Appropriate Technology Asia

Composting Toilets

ATA works to create diversification in the range of sustainable, low cost domestic sanitation techniques available to local people.

Composting toilets reduce the prevalence of diarrhoeal diseases, particularly amongst children, and provide pathogen-free compost to maximise the overall productivity of agriculture and minimise the risk of food and nutritional deficits. This is achieved, in part, through the development of solar assisted, cold climate-specific aerobic composting toilets, which compost human waste so that it is safe and thus minimise transmission of bacteria and cysts.

Composting toilets work by maintaining a temperature of between 17-30oC within the toilet. When combined with the correct ratio of carbon-rich material, the nitrogen-rich faecal material is broken down into compost. The high temperatures, coupled with the presence of aerobic bacteria destroy pathogens, allowing the toilet to be emptied safely and used for agricultural production. This technology is designed to be low cost and easy to maintain, and is integrated with awareness raising in public health and hygiene, and also in the use of compost as a means of raising agricultural production.