Blue Box Toilet
Sanivation with re.source and SOIL
The Sanivation Blue Box toilet is a urine diverting, dry toilet that can be manufactured locally at small scale. It is designed to appeal to users’ sense of style, cleanliness and modernity.
Dense urban areas lacking sewer service, especially communities and refugee camps in East Africa. Currently, Sanivation has operations in Naivasha subcounty, Nakuru County, Kenya and have also conducted a pilot in Kakuma refugee camp.Interview with representative
Sanivation distributes the Blue Box toilets as part of their Container-Based Sanitation (CBS) Waste Collection Service.
The users of the Blue Box toilet pay a monthly subscription fee as part of the Sanivation service model. The pricing associated with that is
300 Kenyan Shillings (~$3.50 USD) upon customer sign-up, 300 Kenyan Shillings (~$3.50 USD) upon installation, and a monthly subscription of 600 Kenyan Shillings (~$7.00 USD) per month.Interview with representative
The cost of Blue Box toilet manufacture with labor is currently ~$65.00 USD. Sanivation is aiming to drop this price point to around $35.00 USD at scale.
Sanergy Fresh Life, Traditional Pit Latrines, open-defecation
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Households in dense urban areas without piped water or sewer connections.Interview with representative
Locally manufactured contracting a local carpenter.Interview with representative
Trade Secret. Interview with representative
The Blue Box can be purchased as part of the Sanivation Waste Management subscription service from Sanivation’s marketing and sales agents, offices and distributing points.
As of December 2015, Sanivation had registered 300 people on its subscription service and had treated over two tons of human waste. By late-2016, the team expects to service 1,000 Kenyan homes and hopes to reach their business break-even point of 2,000 household subscribers and 150 tons of processed waste per month by early 2017.
The Blue Box toilet design includes a wooden base created to fit locally available containers for urine and fecal collection. The top is a hinged wooden top that allows access to replace waste containers. This top can be locked closed for safety. A plastic toilet seat is attached to the hinged lid. The urine diverter is created from shaped and cut sheet metal to fit required sizes for comfortable and effective use.
Twice a week a Sanivation toilet service representative services every customer toilet in their respective households. In servicing the toilet, service representatives place a lid on both the urine and feces containers. These are removed through the hinged lid of the toilet. New empty, clean containers are replaced in the toilet. Feces containers are lined with plastic bags.Interview with representative
Collected waste is transported to Sanivation’s work site where the feces is transferred into re-purposed metal paint drums, which are attached to large parabolic mirrors that act as solar energy concentrators. Concentrators heat the feces to a high enough temperature to inactivate pathogens and transform it into a sticky substance that can be used as a binding agent for a non-wood-based charcoal briquette. This process is illustrated below.
Sanivation operators install the toilet in the customer’s household. Customers receive training on how to use the toilet.
Replacement components are provided as part of the service contract.
Service providers recover any toilets that are defective or at end-of-life and recycle and dispose of them appropriately.
Blue Box toilet capacity – Feces: 26L Urine: 9L. Sanivation has published data regarding the performance of their fuel briquettesin comparison to traditional charcoal.
Safe handling of waste material requires protective clothing.
A desiccant cover material (such as ash) to place over fresh feces after every use.
The initial performance of the entire service model built around this toilet is available via:
Tilmans, S. et al., Container-based sanitation: assessing costs and effectiveness of excreta management in Cap Haitien, Haiti.Environment and Urbanization, 2015. 27(1): p. 89-104
A second paper will be available in the October 2015 issue of Environment & Urbanization.
A case study about Sanivation is available in the Spring 2016 issue of DEMAND, the ASME Global Development Review
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