No matter how you choose to live, off grid, in a tent, a tiny house, a dome, everyone has to go to the bathroom. That is a central issue for those of us who choose to turn away from city living and utilities.
We chose to go with a DIY composting system, we looked at the various commercial composting units that are available, but ultimately decided it was too expensive up front, with the average unit going for over $1000, and honestly the reviews from people using them were OK at best. I have a friend who had an expensive commercial composting unit and hated it from day one, I watched her push it out the back door, I would have taken it but it had been left outside for a few years and the plastic had broken down…
While watching one of the tiny home reality shows over the weekend, they talked about a dry flush toilet, this one looked quite different from the other small, portable toilets I’ve seen in the past. I looked it up and discovered it has a simple design that works. It basically uses a plastic liner that encloses your liquid and solid waste, that is then contained in a larger plastic bag. It is said to have no smell and you don’t have to handle anything, which are the biggest negatives to nearly all the other toilet designs.
This uses a cartridge system that appears easy enough to install and remove, each cartridge is good for 15-17 flushes before it needs to be replaced. You buy the cartridges in 3’s, they run $50-$60 for 3 of them. I suspect if you really ran out of cartridges and were in a desperate situation, you could place a regular plastic bag in it and use that.
I wondered how heavy the bag would be when removing it, it would need to be easily handled, that’s probably why the cartridges are the size they are and not any larger. I also wonder how loud it really is, the plastic bag (inner and outer) seem very crinkly, and from what I have seen online, when you “flush” the toilet, the sound of the unit seems loud, so between the mechanical and plastic crinkle, you would not be doing your business in silence.
When you remove a fully used cartridge, you toss it in the trash, I believe it would be sanitary enough, ie no leakage since it is double bagged. And for those who wonder, yes it is legal to dispose of human waste in the trash, otherwise it would be illegal to toss baby diapers or adult diapers in the trash.
If I had to start over, and didn’t have such a talented hubby, I would definitely look at this system, the cost of the toilet unit is around $500 and can be ordered through Home Depot and WalMart, it’s not available on Amazon, but I hope to see it there soon.
Here are a few videos showing how this toilet works.
For more stories from off-grid.net search here
Our Our fastest solar ovenBake, roast or steam a meal for two people in minutes, reaching up to 550°F (290°C). GoSun Sport sets the bar for portable solar stoves.
Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site
Leave a Reply