Composting Toilets on the Rise: Are They Coming to a City Near You?


Photo via gliving

Most environmentalists are more than familiar with composting. Most are also familiar with pooping. So it makes perfect sense that composting toilets would be a favorite among greens--they save drinking-quality water from being flushed needlessly away, and they create nutrient rich soil in the process. But it just seemed like one of those good ideas that wouldn't likely catch on with the masses, much less governments. But lo and behold, that's exactly whats beginning to happen--cities around the US are beginning to implement composting toilets into public parks and buildings. Will your town be the next to get a gov-approved composting toilet?If you live in Austin, Texas, then you've just gotten your first. Located in the Montopolis neighborhood in East Austin, the first composting toilet to get the city's official stamp has just been put into operation. According to the American Statesman,

There is no water hookup to the screened-in, cottage-like outhouse, which cost about $3,000 to build and has a small porch in front and a stall with two commodes inside. Only one functions at a time, for about a year; once the vault beneath it, which is matted with straw, is full, the vault and commode will be sealed for a year. Then the contents are usable as compost.
Austinites who want to go number 2 without wasting any water take note! Instead of flushing, you just throw on some sawdust and make soil!

Next on the list is Columbus, Ohio, which is installing some composting toilets in its city parks.

Finally, according to Green Inc, Duchess County in New York is on the brink of bringing composting toilets to parks across the county.

New York City's Bronx Zoo and the city of Vancouver have had operating compost toilets for a couple years now, so if you're in the area, treat yourself to a water-free bathroom experience.

And private composting toilets are on the rise, too--Green Inc says that BioLet, a manufacturer of the green johns, reports its business grew by 80% in 2008. Which means more and more people around the country are opting for the water free, soil creating, so-called 'humane waste' option. Which is great news--composting toilets could seriously reduce the amount of water wasted on sanitation (incredibly important, considering the incoming worldwide water crisis), and make for an entirely more sustainable trip to the little boy's (or girl's) room.

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Tags: Biodegradable | Composting | Water Conservation | Water Crisis