BREAKING: Bisbee, Arizona residents will soon be required to replace their traditional toilets with composting toilets, thanks to a recent vote by the town’s city council. The intention of this new requirement is to proactively approach the state’s impending water shortage. “This vote is emblematic of the City of Bisbee’s commitment to the environment, especially when we’re considering a resource that is so important as water.” said Mayor Rex Robinson. “This move will help residents reduce their water consumption by up to 25 percent.”
Bisbee Arizona embraces the benefits of composting toilets
The immediate environmental benefits of composting toilets is the definite decrease in water usages. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the amount of water used in typical toilet flushing to be even higher than Mayor Robinson’s projection indicates. The EPA’s website states that older toilets may use as much as six gallons per flush and that toilet flushing might account for as much as 30 percent of a typical household’s overall water use.
Further savings may be seen with implementation of the city’s plan given the resulting decrease in use for wastewater treatment plants. Residents with septic tanks will no longer have to worry about the maintenance involved with those.
“Who has a composting toilet in their house?”
During the discussion ahead of the city council’s vote, one member of the public in opposition to the move could be heard loudly declaring, “Who has a composting toilet in their house?” While indoor plumbing, including traditional toilets, are relatively new (introduced in most homes after WWII), the conversion to composting toilets is sure to raise many an eyebrow. And while Bisbee seems to be among the first municipalities in the country to take such a drastic measure, the use of composting toilets inside homes is not altogether unheard of. In fact, they are becoming increasingly common among homeowners looking to increase the environmental-friendliness of their households and for tiny home devotees.
But how do residents feel about the prospect of trading their flushing toilets for this greener alternative? “I think this is a fantastic move,” said Bisbee resident April Fuler. “If we do not start making move to improve the environment now, it’ll be too little, too late.” Another Bisbee local, Sammy Sterak, added, “It’s not like it’s that big of a deal. If we’ve all got to go anyway, we might as well get some garden compost out of the deal.”
Not everyone is so enthused. “The toilet I have in my home should be of no concern to the city council, or anyone else for that matter,” said local business owner Jaya Pierce. “And the expense to replace the toilets in my home and my restaurant … it’s just not happening.”
Estimates for the upfront costs to install composting toilets in a home range from $1,500 to $8,000 depending on a number of factors. The city council currently has no plans to provide any sort of voucher or tax credit for residents to offset these costs.
More than one resident in attendance at the meeting brought up the issue of odors. In an article appearing on the Fox News website, it is explained that while many commonly assume that composting toilets probably have a foul odor, a venting stack on modern composting toilets ensures that is not an issue.
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality released specific guidelines for composting toilets in June of 2017. It is unclear as of the time of this writing whether or not Bisbee residents will have requirements that exceed the state guidelines. The new municipal code is set to take place in 2021.
Would you have a composting toilet in your home?
Whether you live in Bisbee or elsewhere, we would love to get your take! Would you consider giving up your traditional bathroom in favor of a composting toilet? If so, are you motivated because of environmental concerns or because of the money you could potentially save in the long run?
Either way, it appears that for the time being, Bisbee residents should plan on making the jump in the next couple of years!
Chief Experience Officer of CENTURY 21 Northwest, Juan Crugh, had this to say of the recent developments, “This move clearly makes Bisbee the Number 1 city in Arizona to go Number 2.”
***This is a fictional story intended for entertainment purposes only.