Welcome to Composting Toilets Canada, a division of GreenLatrine Composting Toilets Ltd.

Thinktank Composting Toilet

Thinktank Composting Toilet

Modern composting toilets offer an environmentally friendly and odor-free method of dealing with human waste. There are many models available at different prices, each with advantages and disadvantages.

My first experience with composting toilets goes back about 20 years. After delaying it as long as possible, I had to make a trip to the dreaded outhouse in a Washington State park. However, I immediately noticed there was absolutely no odor. This was unlike every other “outhouse” I had used – where the smell is usually unbearable. A small plaque announced it was a composting toilet – producing natural fertilizer rather than toxic sewage. “Why didn’t someone think of this before?”, I asked myself.

Turns out they had. In Europe, composting toilets have been around for generations. Often called “waterless toilets”, they are installed in homes, offices and government buildings – wherever a toilet is needed. Contrary to a popular misconception, there is no unpleasant smell if installed properly. North Americans have been much slower to adopt this technology. However, fresh water is becoming a scarce resource in many areas. It seems wasteful to flush away gallons of pure drinking water every time we use a toilet. In 2005, Americans flushed away 123 billion gallons of water, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report.

Conventional sewage treatment is sometimes impractical or too expensive. Septic systems have many potential problems, not the least of which is disposal of the contents in an environmentally sound manner.

Composting toilets provide a viable solution in many instances.

A true composting toilet produces a safe, non-toxic final product that can be placed on ornamental plants. No expensive or energy intensive treatment is required, and no toxic sludge is produced. Best of all, once the unit is installed, it costs almost nothing to operate.

The exact process varies depending on the composting toilet. Generally you have a traditional looking toilet seat and bowl, which sits above a storage tank. This tank may be built-in as part of the toilet, or it could be installed below the bathroom in a basement or crawlspace.

Separett composting toilet urine drain

French drain.

In a “urine separating composting toilet”, the liquid can be diverted to a small gravel pit (or “French drain), where it percolates safely away

Some of the newer composting toilets separate urine from solids. This is a big step forward. The relative lack of fluids in the storage tank helps eliminate odor. Complete and rapid composting occurs easily. Further dehydration over time allows the solid material to shrink dramatically (just like a compost pile). A small self-contained composting toilet can hold a surprising number of “uses”, meaning you do not have to empty it frequently.

Most of the older composting toilet designs hold the urine and solids in one tank. Water evaporates with the aid of electric heat, with the same odor free results – at least theoretically. In practice, you must be very, very careful not to introduce more liquid than the composting toilet can evaporate. Peat moss, coconut fiber, biological compost starter or other organic material is often added to the composting toilet to initiate and aid the composting process. In some toilets the solids are rotated, to speed up composting. With some simple home-made units you just cover fresh material with a layer of sawdust.

Ventilation is required with all composting toilets. Commercially available composting toilets use fans to dry out the contents and prevent odor. These fans are usually very quiet – 30 db to 40 db (which is between a whisper and a refrigerator in volume). They run all the time, 24/7. The fans pull air from the bathroom area, through the toilet and out a pipe to the outside. You never smell anything, even when sitting on the open toilet, because the fan is pulling air away from you. Any odor is exhausted, and it cannot waft up into the room.

When the solids bin fills up – and this can take between a few weeks and years depending on the composting toilet and how many people use it – you empty the already well-composted material into a suitable bin or container so it can “mature”. There should be little or no odor at this stage, other than a slight “earthy” smell.

Separett toilet

Separett toilet

How long it must sit is a matter of some debate. It depends on the temperature. Below about 12 degrees Celsius or 55 degrees Fahrenheit composting will slow or stop. Many experts believe letting the compost sit for 12 weeks at room temperature should render pathogens harmless. Others recommend a more cautious 6 months. It is then safe to use the finished compost on flowers or other non-edible plants. If absolutely necessary, as a last resort, you can bag and seal the fully composted material and dispose in the trash.

Composting toilets require almost no maintenance and are impossible to plug. They are hygienic, inexpensive in the long run and environmentally benign. As fresh water becomes ever more scarce we are sure to see wide spread acceptance of this technology.

Please join in the discussion on my blog page! I hope you find what you are looking for on Composting Toilets Canada.

An excellent video on composting toilets can be seen here:

Composting Toilets Canada is a division of GreenLatrine Composting Toilets Ltd.
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Composting Toilets Canada
Average rating:  
 17 reviews
 by Audrey Bayens
Richard is an expert in composting toilets

I have worked with Richard for both my home Separett and for my "privy" toilet at our glamping sites. He is an expert in asking the right questions and giving you the best composting toilet for your specific needs. He is also attentive, responds quickly and gives you the best service possible. I recommend Composting Toilets Canada for your best compost toilet experience!

 by Kayla
Great customer service

After having a few issues with our Nature's Head we thought this toilet didn't work for us and that we were on our own trying to fix it. We were wrong, we have received an incredible amount of understanding and support from Richard at Composting Toilets Canada. My partner and I installed our toilet on our own with the instructions given but we seem to have misunderstood some of the steps. It is an exciting adventure to begin using a composting toilet but it is not an immediate feat and it is not something that needs to be done on your own. Getting troubleshooting advice and helpful recommendations from Richard, as well as knowing we can still reach out with any concerns or questions we have is next level customer service. This company is run with a lot of integrity and it means a lot that the person selling this toilet also believes in it.
This toilet is a great way to protect resources by using less water and to be environmentally responsible for our own waste. Now we're looking forward to making the easy changes to our setup and to begin loving this toilet.

 by George Duffield
More Than Hoped For!

I was pretty skeptical about the value of this toilet. It seemed to offer more than anyone could deliver. However, after two months of use, I could not be happier. The installation was straight forward; the toilet worked as advertised; there is no smell and no problems. I have already recommended it to two friends and will continue to do so in the coming months. This is a great product!

 by Elaine Warner-Laxton
excellent product and amzing customer service

We have been SO pleased with our Nature's Head toilet at our island cottage. We empty the urine bucket twice a week (just to be safe because overflow is not pleasant) and the fecal section about once a month or so. It is an easy system, and we are pleased to get rid of our septic, about which we were not sure and was going to cost a lot of money to have pumped out ($2500 per time). Fortunately, the other waste water goes into a grey well. It is just the two of us here, so we dump the urine down our old, but functioning, outhouse, and dump the feces plus peat moss into the compost. SO easy!! And the advice/assistance from Composting Toilets Canada has been absolutely wonderful. They really look after their customers and are SO patient with us and our stupid questions.

 by Sanna
Amazing customer service!

Richard is a star! Consumer service beyond what I am used to. On top on any questions we had and always polite. Thank you!

 by Ane Halse

We are so pleased with our Nature's Head toilet purchase and especially with the service we received from Richard personally. He answered the phone himself every time as promised. We were on a tight time budget and Richard came through with shipping us our order the next day! We would highly recommend Richard and Composting Toilets Canada!

 by Lauren

My initial experience was a pleasant surprise. I called late at night to inquire about the nature’s head toilet and was shocked when Richard answered the phone! He answered all of my questions and helped me out, despite my interrupting his rest. I am still awaiting the toilet, as it was on backorder, but am excited to update this review once it is received. Thanks again Richard! Looking forward to receiving our order.

 by Kelly
Totally terrific!

We received our toilet within a week, later when we went to install it, we were missing a part, I called Richard and we received the part within two days.
Wow, I am so glad we decided to buy our toilet here and not at the big box store. The service is awesome and Richard knows his stuff. Thanks Richard

 by Sara Wilson
Amazing service

Richard answered all my questions patiently. Then I called back with more questions, and he answered those as well. It's wonderful to deal with someone like this. The toilet is also great!

 by Susan

Dear Richard,
We recently purchased a Separett. We have a small cabin and have had a Sunmar for about 20+ years. It has served its purpose. I love the Separett. The fan is quiet and there is absolutely no odor. I wish we would have gotten a Separett years ago.

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15 thoughts on “Composting Toilets Canada

    • Richard Post author

      It just goes into a sealed but ventilated compost bin located outside, with the rest of the material. You can add lime if you want, to speed up the process. It should be ready for non-edible plants in 120 days (with lime added, 6 months at summer temperatures without).

  • Debbie Mitchell

    I have had the Composting Toilet for over a year now in my 500 square foot home and am very happy with it! Richard was available for questions prior to purchase and offered to stay on the phone for the installation (that was not necessary though). This toilet has functioned as promised, no odor, easy empty. This was out of my field of knowledge so the purchase was a leap of faith. Richard’s easy access by phone or email and his clear answers helped me decide. Happy with the toilet and very grateful for Richard’s service. Thank you!

  • Denise

    We were very happy with Richard’s competence and promptness in dealing with our order. The web site is very informative and Richard is knowledgeable and helpful in making product decisions. We were grateful to deal with a human! Thanks.

    • Richard Post author

      If you are building a new home then yes. Typically you will have to seek special permission and meet their requirements for waste management. It is not an automatic approval, and can be frustrating because their code book is 20 years out of date on this issue. If you are not building new then usually you do not need a permit. Still, you must be very careful to follow all instructions on managing your waste.

  • Gillian Woodrooffe

    We have a cabin on an island in a relatively remote area. We come and go throughout the seasons. I am wondering how a composting toilet could function when there is no heat and electricity for months, then for about two weeks during the winter, there would be continuous usage. Also during the warmer months, how does it function with only occasional use, and by that I mean two weeks of use, two weeks of inactivity… When we leave the cottage, we always turn the power off. Comments?

    • Richard Post author

      That will be no problem at all. These toilets are perfect for what you describe. Heat is not needed. Occasional use is also fine. You can turn the power off. If the power is off and the toilet has not been emptied, you may or may not return to a slight odor in the bathroom. This will quickly disappear when you turn the fan back on.

  • Mary Lindsey

    I am planning to put a compositing toilet in my Yurt. The Yurt is located in the Southern Gulf Islands of BC. Usage is limited to a few people during the summer. Does this unit require electricity to run a fan for ventilation? Or does it need to be vented? I was thinking of drilling a hole through the floor of the yurt for effluent to go down too. Are there any units which have external holding tanks below the floor level of the actual toilet?

    • Richard Post author

      Yes, you need ventilation and a fan to prevent odour. There is no effluent. Please study my site, watch the videos, and you will get a much better idea of how these work. Then we can talk.

  • Khalid Mohammad

    I just got the phone and placed my order for a toilet. Believe it or not, not only did I order it over the phone instead of by internet, I actually spoke to Richard himself who explained everything and took the order himself. That was great!!!
    Looking forward to receiving the order and will update my comment to let everyone know about my thoughts on the toilet.

  • Myles Plaunt

    We are set up and ready to go…..in the product literature, you mention using a small solar panel and a 12 volt deep cycle battery. I was thinking that a single 1000 watt panel would be more than enough for a toilet located on the Southern Gulf Islands.
    I imagine you have talked to a lot of people regarding solar sizing…..I am not trying to pin you down, just want your best guess.

  • Lisa Underwood

    Hi there, I tried to order the Separett compost toilet but the website wouldn’t let me enter my visa number. Then I realized that you are out of stock until the end of September. Please let me know when they are in so that I can order one ASAP. Many thanks.

  • Michel Laplante

    We have purchased a Villa 9210 and really enjoy it. What ever is said on the home page is accurateand customer service from Richard is great. We have a small cabin in Ontario that we heat only on weekends and this works great. No power, no problem, we have it running off a rv battery. I was worried about the noise, but you can hardly here the noise and our bedroom is right beside. Great product.