Haiti Reconstruction

Rebuilding Haiti must start from the ground up, with agricultural education

Composting Toilets

Toilets needed for families, large and small communities must be a system that will safely process the feces and be able to easily convert it to safe fertilizer. This video is for those to give the initial background of the toilet we are looking for.

ThunderBox from AstralJester on Vimeo.

Click here to see Give Love's website on composting toilets.  We hope to have them train and we will use their system at our TEACH training facility in Arcahaie Haiti

Composting toilets offer a sanitary alternative that doesn't waste water and safely returns nutrients to the soil.

SOIL: Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods

Has an excellent product I have seen at Matthew 25 house in PAP. It is permanent yet easy to maintain and retrieve the finished compost.

This video is from SOIL click here to see their website.

Some other appropriate materials on composting toilets for Haiti can be found on this article.The author of this has also developed the "Arborloo"; an in place compost toilet system into which you plant a tree.

Their Toilets That Make Compost is also available in French as Latrines a Compost

Click here to read the Arborloo book in Creole from Hesperian SocietyBob

Composting toilets are a health benefit when sanitation is improved by composting this hazard into a sanitary fertilizer. They also conserve valuable water resources.

Great article that shows how much water it can save on The Zhang family toilet


For family toilets we believe this video shows the best system.  There is a real shortage of toilet paper for most Haitians so we want the room to have a container of 1 foot long vetiver grass bunches that can be used like toilet paper when twisted and folded then thrown on top of pile.  Another container of saw dust of cane husks with a small of finished compost that has the most microbial life in it should be used to cover pile adding carbon to reduce smell.  This will jump start the composting process, when containers fill they will be dumped on composting piles.




Before attempting to make compost pile you should read this Humanure Handbook 3rd addition, buy or free download chapter at a time


Click Here



Bill Gates turns focus to toilet tech to save lives

(CBS News) Microsoft magnate Bill Gates is best known for creating a revolution in computers. But he believes innovations in toilet technology could also change the world and save millions of lives.

Gates could spend his billions on just about anything, but he decided to have his foundation host a toilet fair in Seattle.

"We need to come up with something that has the same attractive properties as the flush toilet and yet can be made available to everyone on the planet," Gates said in an address at the fair. "And so we can think of that as a toilet for the 21st century."

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering up nearly $7 million for engineers to overthrow the kind of "throne" we've known.

It's not glamorous but it is important. An estimated 2.6 billion people - about 40 percent of the world's population - do not have access to sanitation. That's eight times the population of the United States.

A cheeky video on the foundation's website sends a serious message. It's an animated and frank look at where human waste piles up without access to functioning toilets that warns "in no time you have a big pile of...problems."

Drinking and bathing water becomes contaminated and disease spreads. Children often suffer the most with 1.5 million dying worldwide each year from poor sanitation.


Comment by Mike Mahowald on August 16, 2010 at 6:17am
Thanks Bob your contributions are very appreciated.

My hope is everyone who works in Haiti will share information.

The Arborloo has great promise but I wonder if the cement base is really needed? What do you think about making a more portable base and move it to get compost from it easily, also being able to move it more offen?
Comment by Robert Fairchild on August 17, 2010 at 7:51pm
I have a portable outhouse at my farm here in the States. It has a base of pressure treated 2x4's and pressure treated plywood. The walls are screwed to the base and removed for moving. The roof hooks over the walls and is removed before removing the walls. A half 55 gallon drum with a hole for the toilet seat is the stool. The bulge catches on the hole in the floor to keep the barrel stool in place. A plastic splash plate is needed to prevent urine from rusting through the front of the barrel. (I don't currently separate urine.) A piece of livestock mineral tub would work.
Comment by Robert Fairchild on August 28, 2010 at 6:23am
I've been thinking about making a portable "hollow core slab" using bamboo to create the hollows. If properly reinforced it would be plenty strong and should be light enough to move. Put pipes through the bamboo holes and lift.
Comment by Brian Cady on September 23, 2010 at 12:11pm
Someone I knew used a very simple set-up as a urine-separating composting toilet. The hardware consisted of two plastic 5-gallon buckets, with four cinderblocks on either side, so that one could squat over the buckets and 'do one's business'. Urine was stored as is, while feces were sprinkled with dirt, to add micro-organisms, then covered with a handful of sawdust or straw. A lid with a large screened vent kept flies from the composting feces, when not in use. While the urine quickly became smelly, it was easy to deal with, as its nearly sterile, doesn't support mosquitoes if not diluted, and can be brought to crops needing nitrogen often. The compost was buried by favored trees occasionally, after composting in the bucket.
Comment by Brian Cady on September 23, 2010 at 12:12pm
I guess I should explain that, in the two bucket system, one stored urine and one composted feces.
Comment by Richard Higgins on September 28, 2010 at 2:49pm
Hi Chris,
I was in Haiti, contracted to CRS,in the spring with a program to install the fastest turnround compost toilet system and also the cheapest system for villagers and/or camp residents. The program was a complete success and I would like to take it further in Haiti. I have a film you can see where my system was approved by Prof Bob Reed who was brought in by UNICEF after the eqrthquake. Richard Higgins, New Directions Foundation please email me rhigginsdg2@yahoo.co.uk
Comment by Gigi Pomerantz on October 4, 2010 at 9:42pm
We are also building composting toilets, currently in Grande'Anse and Sud.
We have built 10 dry toilets and put in 120 Arborloos.
I would be glad to discuss with you. Pleaes contact me at gigi@youthaiti.org

Comment by Richard Higgins on October 5, 2010 at 3:51am
I have just written to CRS as they are bringing in more staff this Fall.
Let's see how this works out.
The Howard Higgins system is designed specifically to produce an optimum fertilizer in a very short time.
It can be deployed where there is a strong need to produce food, in fact in the UK I am using the system to run an intensive market garden. One pair of Thermo Bins takes up 2 square metres of space and produces enough fertilizer to maintain one acre of land continuously producing high quality fruit and veg.
I'm trying to up load a picture of it.
Comment by Richard Higgins on October 5, 2010 at 3:52am

Comment by Brian Cady on October 5, 2010 at 4:18am
To: Richard Higgins: any chance that we could view that video on Youtube, or more pictures of the design? Its quite intriguing.
Comment by Mike Mahowald on October 5, 2010 at 5:59am
Richard's films are here under 2 replenishsoil along with more questions he answered for us. http://haitireconstruction.ning.com/page/humanure-composting-large
Comment by Joan Bell on January 26, 2011 at 5:11pm
We are also going to be supplying composting toilets with the homes we are building.  It is a 2 tank system with urine diversion.  The will be part of the house, but walled off from the interior of the house so there will be no smell.  Ash can also be used in place of saw dust to sprinkle over the waste.  Actually, most "organic" compound such as clippings, leaves, etc can be placed over the waste.  Once the tank is full, the toilet is moved to the other tank, the first tank covered, and the remains allowed to compost.  A family of 6 can use the tank for 10 months.


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