Building Regulations and Compost Toilets

Prior to 2010, compost toilets were not mentioned in the UK Building Regulations documentation. This gave rise to lots of confusion, scratching of heads and in some cases, people had to install flushing toilets which were never used, in order for their dwelling and compost toilet to get building regs approval.

In 2010, the much delayed changes were introduced. Part of the aim of the new regulations were to reduce domestic water use by 18%, and for the first time, compost toilets were mentioned. The main proviso was that you had to be able to carry the waste outside without going through living rooms or food preparation areas (including kitchens), which makes sense.

The regulations also state that the compost toilets can be connected to an energy source (electricity supply) only for the purposes of ventilation (ie powering a fan) or to sustain the composting process. This would imply that a toilet that heats the contents to dry it out, or incinerates the contents, does not meet building regulations in the UK. We’ve long held the view that toilets which dry or incinerate can hardly be considered ‘environmentally friendly’ due to the amount of energy they consume.

For a slightly more detailed look, see our guide on Regulations concerning disposal of waste from compost toilets.

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