Can You Put a Compost Toilet Anywhere?

If you’re interested in the concept of a compost toilet, you’re not alone. People have recycled waste for about 8,000 years into fertilizer. So, it makes sense that we should consider recycling our own waste as well using a compost toilet.

You can put a compost toilet anywhere. Most compost toilets don’t require plumbing or a connection to any type of water source. Instead, these toilets simply store our waste and compost it into usable soil without plumbing. As such, you can put them anywhere that is convenient for use.

Let’s talk more about compost toilets and how they can benefit you in the rest of this article. 

Why You Can Put a Compost Toilet Anywhere

The main reason why you can put a compost toilet anywhere is because these toilets require no plumbing – therefore, you’re not restricted to specific areas in your home for your toilet. 

However, another important reason is because compost toilets have little to no smell, which many people don’t realize. Therefore, it’s easy to put the toilet anywhere you please.

I’ll discuss these reasons more in-depth in the following sections.

Compost Toilets Require No Plumbing

One reason why you can put a compost toilet anywhere you want is because compost toilets require no plumbing or power to work. So, a compost toilet would make a great camping companion or a fantastic addition to a cabin. 

Not only are you helping the environment by adding nutrient-rich soil and saving water, but you’re essentially providing yourself a bathroom wherever you need one. In fact, the only thing required from you for proper composting of the waste is regularly mixing the waste to allow it to decompose and add in additional materials to help move the process along. 

The lack of plumbing and power is what really attracts people to compost toilets. But, you need to be ready to manage your own waste from time to time, as the composting process is something that you should manage. As long as you’re ready for the occasional mixing and removal of the compost, you’re ready for your own compost toilet. 

Compost Toilets Have Little to No Smell

A major reason that people hesitate to try a compost toilet is that they believe it will smell bad. Fortunately, it doesn’t smell any worse than an ordinary bathroom. This is because the composting process requires many different materials that will break down the waste and get rid of any odors. 

Once you use a compost toilet, the waste moves to the basin at the bottom of the toilet. So, no residual waste is lingering in the toilet to cause a bad smell. Most people who use compost toilets describe the smell as similar to mulch or wood. So, while you will experience a foul smell while using the compost toilet, it’ll soon dissipate as it would using a normal toilet.

How Compost Toilets Work

It’s worth noting that not all compost toilets are the same. So, in this article specifically, we’re going to talk about compost toilets that don’t require power or plumbing to work. These are the most common composting toilets, and you can place them anywhere you want. 

Composting toilets naturally decompose solid and liquid waste by using carbon materials. Normally these carbon materials consist of peat moss, sawdust, or something similar, which allow the waste to decompose faster. 

Additionally, compost toilets can be part of a centralized system or self-contained. Rather than going into the mechanics of a centralized system, we’re going to focus on the self-contained compost toilets. These are singular units that don’t flush. Instead, they store the waste until it can decompose. 

Once the waste properly decomposes, you can use the compost pile to add helpful nutrients to your garden or other places that need healthy soil. Not only does this help you reuse your own waste to help the environment, but compost toilets also don’t use water as traditional toilets do to flush. 

If you’re wondering exactly how to use a compost toilet, it’s very similar to an ordinary toilet experience. Go as you normally would, then cover the waste with a biodegradable agent. Most of the time, compostable toilet paper will work just fine to help cover the waste. You can also cover the waste with a bulking agent to help start the decomposition process. 

What Kind of Upkeep Does a Compost Toilet Require?

The general upkeep for a compost toilet involves cleaning, mixing, and emptying the toilet regularly. Overall, it doesn’t require much more attention than a typical toilet. 

With a compost toilet, you don’t have to worry about clogs or the toilet bowl not filling properly. Compost toilets simplify the toilet process by removing plumbing from it altogether. 

One important part of the compost toilet upkeep is cleaning. You’ll need to clean the toilet regularly, as it doesn’t have the help of water to avoid leftover waste. So, plan to clean your compost toilet regularly to help it continue to look and smell good. 

Another important part of compost toilet upkeep is mixing. You’ll need to mix the compost pile every now and then to ensure it decomposes steadily and gets enough oxygen to compost effectively. Most compost toilets make this easy for you by providing simple means to do it. But it’s important to remember as it helps the waste compost in a timely manner. 

Finally, you’ll need to empty your compost toilet regularly to ensure that it doesn’t get too full and new waste has a chance to compost as well. You should do this about every three weeks with typical, regular use. However, if you use it less than average or more, you may need to adjust your timing. 

If you have a large family or have other people visiting you, expect to empty your compost toilet more frequently than every three weeks. Though, solitary users of a compost toilet may go up to two months without needing to empty it. Once you begin using your compost toilet regularly, you’ll get an idea of how long it takes to fill. 

Tips for Cleaning a Compost Toilet

You should clean a compost toilet the same way you clean a standard toilet but with biodegradable and all-natural cleaning supplies. It’s important to avoid typical cleaning chemicals as they can harm your compost pile. 

Cleaning a compost toilet can seem difficult as they don’t use water. So, you may be wondering how you can clean a compost toilet without water present and without harming the compost. Thankfully, it’s possible and quite simple. 

  • Avoid toilet cleaners with harsh chemicals. If you use typical cleaners for your toilet at home, you probably won’t be able to use them to clean your compost toilet. The harsh chemicals found in most cleaners can easily get into the composting pile, making it toxic to plants.
  • Use an all-natural cleaner. Avoid using wipes in your compost toilet that won’t break down during the process because they can ruin your composting pile and slow down the overall process. So, if you use an all-natural cleaning wipe, ensure you dispose of it in the trash rather than the compost toilet. 
  • Look for biodegradable options. The most important factor in finding the right cleaning products is to look for biodegradable options. This will ensure that the cleaner will break down during the process rather than slow it down and harm the microorganisms necessary for a healthy compost pile. 
  • Clean the toilet regularly. Unfortunately, due to the lack of water flow, you’ll need to clean your compost toilet just as regularly as an ordinary toilet. 

The most important part of cleaning your compost toilet is to ensure that you’re using safe cleaning products that won’t harm your compost pile. So, shop carefully for biodegradable and all-natural options.

Final Thoughts

A compost toilet can seem like a big change if you’re used to the ease of plumbing. However, there are plenty of benefits to using a compost toilet, including the fact that you can put it anywhere you want. 

So, if you want to help preserve water and use your waste as nutrients to help your garden, a compost toilet may be the right move for you.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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