Re: Marine Toilet (good, bad, and ugly)
Sorry if this shows up twice - I have a computer issue today...
Thank you for your reply. A few clarifications:
Poop dumped properly offshore is fine. However poop dumped in inshore waters is a big health risk. That's why holding tanks and pumpouts came into existence.
You don't usually dump the composted poop into a landfill. That would be a last resort. It is fertilizer. It goes on plants.
Yes, it's possible that a regular holding tank system does not smell. Mine always have (two boats over 10 years, with expensive professionally installed systems), as well as almost every boat I've been on. If we are honest, most of us will admit to the odd whiff even from the best system.
There is an earthy smell when you open the lid of a composting toilet. It's not a stink. This is for about 15 seconds, and only when opened.
Guests don't have to do much. If standing, pee forward. If sitting, nothing to be done. My guests can handle that, even 6 year old kids.
It's true, if you opened the trap door, spread you legs and looked down, you'd see someone else's poop. (Never done that, never will). However, you won't smell a thing, even when open, because the fan is sucking the air away from you, into the toilet.
I guess I turned into a compost toilet missionary after I had a malfunctioning holding tank system, and had to dismantle it. The smell was beyond belief. it was just about the grossest thing I've ever done. Never again. And I meet many boaters who, after installing a composting head, just can't believe such a drastically better solution was out there. Yeah, I suppose I'm kind of a fanatic now (lol). The Coast Guard loves them, btw.