Incinerating Toilets

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Gayle in KY, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

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    When I joined this forum, I swore I'd never discuss two subjects- farts and toilets. Well, it looks like this is the thread where I'll discuss both.

    After accidentally stumbling onto a mention of incinerating toilets, I started to do a bit of reading about them, since I'd never heard of them before. They sound like a very sanitary way of disposing of waste, but I was wondering how much air pollution they cause and if it is less polluting than composting toilets or standard toilets. They, obviously, use less water than the others (they don't use water). All of the sites I've looked at so far have been sites selling these toilets (the natural gas powered toilet gave me a chuckle), so I don't expect them to be unbiased. Does anyone know anything about these? Are they likely to explode or burn down your house? Are they efficient? Are they expensive to operate? Can you build one yourself?
     
  2. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Don't know anything about a home version. They are a common method today for disposal at sea in larger ships. They work well after the initial normal bugs were wrung out. As you can guess, called Chit-Burners.

    Basically it involves a drying process with the left overs being a fuel that burns. You get a sort of sterile ash as the remains. The question being what is the minimum scale that the technology can work????
     

  3. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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  4. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

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    :eek: Oooooooo...I hadn't noticed the price before! I'm going to do some more checking and see if there isn't some way to build one of these at home. It'll help that dh is in metal fabrication.

    I DID find out one thing - it was recommended, on one site, that these be installed in a separate building. I guess that means there is the possibility they could burn down the house.
     
  5. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    We had a "home version" at our hunting camp. It was a pitless outhouse we built that used a collection tank outfitted with propane water heater burners to cook off the honey tank. It was connected to the camphouse propane supply and had to be constructed to comply with the county DEM waste regulations for a occupied dwelling. We built the outhouse for less than $150 .
     
  6. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    I did read up on the literature a bit. The model mentioned above uses propane or you can get one that uses natural gas. The information says that it will need a burn every 40 to 60 uses. Figuring on two people and six uses each per day that would mean every five days will be 60 uses.

    It also requires an antifoam packet for each burn (24 packets for $29.95) and uses 2.4 gallons of propane or natural gas per burn. Don't know what propane or gas costs these days.. I heard it had gone up to $2 a gallon.

    The drawback is that it uses non renewable energy (there is an electric model, but see what I copied and pasted from one site below - I mention electric however as those using solar might be interested)

    INCINERATING TOILETS burn up the waste. The Scanlet out of Denmark uses propane. The Incinolet out of Texas uses electricity. The Storburn uses propane. Click here for details on the Storburn.
    The advantages of incinerating toilets are that the waste is reduced to ash, which is easy to dispose. Space requirements for both the toilets and the residue are minimal. These units solve the problems in cold environments of freezing pipes and of temperatures too low to maintain organisms in a compost environment.
    The disadvantages of incinerating toilets are that they require power or fuel -- non-renewable resources. They pollute the air, and anyone downwind during a burn will not be pleased. The pots can corrode from the acidic urine, and if electrical units break down, there is no functional toilet until repaired; there are few available incinerating toilet repair people around.


    Hope that was helpful :) I'm still thinking about the sawdust/plastic bucket toilet. My only concern is where I'm going to find sawdust in an area that doesn't have a sawmill.. and wondering what else would work just as well.
     
  7. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Peatmoss (like they sell in compressed bales at garden centers) works well. I go through around 2 of the larger bales per year. Costs me around $7 per bale at Lowes.

    Only possible reason to have an incinerating toilet in a private residence is to meet some stupid code where a septic isnt possible. Even then, I'd just put one in and then use the sawdust bucket toilet.
     
  8. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    Gayle:

    Every time I hear about incinerating toilets I think of that scene in the movie The Color Purple where Albert lights the stove with Kerozene....fafummmmm whoosh......Now think how often in the dark of night half asleep you accidently flush the commode with your elbow........No thanks ;) :stars:
     
  9. mamabear

    mamabear Well-Known Member

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    AHHHH HAAAA! I 'bout choked to death when I read that! :D

    mamabear
     
  10. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    I WAS thinking this! All I could see was me, night and a burning toilet under me!

    Cheryl
     
  11. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    If you really want to do a home brew version, consider separating liquids and solids and treating them different. Liquids consolidate via a solar still. Solids pre-dry via solar drying and then burn.

    Will save a ton of fuel. Sticky wicket will probably be odors. The commercial versions incinerate odors by sucking them into boilers or some other system as part of the air supply to combustion.
     
  12. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    We had fire toilets in Vietnam, they were fired daily with diesel added to the 1/3rd barrel bottoms after removal from the 4 holers.