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Decompose or Waste Away

Two options for solid waste management

Our toilets do a superb job of minimizing the amount of solid waste that is collected in the backcountry. We offer two types solid waste management: Decompose and Waste Away. The Decompose system is for sites with soil and vegetation. It achieves a 95% reduction in mass and volume of waste compared to standard vault toilets. The Waste Away system is for extreme environments such as the alpine or desert and achieves a 75% reduction in mass and volume of waste compared to standard vault toilets. Both solid waste management options require eventual removal of solid waste material because our National Parks, Forests, and beautiful wilderness areas are not mini landfills (which is how pit toilets work).

Solid Waste Systems
Overview Video

Decompose or Waste Away?



The Decompose toilet utilizes the Behind-The-Wall urine diversion seat and functions as a composting toilet should, promoting decomposition of the solid waste, without the need of bulking agents or mixing. Units are sized to provide 10-20 years of waste retention in a 2-4' deep pre-fabricated open bottom vault (TTS DCV). Solid waste is consumed by invertebrates (they actually eat it, obtaining energy and nutrients from it). No bulking agent is necessary because urine (wet and smelly) is diverted into a shallow septic field for onsite treatment. This urine diversion system evolved out of Toilet Tech's founder's PhD research.

Benefits:                        Produces lowest residual waste volume with onsite storage capacity of 10-20 years

Drawbacks:                    Requires excavation into soil, 2-4' below grade

Site Suitability:              Forests, campgrounds, sub-alpine, remote parking lots, some front country sites

Info Package:               Decompose information package

Compatible Seats:         BTW Urine Diversion Seat

Compatible Vaults:        Decompose Vault (DCV)

Compatible Structures:  All

Specifications Sheet:     Decompose specifications single-stall ADA PDF

Reference Letter:           Mark Ortega, Glacier Bay National Park 

Decompose Vault (DCV)

The Decompose Vault is an open bottom vault made of prefab FRP pieces and saves big bucks in remote locations where concrete ingredients, mixing and pouring is challenging and laborious. With annual watering of the waste pile, the waste is consumed by native soil invertebrates and bacteria that enter through the bottom of the vault to consume the waste pile.  From a regulatory perspective, this open bottom soil contact surface performs similarly to a conventional septic field where infiltrators or pipe place waste in contact with active and aerobic soil for treatment.  An important distinction and advantage of the Decompose system is that it is waterless. Virtually no effluent leaves the vault to contaminate groundwater, whereas conventional septic systems discharge hundreds of liters of wastewater per day to the soil.



Site Suitability:               

Compatible Seats:                

Compatible Structures: 

Specifications Sheet:

 Pre-fab; lightweight; durable, 50+ year life; comes in 2-4' deep sections,

 None; a little field assembly required.  1000x easier than concrete at remote sites

 Forests, campgrounds, sub-alpine, remote parking lots, some front country sites

 BTW Urine Diversion Seat          


 DCV Specifications

Decomose Vault (DCV)

Waste Away

The Waste Away system utilizes the BTW Urine Diversion Seat, collecting dry, solid waste directly into structural bags or bins for hassle-free removal. The Waste Away toilet has replaced dozens of high-use high-alpine helicopter fly-out toilets including all the high camp toilets at Mt. Rainier National Park, Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, and Zion's Angel's Landing trail. Operators report an 80% reduction in waste volume and hauling costs as compared to the previous system of mixed waste collection in fly-out drums. Waste can be collected in bags small enough for llamas to carry (as is done on Longs Peak) or in large 1 cubic yard stiff sided haul sacks. A single large tote bag can capture the waste of up to 10,000 toilet users per year. Download our planning and sizing guide to learn more.