Sun-Mar: Pick of the Litter

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When we received a phone call in 1998 from the City of Syracuse, we were told that our toilet was being tested against other composting toilets for potential installation in almost 100 cottages and homes on Skeaneateles Lake. Having been through grueling third-party tests before, such as the NSF tests, we were quite confident that we would come out on top in all areas. It is not by accident that Sun-Mar was chosen for the project.

The testing process took 2 whole years to complete - this was after all not a decision to be taken lightly. Our Excel unit was put through several torture tests, in the areas of handling capacity, odor detection, and amount of overflow liquid. Units were tested both by the city, and individual homeowners. The criterion used for these tests were the same that NSF uses in their tests (NSF is the only organization which certifies composting toilets as acceptable for use, under their standard 41 - Sun-Mar is the only company with an official NSF certification for a small-scale composting toilet).

Here are a few of the areas at which we excelled in the tests:

Ease of Mixing

In order to mix the compost, you turn a handle which turns the drum. Nothing can stick or break. Our drum has been using a simple gear system for over 20 years, which ensures ease of mixing.

Ease of Emptying

When the drum gets to be around ½ full, you pull out the drum locker and rotate the same handle counter-clockwise for one rotation of the drum to empty. Then you leave the compost in the drawer for a few weeks to cure, or if you are emptying after leaving it all winter, take it right out. There is no digging, poking, chiseling, or handling of fresh waste.

Odor Free Operation

While we say it in our advertising, continuously, this is hard to get your head around unless you are physically standing in the room with a Sun-Mar toilet. We are raised with the idea that toilets smell badly. Due to constant negative pressure inside the unit, a Sun-Mar never smells. A compost must be mismanaged significantly or venting installed incorrectly in order for it to not operate in an odor-free fashion. The only area where you may have a problem is on the outside, at the very top of the vent stack, if the cottage is at the bottom of a cliff. This was taken care of with a special filter box arrangement on the applicable cottages in Skeaneateles Lake. Otherwise, any odors at the end of the vent are carried into the air, and do not blow back onto the property.

Customer Service

Sun-Mar is currently the only composting toilet company to have a specific department to deal with after-sales service. In the case of the Syracuse project, one particular Sun-Mar employee provided service that was "above and beyond" that of many companies. In the case of any Sun-Mar owner, if there is a problem, we are committed to working with that person until the problem is solved. While our design and technology were responsible for our selection as the solution for Skeneatales Lake's wastewater problem, our customer service was also vitally important.