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Diversion Composting Toilets vs Separating Toilets: Make The Right Choice

As off-grid lifestyles – like living on a boat, RV or off-grid homes – continue to grow, the shift towards using products that fit your lifestyle becomes more important. One of these products are toilets. Let’s face it, we all use them, we all need them, so why not make sure we have the best system for our situation. However, not all composting toilets offer the same level of efficiency or comfort. 

In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of choosing a diversion composting toilet, and how they offer a significant benefit, especially when it comes to water conservation and simplifying an off-grid lifestyle. Of course, we will have a focus on our own Air Head Composting Toilets, and compare these to more basic waste-separating models that are commonly found online.

Understanding Composting Toilets

Composting toilets offer an alternative to traditional sewage systems which are not generally possible in off-grid lifestyles. They are designed to treat human waste through natural processes of decomposition and evaporation. The fundamental purpose of these toilets is to turn waste into compost that can be used to enrich soil. 

However, it also has huge benefits for general off-grid life. Whether you are living on a boat, an RV, or in an off-grid home – a composting toilet will make day-to-day life much easier..

Understanding how a composting toilet works is key to ensuring it operates efficiently. A diversion composting toilet, like the Air Head Classic or Tejo will divert the urine from the solids directly in the bowl, allowing for a dryer fecal matter. This is the first step in creating an environment that allows the aerobic bacteria to effectively decompose waste. By removing the liquids and using a premium compost medium, like our Coco Peat Bricks will help to keep the balance in moisture level, temperature, and carbon-nitrogen levels.

The success of composting toilets hinges on their ability to properly manage moisture, oxygen, and organic material to facilitate aerobic decomposition.

Air Head Installed in RV

Composting Toilets vs. Basic Separating Models

Two of the most popular off-grid options are composting toilets and separating toilets. While both types aim to manage waste, their mechanisms and efficiency levels differ significantly.

The Superiority of a Real Composting Toilet

Composting toilets are equipped with systems that allow the composting process to take place:

Built-in Agitators: These devices stir the waste together with a composting medium such as our Coco Peat Bricks. This mixing process is essential as it enhances aeration within the compost, promoting faster and more efficient aerobic decomposition.

Ventilation Systems: Effective ventilation is crucial for removing excess moisture and controlling odors. These systems not only expedite the drying process but also prevent the development of anaerobic conditions that could lead to unpleasant smells.

Both the Air Head Classic and Tejo models integrate an agitator and a robust ventilation system to ensure that the composting process is both efficient and odor-free.

Limitations of Basic Separating Toilets

However, basic separating toilets which focus on dividing liquid waste from solid, do not facilitate the composting process as effectively. Separation helps keep fecal material away from the urine, with occasional use. So, while it can somewhat manage odors, it does little to create compost, and still emits strong odors compared to a composting toilet. These models usually require more manual intervention and a much longer duration to transform waste into some kind of compost-like material, making them less efficient than their active counterparts.

Why Choose Composting Technology?

While basic separating toilets are generally cheaper, composting toilets like the Air Head provide a complete solution for owners. Here’s why you might consider opting for an advanced system:

Easier Waste Management: Handling compost is much easier and cleaner than dealing with a bucket of poop – making the disposal process much easier. 

Better Odor Control: These toilets are designed to tackle odor control actively, using ventilation systems that expel bad smells and introduce fresh air. So, much better in small spaces, like RVs and Boats. 

Less Emptying: Composting systems treat waste in the toilet, reducing the need for frequent emptying and handling.

Long-term Sustainability: Composting systems are designed to last longer and offer better performance, aligning with a sustainable lifestyle.

Eco-Friendly and Efficient: Reducing water usage and producing valuable compost makes active composting toilets highly sustainable. They are particularly suitable for areas without reliable water supply or septic systems, or for those keen on minimizing their ecological footprint.

couple inside campervan

The Air Head Composting Toilet: A Market Leader

The Air Head stands out due to its superior design and functionality. It is a premium diversion composting toilet that will create compost efficiently. The Classic has been leading the industry for over 20 years. The All New Tejo is an even more premium option which mimics a “normal” household toilet – both in design and usage – while maintaining the efficiency in composting! 


Also, thanks to the large number of customizable options, it allows you to personalize the toilet specifically for your install. For example:

  • Bowl Size
  • Tank Size
  • Tank Shape
  • Which Side of the toilet you want the crank handle on
  • Fan / Vent Options

Making the Right Choice

When selecting a composting toilet, consider the installation requirements, the capacity needed based on usage, and the maintenance involved. Composting toilets, while potentially more costly upfront, offer significant long-term benefits in terms of maintenance and operational efficiency.

Air Head Classic
Air Head Classic

Discover a smarter way to maintain hygiene on your adventures with Airhead Composting Toilets! Engineered for superior comfort and eco-friendly efficiency, our composting toilets transform your personal care routine into a seamless, odor-free experience. Perfect for yachts, RVs, and off-grid homes, these toilets are designed to reduce water usage and waste. 

Air Head Tejo
Air Head Tejo