Localized Solution - Dry Toilet

Journalist A.Odontuya

2017-01-24 11:37 GMT+8

Froit Vander Harst has been living in ger district near Gandan monastery for more than 10 years.

Today he talks about his experience on dry toilet and inline smoke filter that can be used and installed in normal houses and Mongol gers.

"I lived in ger for 10 years. Living in ger means you live in outside and the toilet is outside. We started with wooden toilet, digging a hole. But we had a big rain in Holland which happens a lot and a toilet fills of water. It causes big disaster for us. After the first two years, we decided to find a better way to make a toilet.

In Holland, we have problem with the water. In Ulaanbaatar we have problem with the cold and snow. Inspired by the Nonolet invented by 'de 12 Ambachten' in Holland, we find a way to make reasonable toilet without water. 

Basically by separating fluids from solids, in a perforated bag, and then dry by ventilation. Paper-cover and presser make sure the bag is used to max. Venting-system makes sure there is no smells, and dries the solids continuously. 

The liquids gather in a basin under the bucket, this gets mixed with our kitchen-water-waste and dumped in the local storm drain. The storm-drain is a nice green wetland in summer. We empty our liquid two times every week. Because two of us live together. We empty our solids two or three weeks usually.

Solids are disposed off with the normal garbage, frozen in bag, or, in summer, bag-in-box, we have no means to re-use it. If you have lots of solids, you can give it to farmers. If you have 100 hundred families in one street, then you can start a business.

It is really important to close the toilet lid when you do not use it. If you close, it doesn`t smell".

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A few practical tips:

After a small visit, nothing needs to be done, just close the lid. 

After more substantial addition to the cycle of life, 

  1. Cover with newspaper or paper,
  2. Compress, with the presser, 
  3. Close the lid.

"It can work in 60 percent of Mongolian ger districts. It costs something like MNT 100,000. The most expensive thing is the pipe and that must be black. I am super happy with my toilet inside. You can also put it inside the ger". 

Moreover he shares his experience on inline smoke filter for small chimneys. 

"A filter we made to be used at the source, the home-chimney. Based on the idea that there are 4 houses to one ger in the neighbourhoods closer to the centre, but not ignoring them.

The filter is a simple stainless steel mesh, in a rectangular wire frame, in a sheet-metal insert to be installed in the chimney where normally the choke-plate sits.

We use two filter-units, since that mimics the chimney-top-filter that was distributed some years ago to all of Gandan, but which was too difficult to clean. 

We clean this filter daily, depending on the coal and the burner it may go two or three days. Cleaning is part of the routine to dump ash, get coal, chop wood and start a fire. We get 2-6 grams of soot per cleaning".

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