We’re designing an ultra-low-cost toilet around removable containers that make it easy to collect and transport wastes safely from the community. We know from many conversations with residents of Shada that a good toilet is a symbol of cleanliness and modernity. Beyond being odorless, hygienic, and vector-free, our toilet needs to be elegant, modern, and pleasant to use. And it needs to be cheap. To that end, our toilet combines a 20-L bucket, a liquid container, and a western-style toilet seat into a sealed, portable, urine-diverting toilet.
Our first strategy for Haiti is to collect and deliver the wastes to SOIL’s existing compost sites, where the wastes will be converted to valuable compost for sale to agricultural and reforestation customers. Since Shada has limited road access and is too dense for on-site treatment, we are developing a two-step collection process. First, full containers are removed from the homes and replaced with clean ones. The containers are transported in carts or dollies from homes to collection centers, where they are then transferred to trucks for transport, processing, and cleaning at the compost site. We can then sell the compost to help finance the service, and help restore Haiti’s devastated soil.
Our operations will enable us to try various different service models beyond the fee-for-approach that has traditionally dominated sanitation. Our toilet is portable, so our customers in Shada may ultimately subscribe to a toilet instead of buying one, assuring sustained service while avoiding the up-front expense that can be a large barrier to entry.