Can I Use Toilet Paper in My Composting Toilet?

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Toilet paper can be used in composting toilets.
Toilet paper can be used in composting toilets. (Image: toilet paper image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com)

Composting toilets can benefit from the addition of toilet paper to human waste. Carbon should be added to composting human waste to reduce odors and maintain a balanced pH. Toilet paper provides some of that carbon.

Considerations

Composting toilets can safely and effectively convert human waste into garden and backyard fertilizer or soil amendments. When you compost human waste, additional materials such as toilet paper can add carbon to the composting process to help eliminate odors and balance the compost's pH. Sawdust, wood chips, or leaves should also be added to the mix to boost the carbon level.

Time Frame

Human waste must be composted for at least one year before it is usable. During this time span, the compost has time to reach the temperature of a thermophilic compost, which at a sustained level should eliminate any harmful pathogens.

Warning

Many people actively use their composted waste on fruit trees and ornamental plants in their home gardens. According to Joseph Jenkins, author of the Humanure Handbook, even human waste that has been composted at a high temperature for over a year may still contain harmful pathogens. If adding compost to your garden, consider adding it only to fruit trees or ornamental plants.

Benefits

Composting your human waste is a free way to reduce home water consumption and improve garden soil fertility. Composting human waste eliminates the need to transport waste and contaminate water that has been chlorinated and cleansed to fit the standards of human consumption.

Types

Many varieties of composting toilets are on the market today. Models range from those that may be installed next to a traditional toilet to an outdoor, do-it-yourself kit. All models feature a tight seal above the toilet seat to ensure that no insects or animal can enter the toilet.

References

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