What’s the Best Medium To Use In an RV Compost Toilet


The new Composting Toilets equipped in late model RVs are making the process of going #1 & #2 easier with a much talked about sustainable medium that is better than Peat and is easier on the environment. What’s the best medium for using in an RV Compost Toilet?

Coco Coir is fast becoming the best Medium to use in an RV Compost Toilet and even in some cases, for soil in Greenhouse farming because of it’s:

  • Sustainability 
  • Low freight costs
  • High yield potential
  • Easy disposal of the medium after use.
  • Organic-Environmentally friendly
  • Disease-free

In the world of RVs, Camping, and Boating, there is the 500-pound gorilla in the room until the question “where do you go” is answered. With the new Composting technology comes some changes in a sustainable replacement for soil and the possibility for Coco Coir grown crops to be certified organic.

 

What Is Coconut Coir

 

Coco Coir is the fibrous material found on the inside of coconut shells, and until recently it was considered a waste material. Today it is often used to replace peat moss to aerate soil or to act as a medium on its own. it’s used in Hydroponics, Aquaponics, and other forms of sustainable gardening and farming.

It also has a big use in Water Filtration units found in the home. It has a beneficial polishing water quality that replaces other forms of carbon.

Coco Coir does not add to the nutrient quality of soil or any other growing medium. However, it does make an efficient medium to which nutrients and water can be added. Also, some plants thrive best in lower-or higher-nutrient soil, making Coco Coir a good medium to customize the nutrient levels that different plants receive. So whether your using it for growing or pooping off-grid it makes a lot of sense and is very beneficial.

 

Renewable, biodegradable & Eco-friendly, stable PH, hygroscopic and easy to wet, retains up to 8x its weight in water. High-grade Coconut Coir is an abundant resource and with Peat now considered a limited resource, there are strong environmental pressures to reduce its use in horticulture.

Replacement for soil or a soil conditioner provides breathing space and prevents soil from erosion once in the ground. Coir is a natural fiber extracted from the husk of coconut and used in a wide range of domestic products including floor mats, doormats, brushes, and mattress filling.

However, in recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the use of this renewable resource as a horticulture growing medium. A better delivery system for nutrients for plant roots and a Greenhouse sustainable soil that will be economical and necessary in the near future. This fruitful fiber stays nestled within the outer realm of the coconut and the husk, which are composed of cellulose that can be of better use once its in the soil.

 

How Does a Compost Toilet Work

 

When used in a Compost Toilet the medium is dumped in the bottom of the toilet that is kept dry from a fan that is constantly running through and out the other side. If the compost toilet is in your RV then the air is ventilated to the outside. There are one or two holes in the front of the toilet to accommodate liquid (#1) that separate liquids from solids.

When going (#2) there is a trap door that opens up allowing the solids to fall through into the bottom part holding the medium which in our case is Coco Coir. Once you deliver the poop into the bottom part of the toilet or holding tank as its referred, you need to agitate or mix the contents with the medium. Normally that done with a wheel turning handle from the side of the toilet.

In these examples, you can see that there are two holding tanks one for liquid located at the front with the holding strap that once filled is lifted out of the unit and the storage container for solids that are mixed with a medium such as Peat or Coco Coir that is located at the back. The handle turns and mixes the waste and medium together that start the composting process inside the toilet wherever it’s located and the rest of the job is done once you empty it.

There are many Composting Toilets that are available for RVs or Cabins that you can choose from or you can build your own. The mechanical part of the toilet is simple and the natural part is done, well by nature. The ventilation fans, cranks, and separate chambers are the positives reasons for buying one. Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Composting Toilet, Model Compact is a fine product for the RV and Cabin Camper. Recommended by MyWaterEarth&Sky sold through Amazon.

Coco Peat vs Coco Coir

Both the Sphagnum Peat Moss and the Coco Coir come dehydrated and have to be rehydrated before you can put it into your toilet. Coco Coir is a 100% natural by-product of coconut harvest. Coir consists of the coarse fibers extracted from the husk on the outer shell of a coconut. Coir has superior water holding capacity allowing for excellent air space and drainage.

Coir can be used as a soil amendment for potted plants, containers, and gardens and is a sustainable alternative to peat moss. Coir is easier to hydrate and lasts longer in soil than peat moss. all the while not destroying natural peat bogs. Coco Coir has a neutral pH of 5.8–6.8. It can help break up hard clay soils so that nutrients can be used more efficiently. Adding one part coir to two parts soil or potting mix containing compost creates an excellent growing medium for gardens, planters, and raised beds.

Coco Coir comes compressed into 10 lbs. bricks, which makes for easy and convenient storage. Add water and soak your brick for at least 1 hour before using it. A fully-hydrated brick can hold eight to ten times its volume in water. The final volume of the expanded coir depends on the amount of water used to constitute it. Plantronics Coco Coir is fully washed multiple times to reduce the risk of salt buildup in your soil. A 10 pound brick of Coco Coir can make up to 30 gallons of Medium which translates to approximately a garden size wheel Barrell.

In the near future sustainable farmers all around the world will be changing from dirt field farming to Greenhouses. Old Technology will definitely change because of the lack of water and land crisis we’ll be facing. Like Peat, Coir is able to absorb nutrients and water. Experts in the Farming Industries say that Coir will be used in the Aquaponic system instead of Rockwool which can’t absorb water and nutrients and in Greenhouses as a better natural substitute for soil. 

Coco Coir can be transported in a compressed form and using less energy. It can be expanded up to 5x its weight than other mediums that are used in the Farming Industry. The Coco Coir will be more available and cheaper for Composting and other processes than Peat. Once the Compost is put into the ground it becomes a more efficient growing medium for crops and other farm products along with solving the problems of Soil Erosion. It’s a Win-Win Situation. 

 

References:

Planet Coco-COIR: Sustainable Growing Media

 

Jim has worked in the Water/Wastewater and Water Filtration Business for over 30 years. He has written over 250 articles on the World Wide Water Situation

JimGalloway

Author/Editor, MyWaterEarth&Sky

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