Updated on January 15, 2024


Created on September 10, 2021

Dry (waterless) composting toilet

Upcoming Update

Ecoswell’s dry waterless composting toilet is designed to convert waste into compost and fertilizer.

Developed By
  1. EcoSwell
Tested By
  • EcoSwell
  • Engineers Without Borders South Africa
  • Engineers Without Borders UK
  • Engineers Without Borders USA
Content Partners


Product Description

EcoSwell’s dry waterless composting toilet is designed to convert waste into compost that can be used as a fertilizer for local crops.

Waste is collected in alternating plastic containers which allows for the waste to decompose into compost over time.

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Community

Distributors / Implementing Organizations


Manufacturing/Building Method


Intellectural Property Type

Select Type

User Provision Model

This product is distributed in partnership with Engineers Without Borders.

Distributions to Date Status


Toilet type


Evacuation method


Storage conditions

Container storage

Capacity (L)

7000 L

Time until emptying

1 year

Design Specifications

The design was inspired by the double vault Mexican design, but includes a urinal to limit urine entering the collection vault. It uses two separate toilets or can incorporate a mechanism for changing vaults with the use of one toilet. Either way, the waste is collected in alternating plastic containers which allows for the waste to decompose into compost over time. The toilets are designed to allow for upwards airflow that circulates unpleasant odors away from the user.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Provided by the manufacturer

Replacement Components




Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

The implementation of the dry toilets aims to be a sustainable sanitation solution to reduce sewage spillages, open defecation, and water consumption while providing compost to improve low-nutrient soil.

Vetted Performance Status

EcoSwell and Engineers Without Borders UK conducted a feasibility study of dry sanitation solutions in Lobitos, Peru. The study addressed three key issues in which the dry toilet can assist in reducing: sewage spills, open defecation, and water consumption. Additionally, the study deemed the compost produced would be ideal in adding nutrients to the local sandy soils in need of supplements. A barrier to implementation would be educating the community about dry sanitation and switching users away from current flush toilets. A design brief reported findings from EcoSwell’s pilot project reporting that the dry toilet is capable of saving 15,000 L of water and producing 2,000 L of compost per year. Overall, the two-year pilot project was successful, with the largest issue reported being the number of flies.


Possible hazards include unsanitary latrine emptying or structural failure.

Complementary Technical Systems

Maintenance and collection services.

Academic Research and References

EcoSwell, 2015, Sanitation in Lobitos: Study of the feasibility of Dry Sanitation Solutions.

Engineers Without Borders South Africa, UK and USA & EcoSwell, 2020, Engineering for People Design Challenge: Design Brief 2020-21.

The following sources were used to help inform the toilet design:

Winblad, U., & Kilama, W., 1985, Sanitation Without Water, Enlarged Ed edition, Macmillan Education.

WaterAid, 2011, Construction of ecological sanitation latrine.

Compliance with regulations


Evaluation methods

This product is evaluated by EcoSwell and Engineers Without Borders based on the amount of water saved and compost produced.

Other Information


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