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Much has been said about saving on utilities with a green home, and wastewater/greywater recycling is no exception. There was a time when the biggest innovation in bathrooms in the U.S. was indoor, flush toilets that used a lot of water to flush away undesirable waste, which went to a wastewater treatment facility. Later, we had low-flow toilets, and it’s now pretty standard for a green home to have toilets that help recycle the grey water for use in watering landscaping.

For many years now, Scandinavia has had composting toilets, due to the lack of topsoil and the climate there. What can a composting toilet do for an American green home? We wondered about this a bit. A composting toilet can eliminate or greatly reduce the need for not only composting bins, but garbage disposal, wastewater disposal, and the fees that go with it.

Composting toilets do not smell bad. The suction is much greater to allow for larger debris, like food scraps to be composted. There are few, if any, chemicals needed to help the decomposition along, as in a septic system, because the system itself is set up to decompose/ compost the waste, which is then used to water landscaping. It is not used to water kitchen gardens. People using composting toilets in their homes report between 25 and 60% reductions in their water, wastewater, and garbage collection bills. Since the wastewater does not go to a treatment facility, it also helps to reduce the amount of waste treated in these often aging facilities, and keeps rivers and streams cleaner.