Airplane Waste Disposal Mechanism

After having your business in the airplane lavatory, ever wondered where all the airplane waste goes? Does it fall from the sky, or is it stored in a compartment? If you do not know the answer, this article is for you!

The common misconception:

Many people think that human waste from airplanes falls from the sky like meteorites, which is wrong! Most of the commercial planes flying today have a very complex storage system for waste onboard! However, some incidents happened before the waste pipes started to leak human feces, with the most recent one occurring in 2018. This formed “blue ice,” which is a mixture of frozen sewage and liquid disinfectant that freezes at high altitude, which can cause mass destruction to a building when falling at breakneck speeds from cruising altitude.

Airplane Waste
Credit: Getty Images

Where the airplane waste is stored:

Ever wondered why the flushing sound is so loud on airplanes? No, it is not meant to scare you or suck you out of the aircraft! It is actually to take all the sewage into the storage system as quickly as possible to minimize the number of times the crew needs to clean the pipes in the airplane! The storage tank is usually placed at the back of the aircraft, near the vertical stabilizer, and can only be accessed on the ground! Even the pilots do not have any button to eject the waste off of the aircraft!

Why do pilots not eject human waste?

Pilots do not eject human waste off the aircraft as it is very unsanitary and can cause an engine failure onboard! There have been multiple cases involving the Boeing 727 losing its engines due to human waste leaks! Also, if a piece of human waste turned into “blue ice” and hits a house or neighborhood, many will be injured or dead!

Where did you think aircraft waste used to go before reading this article? Comment below,

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Sohail Sawlani
Sohail Sawlani
Aviation Reporter - Sohail is an avid aviation enthusiast and having been a previous Editorial Intern, is now an Aviation Reporter with Travel Radar. With a passion for Commercial Aviation and the machines behind the operations, he regularly contributes to the News & Analysis sections at Travel Radar. Outside of TR, he can be found on the Twitter realm as 'Planeopedia', posting about all things aviation!


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