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Technology Solutions selected in 2019:

During November 19, 2017- November 19, 2018 Local Solutions team visited to all 21 provinces of Mongolia during its nationwide public awareness training and successfully broke the taboo against the word “toilet” in 12 months. However, we learnt that the hardest prejudice against everything related to toilets still remain deeply in male workforces’ mind if we keep offering the same style of outdoor latrines however improved their models were.  Due to lack of workforce to produce large amount of outdoor toilets, delivery of locally acceptable toilets were delaying.

Therefore, our team brought together several companies to choose a lightweight dry toilet model for women workforce so that the supply of toilets could significantly increase. Business partners of our campaign “Let’s Change Our Toilet” chose Biolan Simplett as the first product to test in the Mongolian market. It’s a dry bio toilet that can be installed indoors, and most importantly, this is a toilet that women can assemble, dismantle, clean, manage and sell them successfully.

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-Biolan Simplett. Urine diverting dry toilet.

-Probiotic bacteria product TAMIR;

-Biodegradable bags

-Locally available biomass

-Collecting trucks and composting factory;

- decentralized composting in yards and Biolan Composters;

- urine harvesting for fertilizer;

- An app for toilet product salespersons and users;

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Urine and grey water treatment system similar to the Reed Bed system.

Technology Solutions selected in 2018:

Over the past decade, there were many pilot projects to find suitable dry toilet technology for Mongolia. Among them, only few technologies were tested during winter time. Here are the dry toilet technologies that are selected as best suitable models by participants of the Local Solutions nationwide training series.  Local Solutions and Capitron Bank of Mongolia are offering the following five technology choices for the receivers of Eco Toilet Loans.

Toilet 1. Fully lined, empty-able dry toilet. This is the only dry toilet with standard requirements that are widely known and understood in the construction sector compared to newly practiced compostable toilets. However, the mass production of empty-able pit toilets has been too slow. The reason is that local constructors and users always prefer deep pits, most often 3 or 4 meters deep, which make the toilet expensive. Local Solutions sponsored and provided advice at every stage of the building of the cheaper version of fully-lined empty-able toilets (P.S. below 4 pictures show those toilets) allowing the builders to make the pits not 3 meters, but 1.7 meters deep. The odor was dependent on the air circulation systems. Those built the air-pipe outside the cabin, had odor issues that need to be improved with the help of electricity or a change in construction. Those built with the air-pipe inside the cabin, like in the Gobi dry toilet, did not have the odor issues. Further, the emptying process is expected to be much easier and cheaper when the pit is not too deep. User satisfaction was higher with the shallower-pit toilets than with the deeper-pit toilets. However, empty-able toilets cannot be too shallow in Mongolia’s conditions. During winter freezing (November to April), emptying service doesn’t work and the user must keep the content of the toilet for six cold months. So, the pit has to have enough space to contain the long winter content. Also, as most ger district users prefer to have toilets farther away from their home, toilets are not heated. Therefore, during winter cold, the users prefer to have a squatting hole while seats are preferred for warmer seasons.

Toilet 2. Shallow-pit, moveable, Gobi dry toilet: This technology is used by a family and two tourism camps in South Gobi, or Umnugobi province. It has been successfully operating for seven years all year around. The key part of the toilet is its air circulation system that successfully utilizes Gobi’s dry air and strong wind as a tool to dry out the feces. The urine goes to soil and filtered by thick sandy and rocky soil of the Gobi where the water table is as low as 100 meters below the surface. The toilet pit is only one meter deep and not lined. With feces drying out with good air circulation system, the volume shrinks down so much that a seven-member family used 1m3 pit for seven years and the pit isn’t half-full yet. So, even though the toilet is designed to be a moveable one after the shallow pit is filled, it will take at least 12 years or so to move the cabin to the next pit. When filled, the pit is to be covered with more sand and gravel for several years so that the same pit content can be shoveled off to be emptied for re-use. The toilet is easy-to-use all seasons as the user doesn’t need to add anything after the use. In winter, when freezing of feces or urine results in a small ‘pyramid’ inside the pit, the users add hot ash to dismantle the ‘pyramid’.  It is an odorless toilet so long as the toilet seat is always closed after use.

Toilet 3. Urine diverting, container-based drying toilet: This technology was first developed by a WASH Action Mongolia team, and implemented by students under the Local Solutions summer project three years ago. The toilet has a urine diverting seat, the urine goes to a pit in which it is filtered through sand, gravel and sawdust before reaching the soil. Feces drops into a metal container. Some layer of dry sand is put in the bottom of the container before using. After each use, the user is asked to add a small amount of drying element to the container: ash, sand, sawdust or whatever is available. In hot and windy days, drying is easier and doesn’t require the addition of drying materials. The toilet was used successfully for three years during all seasons until the property owners moved from the place at which it was installed. An air pipe is needed for both container and urine sections. The toilet is odorless and user satisfaction was high during its use. Once the container is filled, the content, which looks like dry dirt, is given to the solid waste collection. However, a container wasn’t filled for three years of use by a family of 6 persons.

Toilet 4. Shallow-pit, moveable dry toilet using bio mass: This technology was used by DMD company at their Sweet Gobi and Ursa Major camps. The technology is tested for 10 years during summer time only and is operating very well. The key for successful operation of Toilet-1 is the unlined shallow pit (1.0-1.3 meters deep) that has an initial layer of local topsoil on the bottom as the starter bacteria colony for the bio-degradation process. Urine descends to the soil filtrated by rocks and gravel in the soil, and feces are composted with sawdust and local bacteria in the pit. Users are expected to add sawdust each time after their use the toilet. When filled at the end of tourism season, the pit is covered by soil and the toilet cabin is moved. When the new tourism season starts next spring, the same cabin is erected on the next newly excavated pit. After a year of ‘rest’, the first pit content is shoveled out. Even though the content comes out as an ordinary soil after such long period of time, the DMD company dumps this soil at the main waste collection site of Khujirt soum of Uvurkhangai province according to the local herders’ demand to take it away from their pastureland.  DMD never tested the emptied content for pathogens, and didn’t have trouble with odor, lack of will of workforce, or sickness experience in the emptying process.

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©2018 Local Solutions

Toilet 5. Container-based composting toilet: A Mongolian start-up company FiMoGreen introduced this Finland-made technology that was tested for 14 years to the Mongolian market in the summer of 2018. The toilet has pre-prepared container where both feces and urine go. Excess liquids leak through the main container and are collected in a smaller one. The prepared container has an air circulating pipe and wheels for easy replacement. Before using, the bottom of the main container is covered with bio mass. Each time, the user must add bio-mass. Odorless, and easy-to-use, this green toilet is proved to be very attractive for the Mongolian environment during the warm seasons. FiMoGreen is eager to test the toilet during winter for the first time and is pitching its buyers to use an electric cord to keep the container warm. So far, it is above the affordable limit of the average user. But the new start-up sold 16 toilets in just two months of its introduction to the market.