Moving Beyond NSF

Oregon has relied on NSF standard 41 for composting toilets since 1983, and it no longer serves the purpose of encouraging innovation and protecting health. Relying on NSF guidance prevents economical, high performance systems from being installed, and it is time to move on to performance-based guidelines that allow Oregonians to chose the best technologies.

For example, the Vira Miljø Carousel, developed in Norway and with over 20,000 installations worldwide, is also manufactured in California by Ecotech. Ecotech is owned by David Del Porto, lead author of the composting toilet section of NSF 41. The Carousel is no longer NSF certified, owing to the expense. CTS has also dropped their NSF certification for the same reason.

Since 1978 four Oregon manufacturers have made composting toilet systems in-state: The Green Earth Compost Toilet Company, Toa-Throne Compost Toilets, Mullbank of Oregon, and most recently Romtec, who ceased production due to lack of demand. The owner of Green Earth Compost Toilet Company says that difficulties with permitting, especially following NSF 41 adoption, were the most important factors in putting his company out of business.

Additionally, not all systems tested in NSF-certified laboratories and bearing the NSF-approved mark are NSF-listed, confusing consumers. ACS, Montana manufacturer of toilets popular at parks including Smith Rock- is not NSF listed, although it bears the NSF-approved seal because of testing through the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Read handout prepared by Mathew Lippincott on why Oregon should look beyond the NSF for verification of composting toilets.

Moving Beyond NSF