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Are composting toilets any good?


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#1 jack2

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 05:59 PM

I am going to be fitting a narrowboat this winter and have seen a few composting type loos for sale.
Are they any good? It will be used for 2 people not liveaboard.
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#2 RLWP

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 06:41 PM

I am going to be fitting a narrowboat this winter and have seen a few composting type loos for sale.
Are they any good? It will be used for 2 people not liveaboard.


Have you read this down in the "For Sale" section: Click

Richard
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#3 canalchris

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:06 PM

Another ten pennorth, we saw composting toilets at crick 3 years ago. they are huge and take up so much space. We decided to resort to converting our pump out to a portapotti with two spare bottoms,(pun intended). this is for liveaboard
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#4 Ex- Member

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 06:26 PM

A compost loo for 2 persons will be ok and you probably wouldn't need one with a 12 volt fan if only occasional use. Ours has a fan and it coped ok for me and Lynn we were liveaboard.

The envirolet takes a lot of ground space. The sun-mar which we have is tall and takes less floor space. The uniit comes with a step but we built a plinth around the unit to rather than use a small flimsy step provided.

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#5 mrsmelly

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 10:58 AM

I am going to be fitting a narrowboat this winter and have seen a few composting type loos for sale.
Are they any good? It will be used for 2 people not liveaboard.


:lol: No
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Posted 11 April 2009 - 12:03 PM

:lol: No


You clearly haven't used or owned one then. They might not be to everyones taste, but to state thay are no good as in the negative reply to the question is misleading :lol:
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#7 blackrose

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:39 PM

I suggest the OP does a search on the forum and have a look at some previous threads re. composting toilets.

Once we have spent the money, most of us will naturally generally give our own equipment a positive review - that goes for engines, heaters, stoves, battery chargers and just about any piece of equipment you care to mention on a boat including the type of toilet.

However, some users have not been at all happy with composting toilets and for them it was the wrong choice (and to be fair that's probably true for any other piece of equipment too).

Edited by blackrose, 11 April 2009 - 05:39 PM.

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 06:27 PM

I suggest the OP does a search on the forum and have a look at some previous threads re. composting toilets.

Once we have spent the money, most of us will naturally generally give our own equipment a positive review - that goes for engines, heaters, stoves, battery chargers and just about any piece of equipment you care to mention on a boat including the type of toilet.

However, some users have not been at all happy with composting toilets and for them it was the wrong choice (and to be fair that's probably true for any other piece of equipment too).



Not me If I buy something that's no good I'll tell everyone LOL

I think the composting loo is one of those products you have to research properly and understand fully. We think ours is great, ok it might not be pleasant looking into a black hole full of compost, but then I've never fancied hauling around gallons of human waste and having hassel as well as paying to empty it out, or traipsing up the cut with a cannister of the same let alone having to empty the thing into a sluce.

You do have to look after these loo's also so they work properly, I think possibly the people didn't get on with them might not have been maintaining them properly and ensuring the best conditions for composting.

It's horses for courses I suppose, but the question was will one work for 2 persons for occasional use, and the answer is YES.

Edited by Julynian, 11 April 2009 - 06:29 PM.

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#9 jack2

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 07:04 PM

Thanks for all your answers. Wouldn't it be good to be able to ask a question and everyone agrees!!!!!!!!!!
But I suppose this is cloud cockoo land! I will have to look into the matter further, in fact some sad person down at the Marina says that he has a WHOLE BOOK on composting loos! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
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#10 canalowl

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 01:50 PM

I am going to be fitting a narrowboat this winter and have seen a few composting type loos for sale.
Are they any good? It will be used for 2 people not liveaboard.


I have an envirolet loo and am very happy with it. However I am a liveaboard and would be very cautious of fitting one for occasional use - they need love, care and attention and you may come back to the boat needing a hammer and chisel to get it working again...

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#11 Justme

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 01:57 PM

We use a composting toilet system at home so ours gets used but what do you live a boards do with the compost?


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#12 canalowl

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 02:15 PM

We use a composting toilet system at home so ours gets used but what do you live a boards do with the compost?


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#13 Ex- Member

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 02:42 PM

We use a composting toilet system at home so ours gets used but what do you live a boards do with the compost?


Justme


You can simply bin it, but a bit of a waste, we've disposed of in wooded areas people don't have access to like railway banks or scrubland. Bearing in mind that emptying for 2 people full time use is only 3 times a year possibly 4 if you don't run a fan or heat the unit. The waste you empty should be bone dry with no bad odour.

Leaving compost loos isn't a problem as long as the lid is down and it's venting, a spray of compost accelerator before you leave the boat will help too. Our boat is currently on dry land and the loo has hardly been used through the winter but still operating ok. If let to get cold the composting will slow dramatically, but if you're not using it much then that doesnt matter. If you leave the loo for a long period and it goes dry, simply give it a good spray with a litre of warm water, leave it a fer hours then turn it.

If you're living aboard then assuming the boat is kept warm enough to live in, then that's warm enough for the loo to compost efficiently.

The main priorities as i see them is as follows.

Use a mix of coarse sawdust and Moss peat mix after each use, a handful is sufficient or scoopful from provided scoop.

Occasionally use a spray on compost accelerator, sometimes supplied with the loo but purchasable from garden centres or the loo manufacturer.

Spraying the compost with warm water on cold days can promote the composting.

Keep the loo clean.

Do not use any chemical cleaners only organic cleaners or plain water.

Do not add other waste products such as food.

Do not put sanitary towels in either.

Regularily check the ventilation is working properly.

Check fan operation if one fitted.

Regularily check the liquid level, and ensure removal of excess liquid.

Do not add to the finishing tray prior to emptying. Always leave the compost in the finishing tray for at least 6 weeks before emptying.

These are tips for the Sun-Mar composting toilet. Other make loos may vary but the basics are the same.

Edited by Julynian, 12 April 2009 - 02:46 PM.

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#14 mrsmelly

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 02:45 PM

:lol: No


:lol: Ok lets put it in simple terms, if u did a survey on bogs on boats what percentage would be composting ? be honest about 0.01 percent is that because they r good...........I think not. :lol: I have lived aboard for years and even my tree hugger mates dont have one on their boat.
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#15 Ex- Member

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 03:12 PM

:lol: Ok lets put it in simple terms, if u did a survey on bogs on boats what percentage would be composting ? be honest about 0.01 percent is that because they r good...........I think not. :lol: I have lived aboard for years and even my tree hugger mates dont have one on their boat.



like any eco friendly product it's expensive in the short term. People won't even contemplate one due to ignorance of the product and the ignorance surrounging composting as a whole> Compost toilets are used world wide in remote locations like log cabins ski resorts etc, is some remote countries they out do conventional toilets in number. Compost toilets of the like now used on boats are fairly new technology, like any new technology it takes time to catch on.

We're all used to flushing our human waste down the loo and want to mimic this on boats, composting loos are simply a different option and IMO and experience are more efficient, cleaner, environmentally friendly and low cost in comparison to other equipment available.

As I've stated on other threads, I'm pleased you're happy to traipse up the towpath in all weathers carrying a container of poo and emptying it into a sluice every few days, and clearly your chosen product works, as does the composting toilet, to say it doesn't is simply incorrect.
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