Portable toilets seem to carry a certain mystery with them. We all know them, and we’ve all used them. But not many people are familiar with how they actually work. That means we often get one question in particular: are they environmentally friendly? Increasingly, environmental impact is something we all need to take responsibility for.
And it’s certainly something we like to consider. That’s why we are pleased to report that they are very environmentally friendly! In fact, in some ways, they’re more environmentally friendly than regular toilets. So let’s have a look at exactly what enables them to have such a low impact.
Portable toilets have come a long way in terms of environmental friendliness
Before we look at portable toilets as they are today, it’s important to look at where they’ve come from. If you look at the origins of portable toilets, it’s easy to see where the misconceptions about their current environmental impact came from. In the early 20th century, when portable toilets were emerging, they used formaldehyde to mask the odour.
Sometimes, they even drained into the sea. Of course, that’s not good for the environment at all! It’s also not good for humans. That’s why they’ve changed drastically into the sleek, low impact units we see today. They no longer use formaldehyde, replacing it instead with a safe chemical and a watertight holding tank.
Do portable toilets release chemicals and waste into the ground? Absolutely not!
Speaking of holding tanks, where does waste go in portable toilets? In modern portable toilets, waste is held for no more than a week. At the end of that period, the toilet is collected and the waste drained into a specialised holding tank. That tank then transports the waste – usually by truck – to an appropriate treatment facility.
There, the waste is managed in accordance with the correct environmental procedures. The key to the whole process is ensuring that no waste whatsoever leaks into the environment. So you can be assured no waste will leave your portable toilet!
Cleaned, serviced, and emptied by professionals; waste is managed carefully
When waste is removed from portable toilets and transported, careful management is vital. The vehicles used for this purpose are built especially to a certain standard. They have to meet strict criteria, and so does each component used in the pumping process. Even though portable toilet waste is treated in the holding tank of the toilet, it’s still not in a suitable state to be released. That’s why it’s carefully and precisely managed, right until it reaches the appropriate treatment facility.
In fact, there are plenty of laws governing the disposal of human waste – compliance is vital
The industry takes great care to ensure that no harm befalls the environment as a result of portable toilets. But we aren’t the only ones doing our bit. Waste management is also regulated by councils, and even governments, to ensure that it is handled in the best possible way. After all, the whole point is to keep waste away from us!
How about water consumption?
Of course, environmental protection is about more than just preventing the release of certain substances. It’s also about working from a conservation perspective. Luckily, portable toilets work exceptionally well in that regard. Portable toilets have to watch their water consumption; their water tanks are only so big, after all!
That’s why the flushing system is vacuum driven, rather than water driven. As a result, the only water used is for washing hands! That means portable toilets consume very little water, which is great news for the environment.