Regarding the Incinerating Toilet
WARNING: Elia goes on a rant
Honestly. Sorry to rain on your poop-parade. Composting toilets are the bomb, they don’t smell if vented properly to the outside, and they produce lovely, usable, agricultural “gold.” (The Incinolet comparison page says they can’t be used for food-producing plants. This is patently untrue - you simply have to allow a sufficient amount of time for the nasties to die.) Plus, they don’t require any more of the planet’s rapidly dwindling energy supply…
I will do a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation.
According to the manufacturer’s specs, the Incinolet uses about 1.5 kWh each cycle…i.e., each time you poo. Imagining a four-person household, let’s suppose that there are approximately 6 poo cycles each day. Some days perhaps more, some days perhaps less, but that seems like a good average to me. So, that means 9 kWh per day spent incinerating the family’s poo.
How much energy is that, really? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 107 million households used 1,140 billion kWh in 2001. That’s 1,140,000,000,000 kWh. Taking an average, we find that the typical household used about 10,650 kWh per year in 2001.
Now for the cost. Again according to the EIA, in 2006 the average cost of electricity to residential customers was 10.6 cents/kWh. In other words, most families spent about $1,130 on electricity in 2006 (and yes, it’s more expensive now than it was then). So a 30% increase would add another $340 or so to that bill. An extra $30 a month, just to burn your poo down to ash.
For a comparison look at other poo-elimination options, there was recently a pretty comprehensive article in the Boston Globe.
Note especially that use of the Arborloo in Africa is helping families feed themselves.
Okay, done with my eco-rant for the day. I’m fully aware that I’m an enormous geek.