What type of composting toilet you choose will depend on your tiny house’s design, location, and portability. Many tiny houses aren’t permanently installed and connected to services, so alternatives to traditional fixtures are necessary. We offer some helpful hints for a tiny house composting toilet.
Composting toilets are an excellent choice for any tiny house – even those with complete plumbing – because they are inexpensive, efficient, and sustainable. If your impression of a composting toilet is that it will be messy, I’m happy to tell you that you are wrong. Although they work differently than water toilets, they are not intrusive.
What We Will Cover
Images on this page may contain affiliate links in which we may receive a commission. See our affiliate disclosure for details.
How composting toilets work
Instead of using water to wash away waste, a composting toilet works by evaporation and decomposition. Excess fluid evaporates and is vented outside. The remaining waste decomposes using natural bacteria in a controlled environment. Organic material such as coconut husks, sawdust, or peat moss is added to maintain the right balance of moisture, heat, and airflow.
The waste material mixed with added organic material naturally breaks down into rich soil that can be used to add nutrients to the soil around trees and landscaping. The entire operation of a composting toilet is done without adding water, significantly reducing the amount of clean water contaminated by one household.
Choosing a composting toilet
There are different models of composting toilets and some factors to consider when choosing one for your tiny house.
The essential components of a composting toilet are the seat and the composting chamber. An excellent composting toilet also has a mechanism for diverting at least some liquid to keep the volume in the composting chamber low. Without this feature, your toilet might compost slower, and some odors may escape. The problem with composting toilets is that these components add up to a much larger unit than a traditional water toilet.
This can be a problem in a tiny house where the entire bathroom is probably just a few square feet. To keep the small bathroom, look for a composting toilet with separate seat and container components. These composting toilets are designed to have the collection container installed below the floor or outside the bathroom so that it won’t get in your way. You will need to ensure you can access the container because it will need to be emptied from time to time.
These compact composting toilets are worth considering for your tiny house:
Nature’s Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet
- Easy to install by any reasonably handy person.
- No Odor. No Maintenance. 5-Year Warranty.
- Huge Capacity. 2 people using full time will empty every 4-6 weeks. Easy empty in 5 minutes.
- A vast improvement over older composting toilet designs. This one works!
SUN-MAR GTG TOILET | Portable Toilet, Compost Toilet for RV
- COMPACT AND PORTABLE – The efficient GTG is the ideal portable toilet for camping or RV toilet use!
- INSTALLS IN MINUTES – This portable potty for adults (children, too) is almost TOO easy to install!
- SOLID/LIQUID SEPARATION – This smart toilet separates liquid and solid waste to separate chambers!
- TINY – The most compact porta potty camp toilet (that doesn’t sacrifice practicality) we could find!
- EASY DISPOSAL – The GTG functions similarly to a cassette toilet, making waste management a breeze!
OGO Composting Toilet | Waterless Self-Contained Toilet | Marine Head | RV Toilet | Toilet for RVs, Vanlife, Skoolies, and Tiny Homes| Power Agitator | Urine Diversion | Liquid Level Indicator
- Electric agitator with an easy-to-empty solids bin
- Modern, sleek, compact design with very small footprint
- USA Made with direct human contact customer service
- Urine level indicator light with urine separating trap door mechanism
- 2.4-gallon urine bottle and 25-30 use solids bin
Organic materials for your composting toilet
All composting toilets use added organic material to enable the decomposition process by keeping the moisture, air, and heat levels consistent. Different toilet manufacturers recommend different types of organic materials. It will probably be a bit of trial and error to find the right mix for your particular toilet type, depending on its frequency of use.
You will also need a container and scoop to keep the organic material near the toilet, so don’t forget to include space for that in your design.
Wood shavings or sawdust
A local lumberyard or mill might be able to give you their waste sawdust for use in your toilet. This type of organic material, it will work better if the particle size is smaller. Different types of wood will also add a different fresh tree scent when used.
If you live near coconut palms, you can probably find a local source of castoff coir from coconut husks. Like wood shavings, you don’t want to use pieces too big to break down quickly, so you may need to shred them a bit.
Peat moss can make a suitable covering material for your composting toilet as long as it isn’t too moist or too dense. If it is lumpy, break it up before use.
Some people use shredded newspapers in their composting toilets. It doesn’t have the same fresh scent as wood shavings and can clump up if the pieces are too large; however, it will do the job if sufficiently shredded.
Hay or straw
If you live near farms and have a source of hay or straw, you can use this as an organic additive for your composting toilet. Hay is a bit trickier to store in your bathroom.
Eco Friendly Gel
Eco-Friendly & No Harsh Chemicals: 15 Packs of degradable poo powder are mainly made of super absorbent polymer which curdle liquid waste to gels by physical method,the gel can be degraded naturally in 14 days by soil composting or 7 days under the sunlight which is friendly for your family and the environment
Cleaning your Tiny House composting toilet
Because you aren’t flushing the bowl with water each time you use it, you will need a different way to keep the toilet clean. A well-designed toilet will have a straight channel where the waste generally doesn’t touch the walls. Keep a spray bottle with some water or vinegar solution handy, just in case.
You will also want a small brush to wipe any stray sawdust off the seat!
Final Thoughts on Tiny House Composting Toilet
If properly sized and managed, composting toilets can provide an excellent alternative to the traditional water flush toilet.
We’ve outlined some of the main things to look out for when shopping for a suitable composting toilet. Hopefully, this will help reduce the amount of time you need to do your own research. And if all else fails and you need more helpful tips before making a purchase, just ask away in the comments and we should be able to provide you with some additional assistance. And finally, keep those ideas coming! Let us know what you come up with.