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Types of composting systems

Class Type: Self-contained (on-floor) & Split (under-floor) Systems

 

Self-Contained Systems are the most convent system to be install and find there use in buildings that have no room below the floor for tanks/chambers or processors. The composting treatment is done inside the outer toilet hosing and it is truly amazing what capacity these little systems and achieve.

There are a few types of Self-contained Systems

  • Batching
  • Continuous
  • Hybrid Processing
  • Urine Diversion (desecration drying)

Toilet Fixture options

Wet systems: Toilet pedestal with a 500mL micro-flush this is not available for Self-contained systems as there is no need to transport waste to the composting system.
Dry systems: Use a waterless toilet pedestal with a wide (250mm) waste chute of a variable length that sits in-line between the compost chamber directly below the bathroom floor.

 

 

Split Systems are the most common composting toilet systems with low maintains and large capacity’s they are the referred type of system if sub-floor room is available. The compost treatment done inside a sub-floor tank/chamber or processor it is located directly below the toilet fixture or with a low flushing toilet they can be in a separate location. These types of system provide large capacities and lowest maintenance making them ideal heavy use situations.

There are a few types of Split Systems

  • Batching
  • Continuous
  • Hybrid Processing
  • Urine Diversion (desecration drying)

Toilet Fixture options

Wet systems: Toilet pedestal with a 500mL micro-flush moves solid waste along the narrow waste chute run almost horizontally. Available on Sun-Mar Centrex models only.
Dry systems: Use a waterless toilet pedestal with a wide (250mm) waste chute of a variable length that sits in-line between the compost chamber directly below the bathroom floor.

Below is a brief introduction to the three types of manufactured composting toilets. All systems can be purchased in a package with a greywater treatment system to provide a full on-site wastewater management solution.

Batch composting toilets

Low capacity batch
Where the chambers are swapped out within one monthly intervals

High capacity batch
Where the chambers are swapped out within six monthly intervals

Description
These systems offend come with two composting chambers. One is filled and put aside to continue composting, then the second chamber put into use. When it's time to change chambers again, the contents of the first chamber should be well composted and if it is not a means of complete composting can be achieved with a large suitable garden composting bin as secondary treatment. If your compost has had about 6 months in the chamber and is completely composted you can put it on your non-vegetable garden or bury it, and then re-use the chamber.

Continuous composting toilets

Low capacity continuous
These systems are typically rated for domestic use
Are systems that start with the input of human waste and travel through the system to a completed compost at the other end. The capacity depends on the size of the system and if there is heating to speed up the process.

High capacity continuous
These systems are typical rated for commercial use
Are systems that start with the input of human waste and travel through the system to a completed compost at the other end. The capacity depends on the size of the system and if there is heating to speed up the process.

Description
Continuous composters are usually large systems which rely on gravity and decomposition (composting) to reduce the size of the matter (shrink) to allow waste to move into a discharge area. These systems often are low maintenance and will have compost removal period of 6 months up to three years depending on use. They are not subject to bad performance due to low use and can often have use well bound their capacity or short periods of time. Most continues systems are below floor such as the renowned Clivus Multrum. There is smaller system that preforms like a continuous composting system but are more so referred to as a processing type.

Hybrid Processing composting toilets

These types of systems complete the composting process by utilising a combination of the batch composting and continuous composting process. Compost is continually added to the systems and will go through two stages to become a completed compost. The compost sits in isolation in this finishing tray until it is removed as humus and disposed of in the garden as per the batch process models. The Sun-Mar process is therefore ideal for those people who like the idea of a continuous system but want a guarantee that the humus is not contaminated with fresh waste. 

Urine Diversion (desecration drying)

With urine diversion systems, considerations to this method should be explored thoroughly. This method is mainly a means of treatment of human pathogens through the dry (desecration of faeces) not decompositions. They have their value in situation as follows;

  • Extremely cold climates
  • User capacities well beyond the spec of the system, where diverting the urine will reduce the load on the drying chamber but will still be high maintenance if user capacity is beyond systems rating.
  • If there is a proper means of treating the urine to prevent it from becoming an environmental pollutant.

Consideration to the fact that some human pathogens will via a drying prosses go into suspended animation or produce endospores that still prose a risk due to reanimation and germination respectively. Exposure risks still exist thought physical contact or respiration.

Please review - WCTNZ best practice guide for secondary treatment.

A note on Maturation and completing your compost

Maturation is a definition used to describe the aging of any and all compost, and it is often referred to as an important step in batching, hybrid or even continuous composting system.

Some systems may not have the retention time to create a completed composting and a range of things can affect this from the climate and turnaround time on chamber use (batching).

Here at WCTNZ we consider it good practice to give your composting process additional time, with up to two years’ maturation for batching systems and up to one year for any hybrid or continuous systems. This can be done with your standard garden waste composting bins where you can mix other green waste with the toilet compost if it’s been through a headed composting toilet system or if not then having a dedicated composting bin is preferred.

WCTNZ seeks to protect the health of composting users, please consult us before you decide on the right alternative On-site Waste Water technologies.