What do you do with the waste from a portable toilet?

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If you are going camping in the future or is planning on buying or renting a portable toilet, it is normal to wonder how it works. After all, it is designed to take care of human waste, but where does the waste go after?

Unfortunately, the waste does not magically go anywhere. Instead, it will stay in the designated tank or bin until a maintenance company gets it or you, yourself take care of it. This is normal, after all, the convenience you get from having a porta potty in an area that may be out of bounds is worth all the trouble. There is no need to get afraid of porta potties, as long as you take care of them responsibly.

What is a portable toilet?





From the word, “portable”, portable toilets, porta potties, or portable restrooms are the toilets that are generally moveable from one place to another and are often being rented when people organize a party, special event, a construction project, or a camping event.

We usually see them in public parks, events, and concerts.

Porta potties can be of different models or units. Some are the basic orange or blue cubicle that we see in big cities, while some may look like a trailer or have a more luxurious appearance for VIP events.

Due to their convenience and ease of access, portable toilets are now being rented out for personal uses. Imagine this: If you go camping or take a vacation in a secluded area, you will not have to worry about taking care of your business in the middle of nowhere. By having a portable potty at your location, you will now have one less thing to worry about.

Where does the waste go in a portable toilet?

As mentioned above, the waste that goes in your portable toilet will not go anywhere until you dispose of it properly. Of course, you have several choices in how to dispose of them, and you can even hire a company to take care of the waste themselves.

Depending on the model of your porta potty, there may be an indicator or sensor when it is already full. If you have one of the older standard models, you will have to inspect it once in a while, especially if there are a lot of people using it.

How a porta potty holds the waste

As a kid and even an adult, the concept of porta potties seems to be very unusual and weird. Let us explain how they work in the simplest way:

When we use a portable toilet, the waste will go to the tank that is designed to store them until it is emptied out later. Compared to the toilets we have at home that are connected to a sewer and are flushed out, the waste from porta potties will be stored in the holding tank (unless they are connected to the main sewer line).

How do you empty a porta potty?

The ease and comfort in using a porta potty in your event or project do not come free. Once the toilet is already full or almost in capacity, you will need to empty it so that it can be usable again.

The method of emptying a portable toilet will be different depending on the unit you have, where you got it from, or if you have contacted a sanitation company or maintenance person to take care of it. If you rented yours for a trip, there is a high chance that you will not have to worry about emptying it based on the agreement between you and the company you got it from.

DIY waste disposal

This method is for those who have:

  1. purchased a porta potty
  2. rented a porta potty but has to take care of it

If you are one of the people who have opted to invest in a portable toilet of your own or have rented one but are currently having issues with the waste at 2 in the morning, you may have to take care of the waste on your own.

  • Read the manufacturer’s guide or manual on how to take care of the waste and follow it as much as possible.
  • Look for a dumping station near you. If there isn’t any, you may need to dig the ground, but only do this if you absolutely have to.
  • Is your porta potty dependent on a pump or does it have a removable storage tank? Pump the content according to the instructions or remove the tank to transfer the waste to a station or inside a properly dug hole.
  • You can also try to do this method in a public restroom, as long as you do it carefully and responsibly. Make sure to clean your mess afterward.
  • Disinfect your toilet with the recommended chemical.

Company-service disposal for renters

If you rent a porta potty, the company will have an included service that is meant to take care of the waste, especially during long-term rentals. You can also contact them for extra cleaning to have a cleaner toilet, especially for highly used ones.

3rd party waste disposal

Hiring a sanitation company is also an option. They will take care of everything – from the cleaning, pumping or vacuuming of the waste, and disposal.