Composting Toilets for Hornby Island: Finding out More

Submitted by the Comox Valley Regional District

Composting toilets can offer an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to flush toilets in rural areas, especially those that experience freshwater scarcity like the Gulf Islands.

One challenge for homeowners and businesses is how to properly discharge composting toilet organic matter, referred to as residuals. The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) has been awarded funding to study options for managing these residuals for Hornby Island.

The use of composting toilet-based sewerage systems is supported by the provincial Manual of Composting Toilet and Greywater Practice, which describes how homeowners and businesses can install and maintain these systems. The manual describes options for the management of composting toilet residuals. One option is taking residuals off-site to an approved composting facility.

The CVRD’s Composting Toilets Residuals Management Options Study seeks to answer the following questions:

  • How many homes and businesses currently use composting toilets?
  • Is off-site composting of residuals a viable option for Hornby Island?
  • Would more people be interested in composting toilet-based sewerage systems if it were easier to manage the residuals?

The CVRD is inviting Hornby residents and property owners to participate in a brief survey, which can be submitted online at A paper copy of the survey will also be available in this week’s Tribune. More information about the CVRD’s composting toilet feasibility study can be found on our website.

Questions? Contact CVRD Engineering Services at or call 250-334-6000.

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