Friday, March 9, 2018

Composting Toilet Reviews: Sun-Mar versus BioLet Composting Toilets

It is difficult to find honest reviews on the internet of composting toilets. Many articles presenting information about different composting toilet brands are actually written by the manufacturers or retailers of these popular composting toilet brands.  This is one reason I decided to found this website – to provide unbiased information and reviews about the benefits and advantages of different composting toilets. 

I do not sell or work as an agent for any composting toilet manufacturer.  All the information and advice I get is based on research and personal experience.  As such, you should also recognize that many people have different opinions (and some feel quite strongly) about different models and my opinion is just one of many to consider when purchasing a toilet composting system.

Two of the most popular composting toilets currently being manufactured are the Sun-Mar composting toilet and the BioLet composting toilet.  Both these companies produce several different models of composting toilets and in this review I will discuss features of only a few of their models.  You may want to visit the manufacturers’ websites (Sun-Mar, BioLet) to see all the models and features available that they offer.

Sun-Mar Composting Toilets

Sun-Mar is one of the most well-known composting toilet manufacturers in North America. Founded in 1971, the Sun-Mar corporation currently has 22 different composting toilets available, ranging from small portable composting toilets that can be used on boats and RV’s to larger centralized systems suitable for an entire family.  They offer both electric and non-electric models, and their centralized systems come in both dry and low flush formats. Their best-selling self-contained model is the “Excel” which they say can accommodate up to four individuals living in a household. Their larger centralized models, such as the “Centrex 3000 AF” are built to accommodate up to ten individuals (“seasonally” they say).  Their portable “Sun-Mar Mobile” composting toilet model is also very popular with boaters.  Self-contained models start at around $1500 (U.S.), while the centralized units can cost well over $2000, although installation and additional features will add to these costs, especially with the centralized units.

The Sun-Mar Corporation has put a lot of effort into making many of their models nearly odor-free.  This is accomplished by engineering the models so that there is a partial vacuum in them at all times.  Sun-Mar composting toilets have also been certified by the National Sanitation Foundation International, which has strict guidelines on the amount of odorless fecal matter there is in the finished compost product.  If you are interested in watching a promotional YouTube video for the Sun-Mar composting toilet, click here.  Most published online reviews of the Sun-Mar composting toilet seem to be positive.

BioLet Composting Toilets

BioLet is a smaller company than Sun-Mar and was founded in 1991.  Their main focus is on self-contained composting toilets, and currently they are offering four different self-contained models for sale (BioLet 10, 20, 30 and 60).  They have both electric and non-electric models (the BioLet 30 is the non-electric models), suitable for between three to four people when in use full-time.  Models range in price from around $1400 (for the non-electric BioLet 30 version) to $2200 for their larger BioLet 60 model.  You may also be able to find a good deal by checking out the BioLet refurbished page to see if they have any discounted refurbished models for sale.

Some online reviewers have expressed dissatisfaction with the non-electric model.  Some complaints have focused on the odor, which is common in many non-electric composting toilets since there is no fan mechanism to draw the odor away.  Some have also complained that the fan models are noisy and high maintenance, and that they may not be well-equipped to deal with large amounts of urine you can read these reviews here. 

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