If you are planning to get a toilet other than the conventional flushing toilet systems, then you have got two options. One is known as composting toilet. The other one is known as incinerating toilet.

These types of toilets are needed by someone who has an RV or they are the need at places like far away islands or under construction buildings. They are also helpful at places having extremely cold weather conditions where running water might not be possible. People living in suburbs also consider these toilets to save as much water as possible.

Other than the above described reasons, there might be a possibility that the person installing the toilet wants to save water for ecological reasons. The whole world is facing scarcity of water with every passing day due to which many people now prefer to save water wastage in toilets and the best options available are composting toilets and incinerating toilets.

What is Composting Toilet?

Composting toilet can be explained in a way that it has got a septic tank which contains all the waste from the toilet. This waste is then added with other items like coco pith or peat moss. The adding of other organic material along with the waste helps with the decomposition.

Material like coco coir and peat moss help to form better compost. When the decomposition is done and compost is formed, then it is used as a fertilizer for plants. This compost contains lots of nutrients like phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. These elements help in growth of plants.

Composing toilets are of different designs and models. Some models come with urine divergent. The basic aim is to separate the solid waste from the liquid waste. Separated liquid and solid waste helps in speeding up the decomposition process.

Some models of compost toilets also offer ventilation system which helps in maintaining the compost in a better state. Ventilation helps in the drying up of waste which is necessary for decomposition of compost.

Types of Composting Toilets

There are basically two main types of composting toilets.

  1. Slow Composting Toilets
  2. Active Composting Toilets

Slow Composting Toilets

This type of composting toilet is simple to make and can be Dyed. A simple large capacity bucket (5 to 10 gallons) can be attached with a toilet seat to make this toilet. This simpler version does not contain ventilation nor does it come with urine divergent.

The bucket simply needs to be emptied more often as the solid and liquid wastes are mixed in this type of composting toilet. This toilet is simple to install but it emits bad odors when cleaning is not done on regular basis. The mixing of solid and liquid wastes also slows down the decomposition process.

Active Composting Toilets

These are more advanced form of composting toilets. They come with a canister and toilet seats. They also contain urine divergent. Ventilation systems are also attached with active composting toilets. Bulking materials are also present in active composting toilets. The decomposition process is quick in these toilets thus reducing the smell as well. However, the installation cost of active composting toilets is more than the slower ones.

What is Incinerating Toilet?

An incinerating toilet is a toilet that burns off the waste right after depositing. This toilet looks the same as your regular toilet but the difference comes in the functioning. The inside part of an incinerating toilet consists of metal do that it can bear the heat when the incinerating process starts.

Before using the toilet, you have to place a piece of paper at your bottom. After the waste goes on to the paper the user seals it by pressing a button, pump or lever that is attached with the toilet. The door is placed at the bottom of this toilet and you have to open the door to send the waste to the incinerator.

The waste is burnt there in the incinerator and turned into ashes. Propane fuel, natural gas or electricity is used to facilitate the burning process. The total time taken is somewhere between 10-20 minutes. After the incineration, a tablespoon of ash is obtained.

Difference between Composting Toilets and Incinerating Toilets

Following is a comparison between incinerating and composting toilets. Although they both look same except the way they function, but there are a lot of differences between the two. This comparison will help you to choose which option best fulfill your needs.

Comfort Level

A composting toilet is lacking in terms of comfort because you need to empty your waste often to avoid bad smells and to help the decomposition process work properly. Therefore, it is considered less efficient in terms of comfort. Whereas, in case of incinerating toilets comfort level is very high. You only need to press the button or pull the lever and all other work is done on its own. Nothing is required to be done after that.

Producing Bad Odors

Composting toilet can be very smelly if you are not doing the cleaning in a right way. A pile of waste if not cleaned on regular basis, can produce bad smells and can be very disgusting. On the other hand, an incinerating toilet is not odorless but due to the burning process, the odors produced are far less than the one in the case of composting toilets.

Water Consumption

Either composting toilet or an incinerating toilet, both of them use very less amount of water or no water at all. A composting toilet sometimes uses a little amount of water to send the waste to the container. An incinerating toilet functions without any amount of water at all!


A composting toilet is considered to be less expensive than the incinerating toilet. Although the toilet bowls and bulking material etc have same cost but in case of an incinerating toilet, the fuel or gas added for the burning process makes it more expensive.


An incinerator toilet is easier to manage and maintain. The bowl liners on the incinerating toilets make the cleaning easy. While the composting toilet need cleaning on regular basis.

Concluding Thoughts

The differences listed above will help you to understand the functionality of both types of toilets. This will make it easier for you to understand their working technique and will help you to make a better decision.

Sarah Michelle is a passionate writer and digital strategist interested in the evolving landscape of online content and user experience. Having closely followed the developments in digital marketing and search algorithms, Sarah brings a unique blend of insights into the marketing world and is committed to helping both creators and consumers navigate the digital realm with confidence.

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