Composting toilets can turn human waste and some saw dust or wood chips into pathogen-free compost in a matter of weeks. Unlike conventional toilets, composting toilets require almost no water and can function without a municipal waste water plant. However, because composting toilets have not been a technologically viable option in cities until recently, most building codes and municipal laws in states outside of California don’t allow for them.
In 2010, California included composting toilets in its CalGreen standards for private residences, but many other states have not established certification processes that encourage the use of composting toilets as a water conservation mechanism.
According to Food and Water Watch, 75 percent of the empty plastic bottles end up in landfills, lakes, streams, and oceans where they might never become fully decomposed. Plastic bottles also cause a huge risk to the marine life. Plastic waste is at a very high volume causing trash to circle in the world’s oceans. Birds and fish mistake the garbage for food leading them to death.
Contributed by: Sarah Evans, Stanford CWP Program