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How Composting Toilets Stay Odour-Free

To minimise smells in a composting toilet, it's important to follow some best practices.

Our composting toilets remain odourless through a combination of factors. They utilise aerobic microbes (microorganisms) and bacteria for decomposition, requiring oxygen-rich conditions. These bacteria break down waste efficiently, minimising odour production. In contrast, anaerobic bacteria thrive in low-oxygen environments, such as septic systems, producing foul-smelling by-products. If the moisture, carbon and oxygen levels are out of balance to maintain aerobic composting, the conditions can turn anaerobic. Composting toilets are equipped with ventilation systems, including fans or vents, which help to maintain airflow. Good ventilation ensures that odours are continuously expelled outside, preventing them from accumulating within the toilet area. Tips: Maintain proper moisture levels: Composting toilets require a balance of moisture. If it becomes too wet (soggy), add more carbon-rich material to absorb the excess moisture. If it becomes too dry (toilet paper not breaking down), add a small amount of water to maintain the desired moisture level. Regularly mix and turn the compost: To distribute oxygen for the microbes. We recommend turning the compost about once a week in summer and less often in cooler seasons. Ensure proper ventilation: Check your fan at least once every 6 months. To remove any dirt and grime that may hinder airflow, spray some degreaser such as WD-40 onto the fan blades, then wipe with a clean cloth. Keep your windows closed: When windows are left open around your toilet, it can create a negative draft, which disrupts the airflow pattern established by the ventilation system. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever open them for some minutes if you need to. Regular maintenance: Ensure you’re following the instructions in your manual for maintaining and managing the compost in your specific composting toilet model. This should include how to start with an empty chamber and what to do after every deposit. To find and save a digital copy of your manual, click here.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Ecoflo Wastewater Management acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of this Country. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today. 

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Ecoflo was the first company in Australia to sell composting toilets certified to the rigorous quality testing of Australian Standards. If you want to be certain your composting toilet has adequate capacity and is safe, you need a waterless composting toilet certified to the tough performance criteria of AS/NZS 1546.2:2008.

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