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TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................2
CHECKLIST #1 .........................................................................................................4
st
1 WORKING DAY ..................................................................................................5
SITE SELECTION AND PREPARATION 5
FOUNDATIONS FOR COMPOSTING CHAMBERS AND STEPS 6
nd
2 WORKING DAY .................................................................................................8
REMAINING ROWS OF BLOCKS 8
rd
3 WORKING DAY ..................................................................................................8
PLASTERING INNER CHAMBERS 8
SOAKAWAY 9
rd
4 WORKING DAY ..................................................................................................9
TOILET HOUSE SLAB (FLOOR) 9
th
5 WORKING DAY ................................................................................................ 11
ACCESS DOORS FOR THE COMPOSTING CHAMBERS 11
TOILET SEAT PEDESTAL (STOOL / CHUTE) 12

CHECKLIST #2 ....................................................................................................... 13
th
6 WORKING DAY ................................................................................................ 14
TOILET HOUSE (ROOM /OUTHOUSE / SUPERSTRUCTURE) 14
th
7 WORKING DAY ................................................................................................ 18
Construction and maintenance USE AND MAINTENANCE GUIDELINES .................................................................. 19

guidelines for waterless-double- USING THE TOILET
MAINTAINING THE ACTIVE TOILET
19
20

chamber composting toilets WHEN THE COMPOSTING CHAMBER IS FULL 21

HAND WASHING TIPS ........................................................................................... 23
REFERENCES ......................................................................................................... 24

V.1
INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS A WATERLESS-DOUBLE-CHAMBER COMPOSTING HOW COMPOSTING TOILETS ARE USED?
TOILET? In a nutshell, only one chamber at the time is used to defecate and urinate:
A waterless-double-chamber composting toilet is different to a conventional 1. After every use, the urine and/or faeces are buried by dropping
flush toilet because it: carbon based materials and soil into the composting chamber
(through the toilet seat opening). Carbon based materials are: dry leaves,
 Does not flush. Urine and faeces fall into a chamber sawdust, ashes or rice husks. For detailed information go to page 19.
located below the toilet seat.
2. When the chamber 1 gets full, it gets closed to let the composting
 Does not have a septic tank. process continue and chamber 2 (from toilet 2) is used until full. For
 Is not connected to the central water supply or the sewage system. detailed information go to page 21.

3. When chamber 2 is almost full (only 6” of empty space remain), the
It also differs from a pit latrine because this toilet is built 100% above ground.
decomposed urine, faeces and carbon materials from chamber 1 are
For this reason and unlike pit latrines, composting toilets can be placed near water emptied and put as fertilizer for plants, shrubs and trees.
sources.
4. The camber 2 is then closed and people start using toilet 1 / chamber
Composting is a natural biological process where various microorganisms, 1 again.
including bacteria and fungi, break down organic matter into simpler
Steps 2 to 4 are repeated indefinitely. Depending of the size of the family, a
substances. The composting process can be easily seen in nature. For example, when
chamber should take from 9 to 24 months to get full. The longer the compost stays in
a tree falls it begins to decompose and eventually turns back into soil. This same
the chamber the better, for this reason, a closed/inactive chamber should be emptied
process is used by this toilet and happens inside the composting chambers.
only when the other chamber is getting full; even if it takes more than 9 months to
fill.
In summary, a waterless-double-
chamber-composting toilet is a
toilet that:
 Does not use water or flush.
 Has two chambers where
urine and faeces are stored
and decomposed.
 Is built 100% above ground.
 Creates compost or fertilizer
from the decomposed matter.

2
BENEFITS OF COMPOSTING TOILETS

Waterless-double-chamber
composting toilets:
 Protect water sources. Faecal
material does not leak or get
flushed into rivers, lakes, the ocean
or the water table.
 Do not waste clean water on CONTEXT
every flush. These guidelines were created as part of the project “Improved Community
Sanitation, Hygiene and Residue Disposal in Santa Rosa and San Roman,
 Save money on water and
Belize”. The project was funded by the German Cooperation through the
fertilizer bills. Embassy of Germany in Guatemala and co-funded and implemented by
Humana People to People Belize (HPPB). The project aimed to:
BEFORE YOU START  Increase access to improved sanitation and adequate hygiene and
residue disposal practices by building 12 waterless-double-chamber
With this guideline, users will be able to build a 4’ by 8’ toilet house ( ’ = feet). composting toilets (2 at community centers and 10 at households).
 To save money, the materials from the toilet house and toilet seats can  Improve awareness and knowledge of adequate hygiene and residue
be changed to use available materials or less expensive ones. However, disposal practices at a national level by creating printed and digital
to prevent water contamination, pests and bad odours - it is crucial to material as well as community events.
follow all the steps and use cement and blocks to build the composting HPPB is a non-governmental organization registered and operating in Belize
chambers. since 2007. HPPB works with rural and hard-to-reach communities in Toledo
 The construction materials can be bought in two separate purchases. The and Stann Creek districts. HPPB’s mission is to empower and mobilize
st
1 purchase (page 4) includes the composting chambers and toilet seats. The 2
nd individuals, families and communities to reduce poverty and vulnerability
purchase (page 13) includes the toilet house and steps. through local action and capacity building.

 If the user is not familiar working with carpentry and/or masonry, it’s This publication was produced with the financial support of the German Cooperation.
recommended that expert advice is sought before starting each Its contents are the sole responsibility of Humana People to People Belize and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the German Cooperation.
construction phase.
 If dimensions for the composting toilet are changed, material quantities HPPB encourages the use, reproduction and dissemination of this guideline. Contents
may be copied, downloaded and printed for private study, research, teaching purposes
will need to be modified respectively.
and for non-commercial purposes; provided that appropriate acknowledgement of
 Go to www.humana-belize.org to get the latest version of the guidelines. HPPB as the source is given.

 Recommendations may be sent to info@humana-belize.org. Bella Vista, Belize
2018

3
CHECKLIST #1

TOOL LIST MATERIALS LIST
Buckets (5 gallon) UNITS ITEM NOTES
Carpenter's square 5 1x6x10 rough lumber For foundation and slab frames
Electric Drill (optional) 2 Pounds of 2” wood nails or screws
Electric Saw (optional) 2 Pounds of 3” concrete nails
Hammers 5 3/8” construction steel x 40’
Handsaws 2 Pounds of tying wire
Level 100 6” cement blocks
Measuring / Steel tape 9 Bags of cement
Machetes 50 Five-gallon buckets of fine sand Composting chamber walls

Five-gallon buckets of sand and
Pliers 15
gravel
Shovels 1 2” PVC pipe (20’ long) Ventilation pipes
Trowels 1 Sponge To finish up plaster trowel
1 4” by 8” hardboard For the slab bottom support
2 Toilet seats Optional
2 Five gallon buckets
1st WORKING DAY

SITE SELECTION AND PREPARATION

1. Choose a location that:
CHECK IF MET

Has enough room to put the toilet structure.
The area should be at least 15’ by 15’. ( ‘ = foot)

Is away from windy, wet and flood prone areas.
Composting toilets need to be located in places where the
ground will not erode or sink. If the toilet will be built on
sandy soil, the foundation needs to have a better structure
and expert advice should be sought.

Is close to or inside the house.
It’s recommended that the toilet is located no further than
60’ from the house.

Is 40’ away from wells and other water sources.
Although this kind of toilet can be placed near water
sources, as a precaution is better if they are not too close.

Is away from the neighbour’s house, for privacy.
40’ or further.

2. Clear and level the ground.
 Do not remove trees near the construction area; trees are good for shade
and privacy.
 If there are no trees near the toilet, fence it by planting small and medium
sized trees after the construction has finished.
 Plant the trees 10’ away from the toilet so their roots do not damage the
foundations over time. Avocado, papaya, soursop, citrus and cassava are
ideal to plant near the area. Avoid planting coconuts, mahogany,
blackberries or any deep rooted tree.

5
FOUNDATIONS FOR COMPOSTING CHAMBERS AND STEPS
Be sure to finish all the steps in the same working day:

FRAMES/FORMWORKS FOR THE FOUNDATIONS
1. Assemble with 2” nails or screws ( ” = inches):
 One 5’ by 9’ frame for the composting chambers. The foundation is bigger than the
composting chambers to provide room for error when laying the blocks and to prevent
erosion. The foundation is 5” bigger on all sides.
 One 2’ by 6.5’ frame for the steps.
Using the carpenters square, make sure the corners of the frames are at a 90 degree
angle.
Both frames need to be at least 6” high.
If a drill is available, using screws makes it easier to take the frames apart.
2. Place and burry the frames 3” bellow the ground at the selected location.
 Make sure that frames are levelled by using the level tool.
 The frame for the steps needs to be centred and 3.5’ away from the composting chamber.

3. Dig 12” stakes made out of bush stick (2” thick) so the frames do not bend when the
concrete mix is poured.
4. Bend the 3/8 construction steel into a 4’ by 8’ rectangle and place it inside of the
composting chamber’s frame.
 Tie the loose end with a tying wire.
 Put small stones underneath the steel to center it vertically on the middle of the
foundation making sure that it does not touch the ground in any place.

5. Locate where the corners of the composting chambers will be placed.
6. Cut 4 pieces of 3/8 construction steel, 6.5’ high and shape it into a L. The L is 5” by 6’.
7. Place one construction steel in each corner. With tying wire, tie each L to each corner of the
bent construction steel (the rectangular one).

8. Scatter 2” rocks in the center of the frames to optimize concrete use. About 50 rocks for
the chamber’s frame and 20 for the steps’ frame.

6
CONCRETE POURING
1. Mix the concrete with 4 bags of cement and 28 five-gallon-buckets of sand and gravel.
(Add 7 five-gallon-buckets of sand and gravel to every cement bag).

2. Pour both foundations using all the concrete mix made.
Each foundation should be at least 3” thick.

3. Trowel the foundation.

SOAKAWAY PIPE LAYING
1. Cut two pieces of 2”PVC pipe. Each pipe needs to be 2’ long.
2. Bury only 1” of the PVC pipe on the concrete mix. Make a dent on the frames at the center
of each composting chamber. 1’ from the pipe needs to hang out of the foundation and over the
soakaway.

FIRST ROW OF BLOCKS
When laying all blocks, check that all blocks are plumb and level for everything to look
nice and to avoid problems when building the toilet house on top.
1. Lay the first row of blocks. Lay the side walls and middle wall first.
 Put a layer of mortar before laying each block. Remember to make the mortar
bit-by-bit so it does not cure before use and to sprinkle the blocks with water before
putting the mortar to help it stick better. / 1 bag of cement and 7 five-gallon-buckets
of fine sand will needed to mortar all the joints in the composting chambers.
 Leave a space of 3/8” between each block for the joints.

2. Mortar the joints and around the soakaway pipes securing that all joints are
fully closed. Use a small board so the joints are straight and levelled.
3. Fill with concrete mix (cement with sand and gravel) the corner blocks (where
the rebar columns are placed).
The first row should always be complete with blocks (with no spaces in between) to
ensure that the composting chambers do not contaminate groundwater.

7
SLAB AND BLOCK CARE
1. When finished for the day, wet the concrete to prevent the concrete from drying too fast and cracking and remember to wash the concrete off
the tools before it dries!
2. The next day, sprinkle water in the cement early in the morning.
3. After 24 hours have passed, take out carefully both frames from the foundations and remove any remaining concrete with a brush or a
machete. All frame boards can be reused when making the slab and access doors.

2nd WORKING DAY

REMAINING ROWS OF BLOCKS
After the slab has cured for at least 2 days: When laying all blocks, check that all
blocks are plumb and level for
1. Lay and mortar the 2nd and 3rd row leaving room for the composting chamber access everything to look nice and to
doors. avoid problems when building
 Each space is 17” by 17” and is located 17” from each side wall. the toilet house on top.

 On each row, remember to fill with concrete mix (cement with sand and gravel) the corner
blocks (where the construction steel is placed)

2. Place a support for the blocks on the 4th row on both access door openings.
The support can be two frames of 17” by 17” each or a block standing up with a board on the top.

3. Lay the 4rd and 5th rows of blocks and mortar all joints.

3rd WORKING DAY

PLASTERING INNER CHAMBERS
1. Do the plaster mix using only fine sand and cement (no
gravel). 1 bag of cement and 7 five-gallon-buckets of fine sand PLASTERING OUTER WALLS: If desired, follow the same steps to plaster the outer walls
are needed for this task. of the composting chambers. Plastering the outside walls only serves for visual purposes
2. Wet the face of the blocks to help the plaster bond. and increases construction costs (materials for this task are not considered in this
guideline, 2 bags of cement and 14 five-gallon-buckets of fine sand will be needed to
3. Trowel on a 0.5” thick coat of plaster over the inside walls
plaster the outer walls).
of each chamber.
ALWAYS PLASTER THE INSIDE WALLS: Do not choose to plaster the outside walls
4. Finish plastering with a wet sponge to secure that the
plaster is as smooth as possible, to avoid places to trap instead of plastering the chambers from the inside. Sealing the inside of the chambers
poop. traps toilet contents and keeps insects away from the blocks and the outside world.

8
SOAKAWAY
1. Centred in the back of the composting chambers, dig a hole that is 2’ wide, 4’
long and 2’ deep. Dig 3” away from the foundation.
2. Place a 2” PVC elbow on each pipe.
3. Connect each elbow to a 2” PVC pipe that is 2” long.
4. Fill the soakaway with 4” coarse stones.
5. Cover the stones with a 2” layer of soil.
6. Plant grass on top of the soil. The grass will “drink”
the liquid that drips from the soakaway pipe.
4rd WORKING DAY

TOILET HOUSE SLAB (FLOOR)
Be sure to finish all the steps in the same working day:

SLAB BOTTOM SUPPORT
1. Make and place a frame (reusing the board from the steps foundation
frame) and place three 2x4 boards inside the frames for each composting
chamber opening.
2. Cut and place 6 bush sticks (2” thick) underneath each frame. The frames
and boards need to be the same height as the concrete walls. Using a level, make
sure the boards are levelled. If the boards fit well, it is not needed to nail them to
the poles, making it easier to get them out when the slab is done.

3. Fill the last row of blocks with 2” stones so the concrete mix used to make
the slab is not wasted by entering through the blocks.
4. Place the 4” by 8” hardboard panel centred on top of the composting
chambers.

SLAB FRAME
1. Make an 8’ by 4’ frame that is at least 6” high. The frames from the
composting chamber slab can be reused for this purpose.

9
2. Place the frame 3” bellow the block line.
 With the level, make sure the frames are levelled.
 Secure the frame with 3” concrete nails and bush stick stakes or lumber boards.

GRID OF REBAR / REINFORCING GRID
1. Place two five-gallon-buckets upside down 1.5’ away from the back wall and 2’
away from the outside walls.
2. Place the ventilation pipes in the outer corner of the toilet room. They are 2” PVC
pipe, 7’ high and will be left standing as the slab cures.
3. Cut:
 11 pieces of 3/8 construction steel, 96” long.
 16 pieces of 3/8 construction steel, 47” long.

4. Lay the grid.
 The grid needs to have a construction steel every 8” horizontally and vertically.
 Do not cut the construction steel where the buckets meet but bend it around. Cutting the
construction steel will weaken the slab.

5. Tie each grid intersection with tying wire. Tighten each tie with pliers.
6. Center the grid vertically in the middle of the slab by placing rocks
below it. The grid should not touch the base of the slab at any place.

CONCRETE POURING
1. Mix the concrete with 2 bags of cement with 14 five-gallon-buckets of sand and
gravel.
2. Pour the concrete and trowel it smooth with a board trowel. Someone should hold
the PVC pipes while pouring the concrete.

3. To avoid getting the buckets stuck into the concrete mix, shake the them lose 10
minutes after the concrete mix is poured then shake them again once every hour; for
the next two hours.
 Or put motor oil in the buckets so they do not get stuck.
 Leave the PVC pipes as the slab dries.

10
SLAB CARE
1. When finished for the day, wet the concrete to prevent it from drying too fast and cracking.
2. The next day, early in the morning, sprinkle again with water to help the slab cure evenly without cracking.
3. 24 hours after finishing the slab, take out the frames and clean them.
4. 48 hours after finishing the slab, take out the hardboard, frame and bush sticks and clean the boards.
The hardboards will be reused to make the toilet seat pedestals and the boards, to make the house frame diagonal braces.

5. Before continuing any work, let the slab cure for three days and don’t put any weight on the slab during that time (this includes stepping on it).

5th WORKING DAY

ACCESS DOORS FOR THE COMPOSTING CHAMBERS

1. Make two 17.5” by 17.5” frames.
 The frames from the steps and inner chambers can be reused for this purpose.
 Make sure that the doors are 0.5” smaller than the spaces in the wall, so they fit
correctly and there is room to put the cement seal on the last day.

2. Pour the cement mix. Mix 2 shovels of cement and 2 of fine sand for each door.
3. Cut two pieces of 3/8 construction steel 1’ long and bend them into handle shapes.
4. Place the handles on the ends of each door, not too close to the edges.
5. For the first 24 hours, let doors rest on the ground.
6. When 24 hours have passed:

 Take away frames and clean them.
 Let the doors to dry 24 more hours by leaning/ standing them on a wall.

11
TOILET SEAT PEDESTAL (STOOL / CHUTE)

To reduce costs:
 Toilet pedestals and seats can be done out of timber. To reduce the necessity for cleaning, the inside hole of the pedestals should be at least 10”
wide so faecal matter does not adhere to the sides.
 It is possible to have/make only one toilet seat that is placed above the active composting chamber while the inactive chamber is closed with a
wooden or concrete a lid. However, for practical reasons, it’s recommended that two toilet pedestals are made (with the outer and inside walls it
will be harder to move the toilet seat around).

1. Make the seat pedestal formwork by reusing the hardboard used on the slab support.
If it is not possible to reuse the board, use flat metal sheeting.
 Cut the boards as high as a five-gallon-bucket and 5” longer than the circumference
of the bucket.
 Turn the 2 five-gallon-buckets upside-down (its better if the buckets are old and black).
 Wrap each board around a bucket, leaving 4” of space between the bucket and the board.
 Tie each board with tying wire to keep them in place when pouring the concrete mix.

2. Mix the remaining cement bag with 7 five-gallon buckets of sand and gravel.
Leave a bit of cement out, to use when sticking the plastic toilet seat and lid to the pedestal.

3. Pour the concrete mix on each pedestal formwork making sure that the cement does not
go higher than the top of the bucket. The top of the bucket will be taken out when the seat
pedestal is dry.

4. Let the seat pedestals cure for 24 hours.

5. When 24 hours have passed, take out the boards/formworks.

6. Let cure for another day.
7. After the pedestals have cured for a total of 48 hours:
 Cut the top of the buckets.
 Put a plastic toilet seat and lid on each pedestal. “Glue” them to the pedestal with cement mix.
8. Place the toilet pedestals on the toilet house, before assembling the toilet house walls.
Remember that the slab needs to have cured for at least 3 days before placing them.

12
CHECKLIST #2

TOOL LIST MATERIALS LIST
Carpenter's square UNITS ITEM NOTES
Boards to hold de slab inside the chambers / house
Electric Drill (optional) 17 2x4x8 rough lumber
frames (base, posts and diagonal braces)
Electric Saw (optional) 5 1x3x10 rough lumber Roof support
Hammers 7 1x3x8 rough lumber Door frames (5) and Roof support (2)
Handsaws 7 1x10x6 treated lumber Steps
Level 1 2x2x10 treated lumber Hand rail and rail support
Zinc 26 gauge - 6 ft. (corrugated)
Measuring / Steel tape 4
32" Coverage 28" Roof
Machetes 1 Pound of umbrella nails
Shovels 2 Hinge set 3"x 3"
Door
2 Door pull 3/4"
2 Barrel bolt 3" To close door from the inside
2 Safety Hasp 2-1/2” To lock unused chamber with padlock (optional
1 Padlock but recommended)

5 Plysen boards 1x4x8

2 Gallons of enamel paint Toilet house walls

2 Paint brush 2"
2 Toilet roll holder Optional

13
6th WORKING DAY

TOILET HOUSE (ROOM /OUTHOUSE / SUPERSTRUCTURE)

STEPS
1. Make two upright supports with two 1x10x6 boards. Make a 45° angle on each side
and cut a corner so the supports rest on the step foundation.

2. Nail the upright supports to the cement blocks. Leave 6’ between the supports
and make sure they are centred in front of the composting chambers.

3. With 2x4 scrap wood, nail side supports next to the boards as
shown on the photo.
4. Leaving 1’ between the 1st step and the floor, nail one step
supports on each upright support.
5. Make the 1st step by placing a 1x10x6 board on top of the step
supports and nailing it to the supports. Repeat this step for the
remaining steps.
The hand rail will be assembled after the walls have been placed.

FRAMES

To reduce costs, house frames can be made out of bush stick (4” thick).

BASE / SILL PLATES
1. Cut 3 pieces of 2x4x8  4’ long.
2. Assemble boards into a frame. Make sure that the outside edge of the base
matches the outside edge of the concrete.

3. Drill holes on the boards so the construction steel bars from the corners
can pass through the boards.
4. Bend the construction steel bars over the boards so they grab the base
of the house and keep it from moving.

14
WALL SUPPORT
1. Nail 2x4x8 boards to the front wall base.
 Nail the center and corner posts first.
 To allow the 2’ wide doors to fit, make sure that the 2nd and 4th post are
rd
2’ away from the 3 /centre post.

2. Cut 2x4x8 boards to 3 pieces  7’ long and nail them to the back of the house. The back
wall is shorter than the front wall so the rain drains away from the door.

3. Make 12 diagonal wood braces (2x4) by:
 Cutting 2x4x8 boards into 6 pieces 3’ long.
 Reusing the 2x4 boards that made the chamber frame support for the slab and
turn them into diagonal braces by cutting all ends in a 45° angle.

4. Nail the diagonal wood braces to each post. They keep the walls from collapsing in the wind.
5. Cut and nail wall supports with 2x4x8 board. The supports are 3.5’ away from the floor.

15
ROOF SUPPORT
1. Nail the 1x3x8 boards to the front and back wall posts.
st
(1 drawing).

2. Cut 3 pieces (1x3x10 board) 5’ long and nail them to
the ends of the previously nailed boards.
nd
Leave 1’ at each end (2 drawing).

3. Nail the 1x3x10 boards to the ends of the
previously nailed boards (3rd drawing).

To help keep rain away from the toilet
house walls, the roof needs to be at least
one foot larger (on all sides) than the
toilet house perimeter.

DOOR FRAMES

1. Cut 1x3x8 boards to 5 pieces  18” long.
Find scrap wood that is 18” long for the 6th
piece required and place it on the middle
frame of one of the doors.

2. Assemble two door frames.

ROOF
1. Place zinc sheets on top of the roof support making them overlap for 6 to 8 inches.
To reduce costs and/or use available
2. Nail the zinc roof with umbrella head nails making sure to nail at the high point of the
materials, the roof can be thatched or
ribbing (otherwise, water will come through the nail holes). Place nails on every other
use zincalume.
ribbing, the whole roof should use at least 40 nails.

16
WALLS AND DOORS

To reduce costs and/or use available materials, the walls and doors can be made out
of local hardwood, zinc, fabric and/or plastic rolls. However, it’s important that:
 The toilet house is dry, strong, private and attractive.
 The selected materials are rot resistant.

DOORS
1. Cut and nail 2x8 plysen board pieces on each door. Add a nail every 8”
along all the sides of the board.

2. Nail the door hinges on the doors and then nail the hinges to the house
frames.

WALLS
1. Connect a 2” PVC elbow followed by a 2’ pipe to the ventilation pipe.
2. Attach the plysen boards to the house frames by nailing every 8” along
the sides of each board. Place:
 2 plysen boards horizontally on the back wall. The 2 board is 3’ high and leaves
nd

room for the ventilation pipe go through with two 2” x 4” cuts.
 1 plysen board vertically on each side wall.
 A 2x4x4 board to support the top of the center wall.
 1 plysen board vertically as the center wall. Before nailing the board, make sure the door
closes with the center wall attached.

3. Cut and nail plysen board pieces so they cover the remaining openings on the front wall.
Place the boards vertically.

ACCESSORIES
Inside the toilet house place:
1. A barrel bolt inside each door so it can be locked from the inside to secure privacy
when using the toilet.
2. A toilet roll holder and a toilet roll package holder (a board from wood scraps).
17
On the doors place:
3. Door pulls.
4. A safety hasp so the doors can be locked from the outside with a padlock.
It is important to lock the inactive chamber to secure no one uses it.
You can also put electricity on the toilet rooms.

HANDRAIL
1. Cut a 2x2x10 board with a 45° cut  3’ long.
2. Place the 3’ rail support in front of the step foundation and burry it 6”.
Make sure that the 7’ hand rail will touch the toilet house wall when placed
on top of the hand rail.

3. Nail the 7’ rail to the rail support and to the toilet house wall.
4. Nail a support on the toilet house, underneath the rail.
7th WORKING DAY

1. WATERPROOF WALLS, DOORS AND STEPS: Paint the board and steps with enamel/oil
based paint to waterproof them. Do not thin/mix the paint with turpentine, gasoline nor other
materials. / Remember to wash the brushes with turpentine or gasoline before they dry!

2. LOCK THE INACTIVE COMPOSTING CHAMBER: With a padlock close the toilet room that
will remain empty until the 1st/ active chamber is full. Children and uninformed people may
be tempted to use the inactive latrine if it’s easy to access. You may also put a big stone over the
toilet seat to dissuade people from using it.

3. GET THE ACTIVE CHAMBER READY:
 Put a 6”layer of sawdust to the chamber that will be used first. Spread the sawdust evenly
through the chamber with the shovel.
 Add another 1” layer of soil into the chamber. The soil will bring to the chamber the
microorganisms that will break down the faecal matter into compost.

4. SEAL BOTH COMPOSTING CHAMBERS: Mix up a little bit of mortar and seal the gaps
around both doors, making sure that there are no holes where flies or other insects can
enter.

Congratulations! You have finished your waterless-double-chamber composting toilet! It is ready for use.
18
USE AND MAINTENANCE GUIDELINES

USING THE TOILET
1. Always have a bucket of carbon material in the
active toilet room with a scoop / 1L container to
pour with.
 A scoop can be made by cutting a 1 litre
jug or using a yogurt or ice cream 1 litre
container.
 Carbon materials can be: ash, sawdust,
rice husks and dry leaves.

2. Every time the toilet is used drop into the chamber:

- 1 scoop for urine
- 2 scoops for faeces
- 3 scoops for diarrhea

It is OK to put toilet paper into the toilet.

3. Close the toilet lid after use, so flies do not
enter to the composting chamber.

4. Wash your hands with soap and water after
each use.

KEEP AWAY FROM THE TOILET
To avoid killing the microorganisms present in the compost;
getting injured when using the compost and to keep rats and
insects away, never throw in the toilet:

- Food scraps - Sanitary pads - Chemicals
- Syringes or diapers (especially
- Plastic - Glass not deter-
- Water gents or
bleach).

Remember to explain to new users how to use the toilet.
MAINTAINING THE ACTIVE TOILET
AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK
1. Clean the toilet seat with a small
amount of water and a cloth,
leaves or toilet paper (use soap if
necessary but not bleach).

2. Sweep the toilet room.
If the room is very dirty you can
scrub with a bit of soap and water.

3. Clean the inside toilet walls
of the room with a cloth. Credit: Jaime Fanjoy
The cloth can be humid and can
contain soap or detergent.

4. Pour 4 scoops of soil and stir the composting
chamber contents with a long stick.
This will spread out its contents and will allow air to
flow through. Ideally, the stick should be at least 6’
long and bent in the end to reach further inside the
chamber.

IF THE TOILET HAS A BAD SMELL
After the cleaning routine has been done:

1. Add a 1” layer of carbon to the
chamber and spread it through the Credit: Jaime Fanjoy
chamber with the stick.

If the toilet frequently smells bad in between
cleaning routines:

1. Clean the room more often.
2. Remind all users the correct amount of
scoops that need to be put in the toilet
after every use and what things can’t go
into it.

With proper use and maintenance,
the toilet should never smell bad.

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WHEN THE COMPOSTING CHAMBER IS FULL
Depending on how many people use the toilet, the composting chamber will take from 9 to
24 months to fill. When the active chamber is almost full (only 6” are left to fill):

CLOSE THE CHAMBER THAT IS FULL (CHAMBER 2)
1. Fill the composting chamber up to the bottom of the
floor slab with dry leaves mixed with 4 scoops of soil.
2. Clean the toilet room.
3. Lock the door or put a big stone over it.
4. Let the microorganisms in the composting chamber do their
work until the chamber 1 is full. If a chamber takes less than 9 months to fill, wait and do not use it
nor empty it until the 9th month has passed. If this happens, it means that a bigger toilet is needed for
the household.

EMPTY THE CHAMBER WITH COMPOST (CHAMBER 1)
It is recommended to empty the composting chamber and habilitate the unused toilet room a
few weeks before the active chamber (Chamber 2) gets full. The longer the compost stays in the
chamber the better, for this reason, a closed / inactive chamber should be emptied only when the other chamber
is getting full; even if it takes more than 9 months to fill.

1. Break the cement seal of the composting
chamber access door with a chisel (if the
doors are made out of concrete).

2. Open the access door and check if the
contents are fully composted.
If fully composted the contents will look
like and smell like soil.

3. Remove the compost using a shovel.

4. Dig a hole in around the canopy of
shrubs, trees or flower beds and burry the
compost under them. The size of the circle
should be the size of the canopy of the
shrub or tree.
Although the composting process should
kill all bacteria, parasites and germs that
could have been present on the faeces,
for safety reasons, do not put the
compost on vegetables.

5. Seal the access door with mortar
(if the doors are made out of concrete).

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ACTIVATE THE EMPTY TOILET ROOM

1. Open and clean the toilet room above
chamber 1 (the one that has been
inactive or unused).

2. Place the carbon materials basket /sack
inside the toilet room.

3. Through the toilet hole, add a 6” layer of
sawdust and the 1” layer of soil into the
composting chamber.
Spread and even out the contents with a stick.

4. Start using the toilet room.

Repeat the process indefinitely

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HAND WASHING TIPS
REFERENCES

Crennan , L. (2007). Sustainable sanitation manual and
construction guidelines for a waterless composting toilet.
Apia, Samoa: Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment
Programme.

Fanjoy. J. (2009). Letrina Abonera Seca Familiar. Guatemala: Peace
Corps Guatemala.

Masse. A. and Nesbitt C. (2017) Sustainable Waste Management
Manual. Belize: Peace Corps Belize and Maya Mountain
Research Farm.

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