Can kitchen scraps or garden waste be added to my composting toilet?

Summer is right around the corner, and a question our service department receives frequently this time of year is, ‘If I have food scraps or garden waste, can I add that to my composting toilet to help with decomposition?’

This question comes from a good place, and a desire to make use of materials and keep waste out of landfills, but it is never recommended to add anything other than the appropriate bulking materials  and toilet paper. The reason for this lies in the method through which Sun-Mar toilets break down material, as well as possible effects that this material can have on the compost in the Bio-drum™.

One of the features that makes a Sun-Mar toilet unique is using aerobic decomposition to break down waste, turning it into usable compost. Aerobic bacteria thrive on oxygen and break down waste without the release of unpleasant odors like their cousin, anaerobic bacteria (which are found in outhouses and septic tanks).

The aerobic bacteria are the reason why the Bio-drum™ must be rotated every other day that the toilet is in use, to allow the compost pile to be aerated and for oxygen to travel through the pile. Adding materials like food scraps and garden waste can cause the compost to become less porous, and restrict oxygen movement through the pile. This can damage the aerobic bacteria colony in the drum and can impact decomposition.

To ensure a healthy compost pile and a happy summer, kitchen scraps and garden waste should not be put into your Sun-Mar composting toilet. An option to consider for this waste are Sun-Mar Garden Composters, where they can decompose and be broken down into compost. Click this link for further details on these products, or call 1 888 341 0782 for information on ordering units or accessories.

For any questions on the use and operation of your Sun-Mar product, our service department is always happy to answer questions. They can be reached at 1.888.341.0782 ext 1018, or via email at

**Please note: The information in this post is not intended to replace your owner’s manual. As each installation is different, if you have any questions, our customer service department is more than happy to help, and can be reached at 1.888.341.0782 ext. 1018, or via email at **