The Disadvantages of Composting Toilets

Composting toilets can be a great asset to environmental friendliness. People who want to "go green" often talk about the advantages of having composting toilets in their homes. What they don't tell you are the disadvantages associated with composting toilets. And there are a few, as noted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While composting toilets can be safe and effective, like any other item in the home, they can also cause potential problems if you do not know what you are doing when you own one. That is the biggest disadvantage.


A possible disadvantage of composting toilets is the construction of the system required for it. While the toilet itself is not hard to install, it must be properly connected to a gray water system to contain contaminants. There is also the filtration issue, which requires proper airflow to keep odors from seeping into the home.


The improper maintenance of a composting toilet can lead to a few problems. One of the main concerns due to improper maintenance is health issues and contamination of the system by disease-causing organisms. Maintenance of a composting toilet requires more work, time and attention to the system than a conventional toilet and sewage system.


Composting toilets must be managed. This requires a set schedule of both adding and removing material for the composting unit to use. You must know the proper material to add to the unit so that it functions correctly. There is also the matter of the proper disposal of the composted material afterward. If either of these is not managed correctly, you could raise a health issue on your property and threaten the water table below.

Health Issues

Unprocessed solids and improperly drained liquids can cause an eventual biohazard. One big disadvantage of composting toilets is the proper drainage of the compartment to avoid health issues. There is also the impact of a broken system on the family. If the electricity goes down, this unit becomes unusable; if the unit is down for prolonged periods, the buildup of gas is possible.


Another disadvantage of a composting toilet is the removal of the composted material if the system is not regularly maintained. If the toilet is not properly installed, odor and leachate problems can create a hazardous situation and a large cleanup cost. If the system breaks down, there is no backup. If the waste compacts instead of breaking down, it will create an unpleasant removal task.

Jack S. Waverly

Jack S. Waverly is a New York-based freelance writer who writes articles relating to business, personal finance, gardening, sustainable living and business management. Waverly is published on Pluck, Happy News and many other websites.