Q. We are building a passive-solar recreational/retirement home in New Hampshire and want to conserve on water as well. With a waterless toilet we can save more of our woodland because we shall need a much smaller leaching field. Also, we could open and close the place in the wintertime without reactivating the water system with each visit. What is your opinion of waterless systems in general and of the New Mullbank unit in particular? Will waterless toilets hurt the resale value of a house? Are such systems odorless? Constance M. Williams Byfield, Mass.
A. We have had no direct experience with compost toilets but are captivated by their advantages and possibilities. We cannot imagine their reducing property values. Also, any information we've been able to pick up on them indicates that they are odorless to family and neighbors alike.
The New Mullbank is one brand but there are others.
What happens in the Mullbank is the same thing that happens on the ground when leaves decompose and turn into mold. The composted end product is emptied into a bag periodically -- about once a month. The only thing the owner has to do after each emptying is to add more starting material to the composting chamber.
You can get in touch with the company by writing to: The New Mullbank, Inc., RFD 1, Campton, NH 03223.
For information in depth on waterless or composting toilets, write for a pamphlet entitled: "The Waterless Toilet -- Is It Right for You?" It is published by Garden Way Bulletin, 23 Garden Way Publishing Company, Charlotte, VT 05445.
The expanding use of waterless toilets will save enourmous amounts of potable water.
Water and its need to be conserved is a specter on the world's horizon, yet to be seriously confronted.