It’s getting easier and easier to go green, and the humble dunny is one element of the home that’s seeing a surprising rise in interest. Compostable toilets are gaining momentum around regional Australia, with luxury and high-end homes jumping aboard the trend of opting for sustainable alternatives around their property.
The residents of a high-end custom-built home overlooking one of Western Australia’s premier beaches are the latest luxury homeowners to invest in a compost loo – proving the perfect fit for there sustainable lifestyle.
Anthony Smith, Environmental Engineer and owner of Water Wally, runs a family-owned business installing composting toilets among other water conservation and management alternatives.
“I jumped into the industry because of my passion for sustainability in general and I’ve been in the business for about 10 years now,” he says.
Anthony tells OzHomeNews that when it came to the decision for the owners of the luxury WA home, the compostable option was a lot more practical and cost-effective than a traditional setup.
“The homeowners wanted an extra toilet in the back garden at their disposal and it was the most logical fit,” Anthony says.
“Because of the earthworks and infrastructure of the space, it would have been a lot more expensive to have a traditional toilet installed.”
The outbuilding was designed by local builder Christian Bridson, who used natural wood and stone textures to suit the house’s gorgeous coastal design.
When it comes to the appearance of the toilets, the options are endless Anthony explains, with owners going to great lengths to give them a stylish flair.
“Some of the homes and spaces we install these in are super modern, and the owners like to take time to make the toilets look quite modern, too.
“People that do choose to use composting toilets definitely put more effort in making the toilets look nice – the designs people come up with continue to surprise me!
“Some are futuristic, some are more rustic – you have a whole range of options when it comes to the build and making it suit the space.”
One of OzHomeNews’s recent luxury walkthroughs showcased a tiny home in a boat in Mullumbimby – a unique dwelling that incorporated a compostable toilet in its design.
The energy and water consumption that a traditional toilet operates under is not sustainable. In the average Australian Household the use of a toilet consumes 26 per cent of the water bill.
Composting toilets don’t need water to operate, have a low energy requirement and create fertiliser as an added value product. They’re therefore a great way for people to invest in a sustainable and often practical alternative.
“People’s interest in compostable toilets is definitely growing,” Anthony says. “It seems to be on the trend since COVID-19 hit and people have been moving off-grid.
“They work in with the movement towards sustainable living, which has seen a lot of growth over the last six months.”
Anthony says that common misconceptions surrounding the hygiene of the toilets and general regulation can be an issue.
“They do have barriers that can deter people from investing in them, such as in Australia, it’s your responsibility to manage the compost.”
If you’re planning to install a compostable toilet at your property, Anthony says it’s best to take a step back and make sure the process is planned correctly.
“If you’re looking at building a home, try to factor the toilet into the original plan as it can be a tricky afterthought in some cases.
“The toilets are designed for areas that don’t work off a main waste management system, and are for homes that work off a secondary treatment system, which is why they’re more common in regional areas.”