5 Reasons Why A Professional Composting Toilet is Better Than a Sawdust Toilet
Sawdust toilets have captivated the interest of the extreme green movement. They are sometimes presented as one of the best waste management options and as a far better alternative than expensive, pr...
1. Sawdust toilets require an enormous amount of physical labor. A bucket full of waste can easily weigh 50 pounds or more, and a family of four will likely fill a bucket every one or two days. That's a lot of carrying, emptying, and cleaning of buckets! Not many busy families have the time or desire to add this chore to their to do lists.
2. Once all those full buckets are hauled outside, they have to be dumped somewhere. Effective management of a bucket system requires a large amount of land, not only ground space for dumping, but also distance from your home. Why do you need distance? This brings us to our third disadvantage of sawdust toilets…
3. Odor! While it's true that the sawdust layers prevent the majority of odor indoors, you don't get that same benefit once the buckets are dumped outside. What you will end up with is a large stinking pile of anaerobic mess that will have to be caged off with chicken wire just to keep animals and other pests out. This clearly makes the sawdust toilet system a totally unfeasible option for urban or suburban dwellers that have small outdoor areas and live in close proximity to their neighbors.
4. Runoff and potential for groundwater contamination is another major issue arising from the large outdoor piles created by a sawdust toilet system. One heavy downpour of rainfall and all the runoff from this pile of raw sewage will flow into nearby streams, rivers, lakes, etc. If we are to be truly honest with ourselves, widespread use of sawdust toilets could pose a nearly catastrophic effect on freshwater supply.
5. Last but not least, you really do get what you pay for. True, a professional composting toilet will set you back about $1,500, but you have to consider what you get for that amount: a product that is certified to be odor free, that collects and composts all waste product on its own without ever requiring the homeowners to come into contact with that waste, and a system that requires minimal ongoing maintenance without physical labor!
A sawdust toilet will cost you a lot less, but at the end of the day, all you've really got is a bucket with a toilet seat on top, a whole lot of work, and a mess in the backyard. While sawdust toilets may be a feasible waste management solution for some people, I would contend that they make up a very small portion of the overall population. As for the rest of us who still seek an eco friendly alternative to the water wasting flush toilet, professional composting toilet systems provide a more expensive, yet far more efficient and feasible solution.
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