How to Dispose of Human Waste From Portable Toilets? – 4 Ways

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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how to dispose of human waste from portable toilets

No matter where you go, you’ll still need a bathroom. Good thing that there are toilets that can be installed in the middle of nowhere, easing the worries of campers or construction workers.

But where do we dump portable toilet waste?

In this article, you will learn how to dispose of human waste from portable toilets either through bags or specialized equipment, depending on the type of commode you have.

Brief History of Portable Toilets


The earlier version of the portable toilets we have today was first seen during World War II on ships. They were created out of metal and wood, and this type of porta-potty was beneficial for its setting.

However, they absorbed odor (which was a major problem) and the material itself was heavy, especially when full. The latter attribute made porta-potty waste removal a difficult task, hence, rapid development followed.

In the 1970s, both polyethylene plastic and fiberglass were used to solve this problem. But polyethylene was favored in the end because they were:

  • easier to sanitize;
  • durable and less smelly
  • straightforward to assemble

In the 21st century, portable toilets are still commonly manufactured using the same material because of these benefits. They come in handy in camping or in an emergency, when there are no bathrooms connected to a sewage or plumbing system.

How to Empty a Portable Toilet

Portable toilets have been improved through the years, but we are still responsible for properly and safely disposing of the human waste accumulated for comfortable and sanitary use, since it’s a biohazard.

Human waste disposal methods are subject to laws that vary from place to place, but below are some ways to empty a porta potty.

Method 1: Call a Sanitation Company


Hiring the services of human waste disposal companies is the easiest and safest way to solve your portable toilet concerns.

They have the proper equipment for getting the excrement and urine out of the porta potty, such as a toilet vacuum or pump. This ensures that the work process is overall hygienic and adheres to national and state regulations in terms of waste management.

Method 2: Drain Toilet in Dump Stations

What to prepare:

  • 90-degree clear elbow fitting
  • sewer hose
  • separate cleaning hose
  • cleaning gloves
  • sewer hose support (optional)

For those who have portable camping and RV commodes, using the dump stations is the perfect toilet disposal method.

To do this, follow the steps below made specifically for emptying your portable RV tank.

1. Connect the 90-degree clear elbow fitting to the RV’s drain pipe.


To successfully dump porta potty waste, you need a clear elbow to see if the water draining is already clear.

2. Connect the sewer hose to the elbow and place the end to the drain. Place the hose under the sewer hose support if you have one.


3. Open the gray tank partially to test if there are leaks. Do this for 2 to 3 seconds.

If there is no leak, close the gray tank.

1. Open the black tank all the way to fully drain it.


2. Connect the separate cleaning hose to the black tank flush and to your RV’s water system or an outside water source.

3. Open the flush while the tank is draining until the water comes out clear. This usually takes 3 to 5 minutes.


4. Shut off the black tank and flush, then open the gray tank until it’s drained.

5. After the process, disconnect all the hoses from the RV and cap the openings.


6. Proceed to clean the hoses after.


Method 3: Dispose of Toilet Waste Bags


What to prepare: cleaning gloves

Toilet waste bags are cheap and widely available and often come with portable toilets. We’re going to teach you porta potty disposal using these items.

  1. Remove the toilet seat, then remove the waste bag by pulling the draw straps upward.
  2. Cinch the straps close, then tie them in a knot. Depending on the brand of the waste bag, there may be other ways to close it such as a ziplock.
  3. This is optional, but you can put the used waste bag inside another bag for extra security.
  4. Bring the bag to a waste disposal facility. If not available, research disposing of human waste laws, specifically about burying human feces.
  5. An alternative portable toilet bag disposal method is to find a spot 200 feet away from water, camp, and trails.

Dig up a hole with 8 inches of depth and 6 inches in width. Bury the bag then cover it up.

Method 4: Empty Toilet at Home


What to prepare:

  • Cleaning gloves
  • Paper towels

We normally recommend doing cassette or chemical toilet disposal at dump stations. But if you can’t find one or it’s inaccessible in your area, you can empty a portable toilet at home by following these steps:

  1. Ensure that you have proper ventilation and a main sewage system. If possible, keep the door and windows open.
  2. Surround the base area of the toilet with paper towels in case of water splashes.
  3. Uncap the tube at the end of the portable toilet and pour the waste into your bathroom toilet carefully.
  4. When the bathroom toilet is getting a bit full, flush.
  5. Proceed to empty the porta potty again then flush when necessary. Perform this until no waste is left.

What Are Different Types of Portable Toilets?


There are different types of portable toilets which are:

  • Standard (with hand-washing basin)
  • Flushable
  • Non-flushable
  • ADA-accessible
  • Mains-connected
  • Compost (recycles human waste)
  • Portable toilet with sink
  • Portable toilet with baby changing facility

These are the main categories for portable toilets. The ones we discussed earlier such as the bucket or waste bag commodes fall under non-flushable, while the RV toilets are flushable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Reasons to Dispose of Human Waste

Human waste disposal system has strict standards to protect our comfort, make our environment safe, and ultimately promote good health. For one, human feces are a biohazard that can contain cholera and E coli, among many other diseases.

That is why with porta potty waste removal, it is important to dispose of toilet contents properly to avoid health and hygiene issues.

Where Can You Empty Portable Toilets?

Portable toilets can be emptied at dump stations. If you hire a sanitation service, they will get the waste to authorized waste disposal facilities. However, professional service will require scheduling, which may not be beneficial if you’re in an emergency.

In other cases, you can empty a portable toilet in your home bathroom that’s connected to a sewer system. You may also bury a waste bag, but check local regulations about it first.

What Do You Do With the Waste From a Composting Toilet?

Since this is an eco-friendly toilet, we can use the waste from it on lawns and non-edible plants.

You shouldn’t use it on edible plants or flowers that bear seeds, which are also supposed to bear edible crops. The latter is absolutely important as humanure can be dangerous to our health.

What Happens if You Fail to Dispose of Portable Toilet Waste Correctly?

Failing to properly dump human waste, in general, will lead to negative outcomes that primarily target health. That’s why cholera was widespread in 19th-century London due to the lack of proper humanure disposal.

Aside from pollution, the air, soil, and water can be contaminated with the bacteria found in human waste, which will also compromise the quality of life of the community.


Porta potties are some of the great inventions that cater to people’s needs, but what about removing their contents after use?

There are several ways regarding how to dispose of human waste from portable toilets, such as hiring the services of a sanitation company to ensure safety and accuracy. But for other commodes like those in RV, we make use of dump stations.

Going to waste disposal facilities is also another choice, as well as using your own bathroom toilet as your dump station.

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