What Airliners Do With All That Toilet Waste? – The Answer You Really Didn’t Want To Know
What A Waste.
Commercial airliners have room for several hundred people all traveling to their respective destinations from point A to point B. On these flights, the passengers are often served beverages and meals so there is a need for restrooms onboard. One of the questions you might have is “Where does all the waste go? and its a question you may regret asking.
Older model airliners used a strong blue sanitation fluid for flushing their toilets, however, this system proved to be problematic when it would freeze at high altitudes. Modern airline toilets have a non-stick coating similar to the kind used in frying pans. A high-powered suction system paired with the non-stick surface ensures the removal of all waste efficiently. The suction moves the waste to large storage tanks at the rear of the plane where is stored until removal.
Now for the part you didn’t wish you had heard, how do you get rid of all of it? Once planes arrive at the airport they are not allowed to leave until their septic tanks have been properly drained. There are some brave souls out there with the job of operating the “Honey Truck” which is an all too pleasant name for an unpleasant job. The truck attaches a hose to the rear of the plain and sucks out hundreds of gallons of within a matter of minutes. They have to make sure that the hose is properly attached because a high-powered suction could end up with some disastrous results.
The Smithsonian Channel has deeper look at the whole process, you can watch it in this video but you better not have a weak stomach.