Airplane Waste Disposal
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It's one of life's great questions - what happens when you flush the toilet on a plane ? You're 37, 000 feet up in what is essentially a metal tube, so what do they do with the waste from all those passengers?
Obviously they can't drop it out - we would definitely know about it if that happened - but instead there's a very effective system in place for disposing of all waste products.
For over 30 years, planes have used vacuum toilets so that they don't have to carry unneccessary water, which would drastically add to the weight.Close-up of airline lavatory door with sign reading 'occupied' (Photo: Getty)
"That vac sucks the load down the plane's sewer line into a 200-gallon holding tank."
The toilets also have a sort of Teflon non-stick coating to assist in pulling the waste down.
Waste remains in the tank for the duration of the flight and is vacuumed out by crews on the ground.
How do they ensure pilots don't accidentally drop the waste in mid-air? Apparently there's a latch on the exterior of the tank, so it can only be opened from the outside.
So, there you have it. Next time you're on a plane and pop to the loo, you know exactly what's happening.
Just try not to think about the fact there's a 200-gallon tank of excrement under your feet.
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