Technology review of composting toilets

Berger, W. (2011)

Published in: 2011

Publisher:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany

Author:
Berger, W.

Content - Summary

Composting toilets are dry toilets which operate without the need for flushing water. They can be used independently of connections to sewers and provide a safe and hygienic sanitation alternative for a range of possible applications. Composting toilets can considerably reduce household water consumption and the costs for wastewater treatment.

This publication explains the design and use of composting toilets which are either manufactured or owner-built. It also briefly describes external composting in a unit which is separate from the toilets (usually located in the garden).

Composting toilets have sometimes also been termed “eco-toilets”. They should not be confused with urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs). In the latter type of toilet, only drying takes place but no biological composting activities occur.

A composting toilets consists of two basic elements: a place to sit or squat and a collecting or composting device. Additionally a ventilation system allows for good aeration of the composting vault, removal of excess moisture and reduces odour. The emptying frequency of the composting vault depends on the capacity of the container, the feeding rate and the composting conditions.

Composting toilets can be designed with or without diversion of urine; urine diversion simplifies the management of the leachate and can be implemented if there is a demand for urine as a fertiliser.
This publication explains the functional principles of composting toilets such as the biological process, bulking material, ventilation, pathogen removal (hygienisation), optimum water content, management and reuse of leachate and compost.

The publication also gives an overview of the operational requirements for composting toilets. Regular maintenance of composting toilets in private or public use is critical to ensure that the facility is operating well. This involves proper cleaning, controlling of technical componets of the facilities and the composting process as well as safe treatment, handling and application of faecal compost and leachate (and urine if it is collected separately).
The main four types of composting toilets are explained in detail:
• Single-vault composting toilets
• Multiple-vault composting toilets
• Mobile bucket or bin toilets followed by composting of the excreta
• Composting toilets with mechanical devices

Ample examples for composting toilets from around the world are included in the publication to show that these types of toilets have a wide range of applications under a variety of circumstances (for wealthy or poor people; for cold, hot, wet or dry climates; for urban or rural settings).
With this publication we aim to make composting toilets more widely known worldwide and to make their potential for providing sustainable sanitation clearer for all those who make decisions on future sanitation systems.

Bibliographic information

Berger, W. (2011). Technology review of composting toilets - Basic overview of composting toilets (with or without urine diversion). Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany

Download

Technology Review Composting Toilets

Format: pdf - file size: 1.26 MB

Follow us on    

SuSanA Partners currently 312 partners

SuSanA Newsmail

Stay informed about the activities of SuSanA and its SuSanA partners. The SuSanA news mail is sent out once every two months and contains information about the latest news, events, new partners and publications of the SuSanA network.

SuSanA partners are welcome to send us news items for inclusion in the SuSanA news mails.


older newsmailings »

24thSuSanA meeting

The 24th SuSanA meeting will take place in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday 26 August 2017 prior to the Stockholm World Water Week. It is organised by the SuSanA Secretariat together with SEI.

The 24th SuSanA meeting will take place on 26 August 2017 (Saturday, full day) at the SEI headquarter in Stockholm: Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) Linnégatan 87D, 115 23 Stockholm, Sweden

It is intended to have a live stream of the meeting for the members of the SuSanA community who are unable to attend.


more information »

 


close  

 

Resources & publications

Get access to the global sanitation library which has a constantly growing number of publications, drawings, flyers etc. For other resources, see below.


add item to the library »

Projects

The project database is a database for all sanitation projects - be it research, awareness raising, market development, upscaling, pilot demonstrations etc. It contains sanitation projects of SuSanA partners and of other organisations and allows you to find information for sanitation projects worldwide. Read more about the purpose of this project database »


add your project »

Trainings, conference and events materials

Missed out on important sanitation events? Keep yourself updated with materials that are kindly made available SuSanA partners and training institutions here.

Regional Chapters

SuSanA provides you with various knowledge products suited to your region or country. Click on a region or look up a specific country below to see a relevant resources, upcoming events, partner organisations or projects.

Shit flow diagrams (SFDs), excreta flow diagrams

SFDs are a way of visualising excreta management in cities and towns, with a promise to improve the understanding of urban sanitation. SuSanA is part of the "SFD Promotion Initiative".

 


close  

 

Discussion Forum

The SuSanA Discussion Forum is the place where we talk to other SuSanA members, share knowledge, exchange experiences, discuss challenges, make announcements, ask questions etc. Your SuSanA login is the same as your Forum login. Read more »


Get your login »

SuSanA Meetings

SuSanA Partners

As a partner, SuSanA will help your organisation keep in touch with other active international and local organisations concerned with sustainable sanitation all over the world.
This networking will help you keep updated with all the news in the sustainable sanitation field. Get more information »


become a partner »

Integrated Content

SuSanA is hosting contents from several other communities of practice and information-sharing portals.


add your website »

Individual Membership

Register yourself as an individual member of SuSanA. This membership is free of charge. Being a member will keep you informed about news, events, updates, publications and jobs. Find out more »


Join the community

Login


Forgot your password?

 


close  

 


Within SuSanA several thematic working groups have been established in order to cover a variety of different sanitation aspects and to provide outputs that underline the problems and opportunities of these aspects. By joining a working group you can work with other experts on several issues to promote sustainable sanitation. You can also be active by hosting SuSanA meetings and/or by organising activities/events to promote sustainable sanitation.

Individuals who are not yet registered, but are interested in joining the thematic working group, are very welcome. Please register as a member and choose the respective working group(s) you wish to join.

You are already registered, but wish to join another or more working group(s) or change contact details, you can easily change the details by clicking ‘Join a working group’ below.


join a working group »

 


close  

 

We got more than just a new look!

Welcome to the new website of susana.org

On 1 September we relaunched our website, using a new menu concept to improve the user experience. However, some functions are not working yet but we are working on those now. If you have any comments or suggestions please post them here on the SuSanA discussion forum. Thank you.


  beta version