poo in land fill, let’s add adult poo as well! This toilet is not ecological.

Claire - October 22, 2015 Reply

Does anyone know if there have been any updates regarding the refill cartridges (less expensive & biodegradable)? It’s been over a year since this post was originally posted.

We are seriously considering getting a composting toilet, but need one that is:
1. affordable
2. not smelly
3. low maintenance cost
4. environmentally friendly

We are considering this one & the Nature’s Head since everyone raves about the Nature’s Head.

    Kent Griswold - October 22, 2015 Reply

    Hi Claire, you will need to contact the company to find out as I don’t have that information. -Kent

    Cory - January 24, 2016 Reply

    Hi Claire,

    The refill cartridges can add up but they are not terribly expensive. At this time, they are not biodegradable but the company is working on a new cartridge that is supposed to address that.

    The nature’s head is a fantastic alternative and will do the job very well. if you need more info on it, call these guys… http://www.offgridandgreen.com/collections/natures-head

    They can give you all the info you ever wanted and then some 🙂

Claire, too - November 9, 2015 Reply

How offers do you change your cartridges? Do you find them hard to find when traveling? Do you stalk up on them? If so, do you find they take up a lot of space?

k - November 16, 2015 Reply

• > “Did you know that it is illegal to dump solid human waste into landfills in the US? People do it all the time with diapers even though if you look at the packaging it says to remove and flush the solid waste into the toilet.” !!!!!
• > “Is it legal to dump human waste in landfills?
Yes! (dumping human waste is legal). All landfills accept human waste to accommodate baby and adult diapers. Standard regulations require that waste be contained in plastic bags. (we are currently working on a biodegradable bagging system)”
• > “Actually, in Toronto Ontario we have ‘green bins’ in which we can put diapers, pet waste, along with vegetables and other traditionally compostable items. All of it goes into a compost. It’s a great program.”
http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-furnishings/toilet-will-change-world/

• > “Thank you for your environmentally sensitive question. It is all right to put disposable adult diapers in the trash that goes to the landfill. Although, most brands are made from mostly biodegradable material, there is still some plastic covering as well as the fumes of human waste. Recent studies have shown that adult disposable diapers are more environmentally safe than the cloth ones due the energy required for frequent laundering.”
https://www.caring.com/questions/adult-diaper-disposal

• > “I called the authorities. Here’s what the EPA and the California Department of Resources had to say about human poop in landfills. The EPA said, “Disposable diapers fall under the category of municipal solid waste, which means the material is safe to be disposed of in a U.S. municipal solid waste landfill.” What’s more: “Modern landfills are well-engineered facilities that are located, designed, operated, and monitored to ensure compliance with federal regulations, which aim to protect the environment from contaminants, which may be present in the solid waste stream.”
and “California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery’s spokesperson, Amy Norris, told me that, indeed, a landfill is a place for non-hazardous waste — but “the contents of a diaper are considered solid waste, not hazardous or medical waste.” Plus, since diaper bags are mixed in with a lot of other trash when it’s part of residential pickup, there’s “not a concentration of a huge amount of human waste at any time.” (Amy Norris has clearly not seen my Diaper Genie.)”
http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/124241/a_law_against_putting_babys

The lies everyone passes around and believes are ridiculous. People don’t bother to learn any facts and then they all chime in with uneducated opinions passing on more lies into the rumor telephone game AKA adult conversation.

FYI – When I was researching for my own land problem solving with the Department in Norwich, Connecticut that manages sewars, I found out that leaching fields actually spread out CHEMICAL AND human waste into your yard every day but ypeople think that is ok!!!!! One laymen friend I spoke to about this said, “They aren’t harmful chemicals.”

“HOW DO SEPTIC TANKS WORK?
In the past, wastewater treatment and disposal facilities for homes with indoor plumbing consisted of buried bottomless containers, or cesspools. Discharge of both solids and liquids to the soils caused the soil pores to clog, and contaminated water entered surface waters and groundwater. Therefore, to protect the soils and reduce public health hazards, septic tanks were installed between the houses and the soil absorption systems. Septic tanks are watertight containers which remove large solids and greases, provide anaerobic digestion of the solids, and storage of the sludge and scum. Septic tanks do not remove large numbers of bacteria and viruses.

Septic tanks are constructed of concrete, bricks, clay, or fiberglass. Baffles are placed within the tank to improve solids settling and prevent the scum layer of lightweight solids, fats and greases from floating out of the tank with the effluent. The settled solids are biologically digested by bacteria which live in environments without air (anaerobic bacteria*). Some of the products of anaerobic digestion are gases, including methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide, which has an odor similar to that of rotten eggs. The gases are vented from the septic tank through the household plumbing vents. Inorganic and non-biodegradable materials cannot be digested by the microorganisms in the septic tank, and accumulate in the sludge or digested by the microorganisms in the septic tank, and accumulate in the sludge or scum layers. The sludge and scum layers must be removed periodically to prevent the accumulated solids and greases from flowing into the soil absorption system and clogging the soil pores. If washing machines, dishwashers, and garbage disposals are used, the amount of sludge will increase and the septic tank will require frequent cleaning.”

[*Anaerobic digestion is a series of biological processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. One of the end products is biogas, which is combusted to generate electricity and heat, or can be processed into renewable natural gas and transportation fuels.” ~Google]

“WASTEWATER DISPOSAL BY SOIL ABSORPTION
Effluent (liquid waste or sewage discharged into a river or the sea) from the septic tank flows by gravity or is pumped to a leach field for disposal. The wastewater effluent is absorbed by soil particles and moves both horizontally and vertically through the soil pores. The dissolved organic material in the effluent is removed by bacteria which live in the top ten feet of the soil. As the effluent moves through the soil, the temperature and chemical characteristics of the wastewater change and create an unfavorable habitat for most bacteria and viruses. Therefore, as the septic tank effluent moves through the soil, organic material and microorganisms are removed. The wastewater generally percolates downward through soil and eventually enters a groundwater aquifer. A portion of the wastewater moves upwards by capillary action and is removed at the ground surface by evaporation and transpiration of plants.

A leach field consists of a series of four-inch diameter perforated distribution pipelines placed in two-to-three foot wide trenches. The perforated pipe is placed on top of gravel which is also used to backfill around the pipe. The gravel promotes drainage and reduces root growth near the pipeline. Untreated building paper or straw is placed over the gravel to prevent fine soil particles from migrating into the gravel. The building paper or straw does not reduce the evapotranspiration of the wastewater. A minimum topsoil cover is placed over the gravel to protect the leach field, prevent contact with the wastewater and reduce infiltration from rain and snow. ”

Google results about TOXIC CHEMICALS IN SEWERS….
https://www.google.com/search?q=effluent&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=toxic+chemicals+in+sewer

“Sewage carries an array of potentially disease-causing microbes known as pathogens… In many developed countries, these wastes typically are delivered either to on-site septic systems or to centralized sewage treatment facilities. In both methods, sewage is treated before being discharged, either underground (in the case of septic tanks) or to receiving surface-water bodies (in the case of sewage treatment plants), typically a stream, river, or coastal outlet…. Another source of ocean pollution by sewage-related waste is the disposal of biosolids, a semisolid byproduct of the sewage treatment process, often called sludge. Historically, sludge in developed nations was disposed in coastal waters: New York’s twenty sewage treatment plants, for example, once disposed their sludge offshore in a region known as the New York Bight. Although today’s environmental regulations in the United States prohibit this practice, sewage sludge is still disposed at sea in some countries. Disease-causing microbes are the primary human health risk in sewage-contaminated waters, and the main cause of recreational beach closures.
Read more: http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Po-Re/Pollution-of-the-Ocean-by-Sewage-Nutrients-and-Chemicals.html#ixzz3reuoc5CN

“WHERE DOES ALL THE TREATED WASTEWATER AND SLUDGE GO?

The remaining wastewater is disinfected before it is discharged to the receiving waters (Massachusetts Bay). This stream of treated wastewater, known as effluent, travels through a 9.5-mile Outfall Tunnel bored through solid rock more than 250 feet below the ocean floor. The tunnel’s last mile and a quarter include 55 separate release points known as “diffusers.” By extending to an area with water depths up to 120 feet, this outfall provides a much higher rate of mixing and/or dilution than is possible with present discharges into the shallow waters of Boston Harbor.

Sludge from primary and secondary treatment is processed further in
sludge digesters, where it is mixed and heated to reduce its volume and
kill disease-causing bacteria. It is then transported through the Inter-Island Tunnel to the pelletizing plant in Quincy, where it is dewatered, heat-dried and converted to a pellet fertilizer for use in agriculture, forestry and
land reclamation.”

“AREN’T TOXIC CHEMICALS A PROBLEM?

Yes. If excessive levels of toxic chemicals are allowed to enter the system, they could either prevent the safe application of sludge as fertilizer or threaten the marine environment if discharged to ocean waters.

New regulations have been written by the MWRA to control the amount of toxic chemicals that companies can discharge into the sewer system. The MWRA’s Toxic Reduction and Control Department is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the regulations and imposes fines against industrial polluters. The MWRA also works with industries to encourage reductions in the use of toxic chemicals that might be discharged into the sewer system.

Households are also an important source of toxic chemicals due to the careless dumping of toxic products down household drains. Used motor oil, pesticides, solvents and even many household cleaners pose significant hazards to the environment. For most household jobs, less toxic alternatives are available.”

http://www.mwra.state.ma.us/03sewer/html/sewhow.htm

Also, kitty litter causes miscarriages and dog urine kills grass and they force people to collect dog poop into little plastic bags, but somehow people think that is OK to dump too!

People consider it ok to go out into the woods and poop in a hole and bury it while camping, to “piss” outside, to have un-compost-ed piles, and to use porto potties and outhouses which ARE the same thing as…..

Throwing away their waste in biodegradable bags into the landfill, when, in fact….

The trash dump IS a compost pile, which is what it WAS INTENDED TO BE before modern age plastic and destructive MAN-MADE MATERIALS ruined what it was indeed intended for….

People freaking out about this new toilet invention which i think will be brilliant ONCE BIODEGRADABLE BAGS ARE USED, BECAUSE ITS FAR LESS TOXIC THAN CHEMICAL DISPOSAL and far less disgusting than driving down the road with a years worth of still-trying-to-finish the composting process (it takes 1 year plus you have to rake it to move it to get oxygen to compost it) huge containers of compost systems in your already small RV or holding onto your poop in your yard compost pile (not all people use a huge spinnable plastic barrel).

The people commenting have either little knowledge of the realities of full-time off-road RVing or no knowledge of the actual process of the options of either using chemical waste or composting collection to solve this huge problem.

Being on a high horse knocking people who are at least TRYING to address a huge problem is not a constructive use of anyone’s time.

My comments to the manufacturers of this toilet are simply this: why are you taking so long to replace your bad-for-the-environment silver bagging system with a biodegradable version? Biodegradable non-plastic is widely available. Simply change it out and educate people about the ridiculous misconceptions about the other 2 options and you will take over the entire market.

In my opinion, banning plastic trash bags should be everyone’s #1 mission on this topic.

And why not start collecting all the biodegradable human consumption and waste to make the landfills into huge non-edible botanical gardens where once there was a toxic landfill dump of plastics. Mine the non-biodegradeable stuff first and then have community gardens with JOBS.

k - November 16, 2015 Reply

PS * and find ways to recycle what is mined which also = more jobs.

“• Over 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide (Earth Policy Institute).
• The average American family takes home 1,500 plastic bags a year (Natural Resources Defense Council).
• Americans use and throw away 100 billion plastic bags every year, which requires 12 million barrels of oil per year to manufacture. (The Wall Street Journal).
• Scientists estimate that every square mile of ocean contains approximately 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it (United Nations Environment Programme).
• A single plastic bag can take up 500 years or more to degrade (Measuring biodegradability, ScienceLearn.org).
• In good circumstances, high-density polyethylene will take more than 20 years to degrade. In less ideal circumstances (landfills or as general refuse), a bag will take more than 500 years to degrade (ScienceLearn.org).
• An estimated 3,960,000 tons of plastic bags, sack and wraps are produced annually. Of those, 3,570,000 tons (90%) are discarded. This is almost triple the amount discarded the first year plastic bag numbers were tracked (1,230,000 tons in 1980) (Environmental Protection Agency).
• Anywhere from .5% to 3% of all bags winds up recycled (BBC, CNN).
• When plastics break down, they don’t biodegrade; they photodegrade. This means the materials break down to smaller fragments which readily soak up toxins. They then contaminate soil, waterways, and animals upon digestion (Earth911).
• 10% of the plastic produced every year worldwide winds up in the ocean. 70% of which finds its way to the ocean floor, where it will likely never degrade (United Nations).”
http://www.reuseit.com/facts-and-myths/learn-more-facts-about-the-plastic-bag-pandemic.htm

(I am am talking about plastic garbage bags, not plastic shopping bags.)

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans generate about 4.6 pounds of trash per person—every day. Forty years ago, each person produced only 2.7 pounds each day. There are nearly 300 million people in the United States.” (not good at math, but 300,000,000 x 4.6
= 1,380,000,000 pounds of trash PER DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

“In this project, you’ll test how fast the following types of bags degrade when they’re buried in the ground:

Paper grocery bag
Plastic grocery bag
Standard trash bag
Plastic trash bag labeled as biodegradable

Scientific Surprise

Of all the trash (also called municipal solid waste) generated in this country, more than 37 percent of it is paper. Yard trimmings such as branches, leaves, and grass clippings make up 12 percent of the total, food scraps 11 percent, plastics nearly 11 percent, and metals about 8 percent.

This experiment will give you an idea of how fast these bags might break down in a landfill.

BREAKING NEWS – JUST IN!
“Landfills are required by law to have heavy liners in an attempt to prevent trash residue from leaching out into the ground and contaminating earth and water sources.”

[[[[ So, the entire discussion about landfills damaging our environment is moot anyway. They are lined in plastic which takes 500 years to degrade, so as long as they can recycle and burn whatever comes into the landfill before then, they can pick up the plastic and recycle it! ]]]]

http://www.factmonster.com/cig/science-fair-projects/kind-trash-bag-breaks-down-fastest.html*

*Excerpted from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Science Fair Projects © 2003 by Nancy K. O’Leary and Susan Shelly. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or call 1-800-253-6476. You can also purchase this book at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

    JoAnn Dibeler - April 8, 2016 Reply

    Thank you for attempting to educate people who have only been passing on information that was passed to them rather than researching the subject (what did we do without search engines?!)

    It’s not just plastic trash bags – most of them are biodegradable now – there’s glass items, metal items, sturdy plastic items, cigarette butts and more. I know we don’t have any recycling where we live.

    But I digress – I wanted to say that I’m hoping this toilet will be the answer to a problem we’ve had for several years. The septic system failed and we can’t afford to have it repaired. A backhoe can’t even get to it now due to fences and such that previous occupants put in. I was planning on digging myself to find the problem but then I crushed my ankle 3 years ago and can’t dig on a scale like that. Having the septic tank emptied frequently is also too expensive (isn’t Social Security wonderful?) I’ve researched the composting toilets but they are cost prohibitive; I’ll check into the idea of building one though. The cost of the bags this toilet uses is a drawback but I’m seriously thinking this would be our best solution. Our present method of using invalid commodes that we dump all at once and flush is less than appealing – we don’t invite anyone over anymore. . .

    I will say the idea I like the best is what my brother did when he built his house on 10 acres of land. His tiny bathroom looked like an outhouse but had an absolutely pleasant scent. What it he did was place a plastic trash can under the toilet seat with peat moss in it. There was a bucket of peat moss and after use a handful or two of it was added. I’d do that if I had 10 acres to empty the trash can around.

Cory - November 26, 2015 Reply

** Shaking my head in disapproval **

While I applaud anyone how takes the time to try using an alternative to the way we currently handle human waste, I find this article a bit misleading.

I see this toilet as a decent alternative if the end user dedicated themselves to disposing of the waste in a responsible way such as a separate composting bin where it could be broke down properly before reintroducing it into the environment.

That being said, if you are going to go through that trouble anyway, why not use a system that takes care of that for you. There are many models on the market for almost any situation that range from EcoJohn incinerating toilets to self contained composting toilets made by Sun-Mar, Santerra Green, Nature’s Head, ect.

All these systems have pros and cons but they all work better than taking a poo in a bucket and tossing the waste in the landfill.

For more info on just about anything compost toilet related, have a look on this blog… http://www.offgridandgreen.com/blogs/news

Elisa - February 17, 2016 Reply

to make the right decision – to use the humidifier, and add aroma oil

Alexxa Goodenough - March 12, 2016 Reply

what toilet would you recommend for a tiny house in the city (not mobile) that doesn’t need plumbing and could be part of a complete bathroom and kitchen? trying to help a family that is struggling and wants to create a tiny house from a garage

Josephine Smith - April 11, 2016 Reply

Good Share….

When we are outside our home, we need to take care of lot of things, even our sanitary needs also.

But we cannot carry our washrooms with us and public washrooms are also available at every point of need.

In such situation, best would be to have a portable toilet with a disposable plastic bag, as this will help you in managing emergency situation well and hygienically.

I thank you for sharing this amazing post with us.

What Is a Dry Flush Toilet? - Primal Survivor - August 3, 2016 Reply

[…] Dry Flush toilet has gotten a lot of attention.  An article over at Tiny House Blog called it The toilet that will change the world and the “Best RV […]

Scott Gaskill - August 3, 2016 Reply

I am impressed from what I read but am dismayed by the cost. The article mentioned they go for $420 retail, but I haven’t been able to find one for under $590. Anyone know where I can get one for $420? Thanks, Scott

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