Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Combines the benefits of hydroponics with water reuse (the water is constantly recirculated), and faster growth (the plant’s don’t have to develop deep roots).
  • A more sustainable source of nutrients than conventional mineral hydroponics, as the nutrients aren’t mined, refined, or transported, saving energy, environmental impacts, and finite resources.
  • A more sustainable source of nutrients than aquaponics, as the nutrient source isn’t fished or grown, and would occur regardless.
  • Cheaper nutrient source overall.
  • Powerful educational tool showing how our waste fits in a wider natural cycle of nutrient flux.

Disadvantages

  • Unpleasant handling and smell.
  • Potential for disease vectors if unproperly managed.
  • Persistent organic pollutants and trace metals are not sufficiently removed with current methods, and could be absorbed by plants and harm human health.
  • Strict laws in selling food made from human waste.
  • Psychological barrier in consuming food made from human waste.
  • Given current understanding and practices, it does not supply enough nutrients for some crops unless supplements are added.
  • More energy demanding in operation than traditional organic soil agriculture and passive hydroponic systems, given the underlying biological processes involved.