What Is An Incinerating Toilet?

Rate this post

Last Updated on October 7, 2022 by acechapman

If you don’t know what to do with your waste, why not just burn it? An incinerating toilet can be installed and used easily.

What can you do to manage sewage if you don’t have access to a sewer system or water supply? This problem has been solved by homesteaders who have built outhouses to withstand the elements. Outhouses are more expensive and can be moved when they become full.

There are three options available for people who prefer their toilet to be in the house: chemical, composting, as well as incinerating. Incinerating toilets may be the most eco-friendly.

Have you ever heard of an incinerating toilet? This is what you need to know.

What is an incinerating toilet?

Incinerating toilets burns human waste, as the name suggests. These are usually standalone units. However, systems that connect multiple toilets can be used to create a central incinerating facility.

Standalones can be powered by natural gas, electricity, propane, as well as diesel. They typically incinerate waste after each usage. Multiple-unit incinerating toilets typically turn on when they reach a certain amount of waste.

Incinerator toilets can be used to dispose of liquid or solid waste. Additionally, incinerating toilets can exhaust odorous gases via a vent pipe. The best models are fitted with a catalytic converter to “scrub” the gases and make them harmless. Incinerating toilets are also easy to clean if they are used correctly. The only thing that one needs to do is periodically empty the ash reservoir.

Incinerating toilets don’t require a connection to a sewer and don’t require a water supply. It is easy to install: Simply place the toilet, attach a vent pipe, and connect it to a power source. Plug it in and either hard-wire it or connect it to a fuel supply.

incinerating toilet

How does an incinerating toilet work?

Incinerating toilets are shaped just like regular toilets. The incinerator is housed in a trap door at its bottom. However, some models require you to first insert a cone-shaped liner of paper into the bowl. Others have a small water reservoir that can be used for cleaning.

The contents of the reservoir (and any liner if they exist) are released into the reservoir when you flush. They are then reduced to ashes during the burn cycle.

One-time use produces approximately a teaspoon of ash or about one cup per person per week. The ash builds up in the reservoir under the incineration chamber. It must be emptied regularly, often by removing a drawer. The ash is clean of pathogens and bacteria, as well as high enough in potassium to be used as fertilizer for the garden.

The lid is lifted and the burn cycle stops. The button can be pushed (the equivalent of flushing) to reactivate the toilet. This allows two or more people to use it in succession.

Why should you choose an incinerating toilet?

It is important to find practical solutions for everyday life in order to have the freedom to travel and build. The most important is finding innovative and comfortable ways to handle the biological waste. The Cinderella solves many problems in relation to water supply, septic systems, and infrastructure for cottages or other uses. Installing sanitary solutions can be costly and difficult for many people. Running water, septic, and electricity can be difficult to access in remote areas. However, an incineration toilet allows you to enjoy the same comfort as at home without having to pay for plumbing and water installation.

Incinerating Toilets Features

  • There are no water or septic connections needed
  • No waste disposal and only a small amount of ash needs to be emptied
  • There is no need to provide bark or chemicals.
  • No insect problems
  • You are not dependent on the electric mains supply. There are both gas and electric models.
  • Safe for children
  • It takes up very little space
  • High capacity, 3-4 visits an hour

Types of incinerating toilets

The fuel type of standalone incinerating toilets is what makes them different. While all require electricity, those that burn diesel or gas only need electricity to operate the controls.


An electric incinerating toilet energizes the radiant heat element within the chamber. Each burn cycle uses approximately 1-1/2 to 2 kilowatt hours of electricity. This amounts to $0.22 to $0.30 for a flush at the national cost of $0.15 per kWh. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water costs for one flush of a standard toilet range from $0.015 to $0.03.

Diesel and Gas

A natural gas, propane, or diesel incinerating toilet’s burn chamber is usually located behind the unit. Waste is fed into it by a screw gear. Gas units can only burn waste if the reservoir is full and takes between 40 and 60 uses approximately.

For approximately 1,000 uses, the fuel consumed equals a 5-gallon propane bottle. This is $0.08 to $0.10. The unit must be connected to an electrical circuit of 12 or 120 volts depending on its model.

Waste Combustion System

A waste combustion system is made up of multiple toilets that have internal grinders and are connected to a central reservoir near the incinerating device. To flush the waste, each toilet requires a small amount of water. It turns the waste into a slurry that is transferred to the reservoir.

A pump pumps the waste from the reservoir to the incinerator when it reaches a certain level. This type of toilet is not DIY-friendly. It requires professional plumbing.

Incinerating Toilet Pros And Cons


Incinerating toilets is a better option for removing waste from cabins, construction sites, and remote camping sites. These are some of the perks it offers:

  • Use very little water to dispose of sanitary wastes
  • No plumbing required
  • It is easy to install
  • It is also clean and odorless.


Incinerating toilets will increase your energy bills because they require fuel. There are also other drawbacks:

  • They are difficult to clean, particularly if they are waterless.
  • You may need to have a supply of paper liners on hand.
  • Compost is far more nutritious than ash from burning.
  • Potentially releases pollutants into the atmosphere

Are Incinerating toilets Legal?

Eight states, including Arkansas, Massachusetts, Colorado, Florida, and Idaho, as well as Washington, Texas, and Montana, allow composting toilets. However, they do not provide any guidance regarding incinerating toilets. However, this does not mean that you cannot install one. You will need to get clearance from the local plumbing authority, which has the final say.

How to Clean an Incinerator Toilet

Incinerator toilets are cleaner than composting and flushing toilets because waste is not allowed to touch the inside.

  • Do not clean the incinerator toilet with cleaners containing bleach or chlorine as they can cause damage to the metal. Also, do not use flammable chemicals around or inside incinerator toilets. Use water and mild soap instead.
  • Each use of the incinerating toilet produces approximately one tablespoon of ash. The incineration chamber collects the ash in a tray.
  • You can empty the ash container into your household trash when it is full.
  • To remove any salt or lime residue, use a stiff-bristled toothbrush. Soak the container with warm water if the brush doesn’t remove the residue.
  • You can then place the empty container back into the incinerator and it will be ready for use.

Incinerating Toilet Maintenance

For cleaning and maintenance, the toilet should be removed once a year.

  • First, clean the exhaust pipe with a brush and vacuum.
  • Next, rinse the catalyst. Then, turn the machine upside down and pour hot water through the funnel. You should not pour the water into the toilet’s bottom. The catalyst is clean when the water runs clear.
  • It is important to clean the ventilation pipe connecting the incinerating toilet to the outside of the building once a year. This can also be made easier with special brushes.
  • A rope joins a brush and a ball. Then, pull the pall through the ventilation system, pull the brush behind it, and clear out any pipes.
incinerating toilet


Incineration and other bio-toilets look similar to traditional flushing toilets. You shouldn’t expect any significant differences in terms of aesthetics. Both cases have similar results. You can turn waste into useful products with very little impact on the environment.

However, the processes involved in making these systems work are quite different from other toilets.

Incineration is fast and clean. The system does everything automatically. You simply press a button and the system will burn the waste without any further assistance. Incineration toilet speeds up all processes for removing waste. It leaves behind only small amounts of residues which you may need to get rid of regularly.

Bio-toilets are able to compost your waste and make organic fertilizer. This is a lengthy process that requires storage space, a way for you to dispose of it, and sometimes even waste handling. It can quickly become a chore, depending on which product you choose.

The other difference between compost and incineration toilets is their power consumption. The overall impact of an electric incinerator toilet on the environment and its consumption are still lower than the amount we need to clean up and recycle our wastewater.

Wrapping up

Incineration toilets offer a more elegant alternative to traditional toilets. These systems heat up waste and can then be used to make organic fertilizer.

This waste management system has a downside, however: it is costly. There are upfront costs, professional help might be required, and each cycle requires electricity. This solution is best if you carefully consider its benefits and drawbacks.

Pick A Toilet may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

Leave a Comment