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Reviews of Composting Toilets for Commercial Use

The following reviews have been written by customers who installed composting toilets in their place of business.  Our commercial use composting toilets reviews include hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, eco-lodges, etc.
Eco-Tourism Resorts

Eco-Resorts promote tourism with a minimal impact on the environment. Many eco-resorts also feature guided interactions with local wildlife and vegetation, so that visitors can fully appreciate the environment that they are helping to preserve.The organizations linked at left are both Sun-Mar customers and Eco-Tourism Resorts. All look like beautiful and environmentally conscious ways to "get away". We hope that you will visit them.
Tiamo Resorts
Ecolodge Rendez-Vous SABA
Trocones Point Surf Club
Ranch Park Lodge

Model: Excel AC/DCs

Location: Birch Pond Lodge Eco Resort Lodge, Willow, AK

Reviewed By: Bill Royce


Birch Pond Lodge uses your products and has figured out how to keep a composting toilet working year round in an off the grid cabin which sees winter temps to -40 F. We also have been pleased to have been selected one of the top 10 eco-lodges in the world by Outside Magazine, March 2003 and one of 25 great eco-lodges in an article in Travel & Leisure, July 2003. I thought I would pass along this good news to your firm.

We are located 70 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska and our cabins overlook pristine lakes and ponds. Using Sun-Mar composting toilets has solved the problem of disturbing the ground for a septic tank and drain field and eliminated the possibility of contamination of our lakes and ponds. Our concern was finding a way to keep the composter working in winter in a stand alone cabin which is not always occupied and thus not always heated. We solved this by building a well insulated bathroom within the cabin which is heated when necessary using a direct vent propane heater. In future cabins we will experiment by designing in some solar heat gain where siting allows to minimize the propane use.

We chose to purchase your product (Excel AC/DC) knowing we would have some problems to solve. Happily we can report these problems solved. We rarely use the AC or DC as the unit functions well so long as the bathroom stays above 50 and our cabin design has the venting exiting at the roof peak and this creates sufficient draft in most circumstances.

You are welcome to share the content of this letter as you wish. Thanks for supplying a good product.

Best regards,
Bill Royce

Composting toilet review of Sun-Mar Excel AC/DC models installed at Birch Pond Lodge Eco Resort Lodge in Willow, Alaska

Model: Excel NE Installed 1997

Location: Ventura Windsurf Bed & Breakfast in Mexico

Reviewed By: Stephen Winiarski

I have a Sun-Mar Excel-NE that I installed about 6 years ago and is still working perfectly. It is situated in the public bathhouse of my windsurfing B& B in Baja California, Mexico. is the website and feel free to pass that on.

Composting toilet review of Sun-Mar Excel NE model installed at Ventura Windsurf Bed & Breakfast in Mexico

Model: Excel NE, Centrex NE

Location: Ecolodge Rendez-Vous SABA, Dutch West Indies

Reviewed By: Tom van't Hof

The Ecolodge Rendez-Vous is located in a moist tropical climate at almost 1,700 ft elevation. It consists of a restaurant and 12 guest cottages that each sleep up to 4 persons. We have equipped 2 cottages with the EXCEL NE composting toilets and the remaining 10 with CENTREX NE systems and a Sealand 1-pint flush toilet. The only reason we switched from the EXCEL to the CENTREX system was that some guests had a slight problem with the height of the EXCEL and the visual impact of the drum's content. The latter is really an out-of-sight, out-of-mind aspect and it doesn't bother all guests.

Both systems work beautifully and require very little maintenance. We turn the CENTREX units twice a week and use the compost for fruit trees and flower beds. We have the gravel leach field under the concrete slab that supports the unit. This prevents the leach field from in-filling with soil during heavy rains. The concrete slabs are slightly slanted to create better drainage of liquids. So far, we have had no problems with non-biodegradable objects in the toilets and our guests are entirely happy with the product. As we are totally dependent upon rainwater collected in cisterns for all our water supply, the water saving aspect is extremely important to us.

Composting toilet review of Sun-Mar Excel NE installed at Ecolodge Rendez-Vous SABA, Dutch West Indies

Models: Excel NE Installed 1994 to 1997

Location: Installed at Omagaki Wilderness Lodge, Ottawa Valley, ON

Reviewed By: Deidre Billes

Deidre Billes of Omagaki Wilderness Lodge was so pleased with her first Excel-NE that she now has more than ten in operation at the camp. Omagaki entertains hundreds of visitors every season at their beautiful remote location in the Ottawa valley which runs entirely on solar energy.

Deidre is "very satisfied with the performance of the units" and likes the fact that her toilet facilities are never going to destroy her business' most precious resource - nature!

Composting toilet review of Excel NE installed at Omagaki Wilderness Lodge, Ottawa Valley, ON

Models: Centrex 2000 NE

Location: Installed in 10 houses in the Bahamas

Reviewed By: Curtis Campaigne

I am an architect/developer on an island in the Far Bahamas. We have built a small eco community – 10 houses 22 Sunmar Centrex 2000 NE units. In our community, most of the houses are within 50 feet of the beach and the waters are always turquoise, composting toilets were an obvious first element. Having had a practice in Sweden for 20 years, I was very familiar with the many versions of off the grid toilets that exist in Scandanavia, from electric incinerator toilets, numerous variations of composting toilets and even freezer toilets.

I was therefore very critical when it came to choosing a composting system for our climate and building type in the Bahamas.

Our buildings are built on pilings from two to three feet over ground level. The main reason that I initially chose Sunmar is because the Centrex units were the lowest that I could find. This was important because the floor height of the buildings was determined by the toilets.

The ladies were less interested in building floor heights. They unanimously insisted on a low water flush toilet system. My Swedish wife did not want to stare down a dark hole that she associated with privies in Sweden. So we chose a rather exclusive solution of a Centrex 1000 NE unit for each bathroom with a Sealand low flush water toilet.

Over the 5 years of experience with these toilets, (ours are used every day) I would like to say that there are certain inherent problems with introducing too much water in a composting system. Cleaning personnel have a tendency to want to wash down toilet bowls with disinfectants and masses of water – in spite of instructions to the contrary.

Too much water stops the composting process and one would expect trouble from the smell from anaerobic decomposition. I can’t figure out how Sunmar engineers have managed to create a system that even in the worst flooded conditions DOES NOT SMELL. I would like to add these conditions arise only due to improper use of the system by overzealous cleaning personnel or guests who are not attentive to the ECO in ecotourism.

And in the best of conditions, I never tire of showing off our toilets, taking our many interested visitors directly to the “dirty” end, opening up the composting drawer, grabbing a handful from the drawer and thrusting a handful of composted material first under my nose and then under theirs. They are always flabbergasted because the resulting compost smells just like wood land loam.

I originally had some problems coming up with a proper mix for filler. Lacking diggable soil, I was forced to import whatever materials I would need. I first tried peat moss, much of which would fall into the drain pan under the drum, thereby inhibiting proper drainage. I now use a mixture of peat moss and kiln dried wood chips meant for bedding in stables with great success.

Any potential customer is welcome to call or email me.

Composting toilet review of Sun-Mar Centrex 2000 NE installed in 10 houses in the Bahamas

Hunting & Fishing Lodges

Hunting and fishing lodges have been using Sun-Mar units for quite some time. The reason? They do not wish to pollute the very water that gives them their livelihood with an aging drainfield. The effects from septic drainfields can easily change the entire ecosystem of a lake over the course of a half-century. Please visit our customers to the right and see what kind of catches you can get from a cleaner lake.
Kesagami Wilderness Lodge
Hearne Lake Lodge
Malei Island
Yukon Mountain Retreat
Cedar House Inn & Yurts
Red Pine Wilderness Lodge

Bed & Breakfasts

The Bed & Breakfasts that are listed at right offer an ecologically sound and charming way to spend the night.
Ventana Windsurf
Harrison River Retreat

Builders - Residential and Recreational properties Salmon Beach Development