Waterless toilet systems

Many members have expressed an interest in alternative toilet systems. I’m posting these notes to share some of the research that I’ve been doing on composting toilets. I will update it as more information comes to hand.

If any members have one of these systems or are planing such a system please add a comment and share your experiences.

Composting toilet options

Composting toilets are quite simple in principle. There are two approaches: One involves the rotation of two or more chambers (see Rotaloo below), the other involves a continuous process (see Clivus Multrum below).

The design of the composting toilet should allow the material to remain aerated to prevent the compost from becoming anaerobic, which can result in unpleasant odors. It must also either heat the faeces to the point that pathogens are destroyed (a thermophilic process), or else allow sufficient time (up to a year) for such pathogens to break down and disappear naturally (a mesophilic process). The upside however is that they do not use any significant amount of water and they may produce fertilizer safe for small scale agricultural use.

Commercially available systems

  • Nature Loo approved for Victoria and is Australian Standards 1546.2 certified. Requires 1m underfloor clearance.
    Included in the standard Classic 1000 - 3 Package:

    • Ceramic warm white pedestal and timber seat.
    • 3 composting chambers (85 cm high x 80 cm maximum diameter).
    • Waste connecting chute (70 cm in length - can be cut by you to suit your requirements).
    • Ventilation system including 12 volt air fan and transformer.
    • Easy to follow installation and maintenance manual.
    • Trolley

    Price : $2,800 ex-Brisbane factory or $2650 without trolley

  • Rota Loo approved by councils throughout Australia. The Rota-Loo is a non-flush compost toilet system developed in Australia, using an aerobic system, with rotating bins under the seat that can be easily removed. The liquid is evaporated through the heat generated by the sun absorbed on the back section of the toilet structure.
    Rota-Loo 950 with compost toilet, fibreglass pedestal, 90 cm waste chute, 240 Volt extractor fan, Wind driven turbo vent, PVC elbows, liquid level indicator and Bio-stimulant. $3907.90
  • The Clivus system is based on a ‘continuous’ composting process in one large chamber, as against multiple smaller chambers that require a restart of the process after emptying. As the organic material decomposes it will reduce in volume by up to 90%. The compost pile is therefore always ’shrinking in the middle’ whilst new material is being added to the top, and finished compost is removed from the bottom of the pile when appropriate.
    Models suited for regular use start around $1650 for small residential Ecolet units, and range from around $3000 to over $8000 for our larger Clivus Multrumâ„¢ household and commercial units. (Delivery and installation not included)


  1. Dave Keenan The Trouble with Composting Toilets 1998
  2. The Humanure Handbook - A Guide to Composting Human Manure 1999

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