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Guide for urine diverting dry toilets

When it comes to independent living and practical toilet solutions, alternative toilet systems have become a true game-changer. If you're in search of the right toilet for your specific needs, you'll come across various options, from urine diverting dry toilets to composting toilets and everything in between.

This article dives into these different choices, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of each. By the end, you'll have the insights to choose a toilet that fits your personal needs seamlessly. Let's kickstart the process of finding the perfect toilet for you!

Demystifying toilet terminology

When exploring alternative toilet systems, you may come across terms like urine diverting dry toilet and composting toilet thrown around as if they mean the same thing. But hold on – while the different options definitely share some characteritics, there's more than meets the eye. Let's break it down with some common terms.

  • Urine diverting dry toilet – This system separates liquid from solid waste, storing each in dedicated containers. The absence of water deems it a dry toilet, while you always have the added option to compost solid waste as long as you make sure that you use a compostable inlay in your solids container.
  • Composting toilet – Focused on waste recycling, composting toilets let you convert human waste into nutrient-rich compost. Some composting toilets allow you to start the composting process of the toilet waste directly inside the toilet.
  • Dry toilet – Broadly speaking, any toilet not reliant on water can be termed a dry toilet. This category may or may not incorporate a mechanism for waste separation.

As we can see, there are overlaps. A urine diverting dry toilet may serve as a composting toilet and is a type of dry toilet. However, not every composting or dry toilet is necessarily a urine diverting dry toilet.

Additionally, you might encounter terms like urine diverting toilet, separating toilet, separation toilet, or separating dry toilet – all essentially describing a urine diverting dry toilet.

In the next sections, we'll closely compare urine diverting dry toilets, composting toilets, and dry toilets without separating mechanism to understand what sets each system apart.

Pros and cons of different toilet systems

To grasp the nuances of alternative toilet systems, let's compare their features. Each system offers a unique set of advantages – be it the comfort of urine diverting dry toilets, the recycling capabilities of composting toilets, or the simplicity of dry toilets. Understanding these intricacies is crucial to making an informed choice aligned with your lifestyle.

Pros and cons of urine diverting dry toilet

Urine diverting dry toilet – The perfect all-rounder

A urine diverting dry toilet offers numerous advantages with its efficient separation of liquid and solid waste, storing them in designated containers. The liquids flow into a specific container, while the solids are deposited in a separate container protected by an inlay.

This segregation of urine and feces not only significantly reduces odor, but it also allows for the elimination of unpleasant smells entirely, either by using litter or an electric exhaust system. The lack of water dependency makes this solution highly versatile and usable in various locations without the need for a sewage system connection.

Cleaning the urine diverting dry toilet is a breeze. The solids container, shielded by an inlay, requires minimal cleaning as there's no direct contact with the feces. It can simply be rinsed with water from time to time, similar to the liquids container. Thanks to the effective separating system, concerns about excessively dirty surfaces are eliminated.

Camping with urine diverting dry toilets

Additionally, emptying the toilet waste is both easy and hygienic. You can conveniently remove the liquids and solids containers separately as needed. For those interested in composting, solid waste can be transformed into a valuable resource using a composter, while liquid waste serves as a natural fertilizer. If composting is not preferred, disposal is hassle-free – the inlay with solid waste can be discarded with household waste, akin to used diapers. The collected urine can be poured into a regular toilet.

Another noteworthy advantage of the urine diverting dry toilet is that you can simply deposit your toilet paper in the back of the toilet, just like with a regular toilet. The only consideration is using eco-friendly toilet paper without colors or scents if you wish to compost the toilet waste.

Composting toilet – An option for composting enthusiasts

As mentioned earlier, a urine diverting dry toilet can also function as a composting toilet, allowing for easy disposal of toilet waste into a composter. However, there exists another type of toilet specifically designed to initiate the composting process directly within the toilet itself.

This particular composting toilet is equipped with a specialized stirring device, known as an agitator, which enhances the composting process. Whether operated manually or electrically, the agitator facilitates effective aeration, accelerating decomposition and minimizing odors.

It's crucial to note that composting any organic material takes a considerable amount of time, ranging from a few months to several years. Therefore, completing the entire composting process within the toilet is not the standard practice. Instead, the agitator's stirring function initiates a pre-composting stage for solid waste. When it's time to empty the solids container, the pre-composted waste still needs to be transferred to a regular composter. For mobile composting toilets on longer trips, where transferring waste to a composter may not be feasible, pre-composting offers little benefit.

Composting with urine diverting dry toilets

A significant drawback of composting toilets with an agitator is the removal of solid waste, which is more complex and less sanitary compared to a urine diverting dry toilet. The absence of a protective inlay for the solid waste container means direct contact with excrements, necessitating regular cleaning. The cleaning process, including removing bits from the agitator, can be messy. Moreover, some models require complete removal of the agitator during container cleaning.

Unlike urine diverting toilets, putting any type of toilet paper into the solids container is not feasible with composting toilets with an agitator. This require the separate storage of used toilet paper, adding another inconvenience compared to the user-friendly design of a urine diverting dry toilet.

Finally, composting toilets with an agitator tend to be relatively expensive when compared to urine diverting dry toilets and other types of dry toilets.

Dry toilet – For those who love simplicity

After examining the features of a urine diverting dry toilet, which carefully separates liquid and solid waste, let's turn our attention to a simpler dry toilet– a dry toilet that combines all waste in one bucket. This straightforward setup, reminiscent of a basic outhouse with a small bucket beneath the toilet seat, is easy to comprehend.

However, there are serious downsides. Since urine and feces are stored together in a single container, unpleasant toilet smells are unavoidable. It's important to note that the separation of liquid and solid waste is crucial for preventing odors. With the rapid onset of unbearable smells, frequent emptying becomes a necessity, constituting a significant drawback in itself.

TROBOLO WandaGO urine diverting dry toilet in the wilds

A more substantial downside emerges concerning the emptying process – where should the waste be disposed of? Composting is a potential option, but only if the ratio between liquid and solid waste is appropriate. Achieving the right composition can be challenging, complicating the composting process.

Last but not least, it's essential to acknowledge that cleaning the container of this type of dry toilet can be quite challenging and not nearly as hygienic as cleaning two separate containers as with a urine diverting dry toilet.

Conclusion – Which toilet is right for you?

The urine diverting dry toilet stands out as the best option for most users. In contrast to toilets that store all waste in one single container, the urine diverting dry toilet maintains an odorless environment, is easily cleaned, and allows for effortless waste disposal. The freedom to choose between composting and conventional disposal adds to its flexibility.

For those dedicated to composting, a composting toilet with an agitator, designed for pre-composting solid waste, might sound interesting. However, it's crucial to carefully assess this advantage against significant drawbacks, including a difficult emptying and cleaning process for the solid waste container - all for a marginal reduction in the overall composting timeline, which could still extend over a year or more. An agitator is not indispensable for composting toilet waste, making a urine diverting dry toilet likely to remain a more comfortable, cost-effective, and overall superior choice.

Also, a dry toilet lacking a separating mechanism presents serious drawbacks, including rapid odor formation, challenging cleaning and emptying procedures, and complex considerations regarding waste disposal and composting.

In conclusion, a urine diverting dry toilet offers the optimal blend of advantages, providing comfortable, odorless toilet use without the need for water, and the option to compost waste.

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