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The pros and cons of a composting toilet

If you’re thinking about purchasing a composting toilet, no doubt you have a lot of questions about the different models, how they work, if they smell and if they really are good for the environment.

If you’re anything like us here at the Ecoflo office you’re big on lists. When we need to figure out something we love putting together a list of pros and cons about a new product or way of doing something. This helps us to figure out the best way to move forward and if the item or idea we’re looking at has more benefits than potential issues.

It also helps us to look at things from every angle. All too often we read or hear about ALL the good things or ALL the bad things about something. Sometimes it's nice to have a measured approach and figure out all the pros and cons before moving on to something.

Since we’re big on lists, we’re thinking perhaps some of our customers might be as well so we’ve created this list of pros and cons about composting toilets to hopefully help you figure out if a composting toilet is for you or not. 

Water Consumption

Pro - The average family will save approx 30,000 litres of water a year. That’s about a swimming pool’s worth of perfectly good drinking water saved every 12 months.
Con - Because waste isn’t flushed away, some manual handling of composted waste (it ends up being similar to top soil) is required.

Energy Consumption

Pro - Composting toilets can be hooked up to a solar panel to run the exhaust fan needed to help evaporate liquid waste.
Con - Composting toilets require a small amount of power to run exhaust fans whereas traditional flush toilets use no power.


Pro - Once you’ve installed your composting toilet there’s very little ongoing cost. The occasional bottle of enzyme and you’re set!
Con - Composting toilets are more expensive than traditional toilets in their initial cost however this doesn’t take into account the cost of getting grid-based power or town water connected to a remote site (which will often be much more than the cost of the composting toilet).

Environmental Impact

Pro - Composting toilets have virtually no environmental impact – in fact, they help in reducing your dependence on sewage plants that use chemicals to treat raw sewage.
Con - There really isn’t a con for the environmental impact with composting toilets other than the fact you shouldn’t use the compost on edible plants – that’s about it! 

Installation Cost

Pro - The installation cost of a composting toilet is far less than installing a traditional toilet.
Con - Depending on the space you have available a composting toilet may not be a viable option for your home if you have your heart set on a split system composting toilet.


Pro - As most of our composting toilets have very few moving parts, there’s very little maintenance involved.
Con - Part of the maintenance includes handling humanure (which comes out like a topsoil-like product when broken down properly) so some customers need to get over their ‘poophobia’.

The Smell

Pro - If you maintain a composting toilet properly, there will be virtually no smell.
Con - If your composting toilet isn’t maintained properly it can get pretty smelly.

It’s a Talking Point

Pro - You will have people asking about it and talking about your toilet and it’s a good opportunity to let them know about the benefits of composting toilets. If they’re open to the idea it won’t be an issue at all.
Con - We’re not going to lie to you – some people honestly get a little freaked out at the idea of using a composting toilet (even though they’ve probably used one in a park or campground!)

The Design

Pro - We have some very sleek designs in our composting toilet range that will go well in pretty much any bathroom.
Con - If you’re after a very particular look and feel you may not be able to have the style you’re looking for.


Pro - If you have a split system toilet the bulk of the space taken up will be under your house so dead space can easily be used effectively.
Con - If you don’t have space under your home a split system may not be for you and you might need to look at a self-contained toilet (which isn’t an issue, just a different type of toilet).

Note: For more info about the different types of composting toilets,  read Self-contained composting toilets and Spilt systems.

We hope this list of pros and cons about composting toilets has helped you to decide if a composting toilet is for you or not. If you have any questions or require assistance, feel free to call us anytime on 1300 138 182.

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. 




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.

Shop our range of certified toilets here

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