If you are considering purchasing a composting toilet for your home, you will need to choose between either a self-contained composting toilet or a remote composting toilet system (also known as a “central” or “split” composting system).
There are several advantages to choosing a self-contained composting toilet. First, they are much easier to install than a remote composting toilet system. In fact, other than installing a vent for the toilet, you will need to do little when you install the unit. You will not need to hook the toilet up to a basement composting chamber with a self-contained composting toilet. With a self-contained composting toilet, you are getting an “all in one” unit. The toilet and the composting bin are combined in the unit, with the composting process going on right under the seat.
Because there are few installation costs involved, and because the units are more compact and fewer parts than remote systems, self-contained composting toilets also tend to be a much cheaper option when compared to remote composting toilet systems. (For more on the price of composting toilets, read “How Much Do Composting Toilets Cost?“)
However, this is also a disadvantage for some as well: because of their small size, self-contained composting units only have a limited capacity. If there are more than two individuals using the toilet year round, a self-contained composting toilet system is not for you. In fact, even two individuals may overburden many models, and you need to choose your model carefully if for more than one individual. Self contained composting toilets are probably most ideal for occasional usage in cottages or seasonal and vacation homes, or for year around usage by a single individual.
Most composting toilet manufacturers produce self-contained composting toilets (some also produce remote systems as well). You will find that manufacturers like Sun-Mar, BioLet, and Envirolet all have several self-contained composting toilet models to choose from, each with its own unique features. You should certainly compare the models and read different composting toilet reviews before making your final selection.
If you have more than two people who will be using a composting toilet, or if you are just interested in learning more about remote composting toilet systems, take a look at the article “Remote (Central, or Split) Composting Toilet Systems.” These systems are generally ideal for year-round usage by families or large groups.