Compostable Toilets Myths

Debunking the Myths around Compostable Toilets

Toilets. A word that can spark many unpleasant images in our minds and memories. From overused festival portaloos to the dreaded long drop toilet, we’ve all got a horror story about a nightmare loo. But do compostable toilets belong in the same category?


With the average New Zealander using 86 litres of water per day just to flush, the need for environmentally sustainable solutions to save water is on the rise.


But what are compostable toilets really like? It’s time to explore and dispel any of those common myths and misconceptions.



Myth: They smell.

Truth: This is the first and most common misconception about compostable toilets. However, it’s simply not the case! A modern composting toilet is a no-smell, no-fuss work of art. Unlike traditional flush toilets, compostable ones are designed in a way that maintains a constant negative airflow that vents any bad odours away from the bathroom. Phew!


Myth: You can’t use toilet paper in compostable toilets.

Truth: Yes you can! Put it down the toilet bowl just as you would a regular toilet. Toilet paper is composted along with all the other waste. Just be careful with feminine hygiene products as these can take over 50 years to decompose. Use a sanitary bin or maybe think about investing in environmentally friendly reusable products.


Myth: Compostable toilets are the same as old-fashioned portaloos.

Truth: Anyone who has been to a festival or public event will know that portaloos are somewhere you wish to spend as little time as possible and, whatever you do, don't look down. Thankfully, a modern compostable toilet is far removed from that experience. Many are now pleasant and comfortable, just like the familiar systems you’d take a break on at home.  But unlike your traditional home toilet, the composting toilet does not connect to a septic system or municipal sewer system, and it requires no water.


Myth: Compostable toilets aren’t actually better for you or the environment.

Truth: If properly maintained, these toilets create zero hazardous materials for humans. Bacteria breaks down all the harmful stuff! As for the environment, compostable toilets create no wasted water, no chemicals and no raw sewage. The decomposed waste can be used as garden compost and is beneficial for soil health. Yes, human poo is a great way to feed the flowers!


Myth: They are only used when you’re camping.

Truth: While it’s true that compostable toilets aren’t a new phenomenon – they’ve been used in boats and campervans for years – they are now popping up everywhere, including public spaces, homes and businesses. Not only are people realising that compostable toilets are a great solution to a lack of sewage or water system but they are also a green answer to saving water and recycling at home.


Here at Camp Glenorchy our goal is to use 50% less water  than other similar facilities, and installing modern, water-free, composting toilets is just one strategy that will help reduce our usage.


So when you’re staying in any Camp Glenorchy accommodation you can rest assured that every experience, from your most public to your most private moments, will be sustainable, attractive and comfortable. 


*Fact about 86L per flush from

Posted by Camp Glenorchy on August 13, 2020

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