When selecting a composting toilet for your home, you will be faced with the choice between a remote (or “split”) composting toilet system or a self-contained composting toilet. Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages, and careful consideration of each type should be made prior to any purchase.
Here are some of the differences between the models and recommendations about their use:
Self-Contained Composting Toilets
If you are looking for a composting toilet that is easy to install and affordable, a self-contained composting toilet should be considered. These models are best suited for one or two individuals, or for occasional use by more individuals in a vacation home.
Most of the major composting toilet manufacturers (Envirolet, BioLet, Sun-Mar) make self-contained composting toilet models. Other than installing a vent, many of the models are almost ready to go out of the box and are easily installed in your home. You should be aware, however, that some of these models can be quite large, given that they are complete all-in-one composting units. Some may find their bulky size a bit disturbing (many models require a foot stool to climb on top of, for example), and they also may be a bit more difficult to empty.
One thing you want to be certain of when using a self-contained composting toilet is not to overload the system, otherwise you may end up with a wet and smelly mess to deal with. Be sure the model is well suited for the number of users and well maintained as well. Since this model will be completely situated in your bathroom, you will want to assure there are no leaks or odors.
Remote (or Split) Composting Toilets
If you have a family that is larger than two individuals looking to use a composting toilet on a daily basis, you should probably consider a remote composting toilet unit. These are sometimes also called a “split” composting toilet since the toilet and the composting chamber are literally split into separate components, with the composting bin generally located in a separate location beneath the composting toilet (usually a basement).
Some advantages of the remote composting toilet systems is that they look more like flush toilets. Some models, such as those produced by envirolet, come in interesting colors as well, and vacuum and micro-flush remote composting toilet units are available as well. On the whole, remote composting toilet systems are better suited for daily family usage.
On the downside, remote composting toilets tend to be more expensive than self-contained models, and they will incur additional installation costs as well. You will also need a basement or similar location to place the remote composting bin, and not all homes are able to accommodate these systems.