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Example of a bucket toilet (two bucket system) | by Sustainable sanitation
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Example of a bucket toilet (two bucket system)

This bucket toilet is a two bucket urine diverting system: one for urine, one for feces. Various emergency management offices (e.g. Portland Bureau of Emergency Management or Wellington Region Emergency Management) recommend the use of this "twin toilet system" in cases of emergencies, especially earthquakes. When wastewater infrastructure gets destroyed, "twin buckets" can be easily used because they are affordable, they match ecological sanitation principles and they are odorless and safe if they are used properly. Both buckets should contain lids. The urine bucket will fill up quickly and has to be emptied more often than the feces bucket. Preferably, this has to be done diluted with water, pouring the content onto a disused green space. The feces bucket has to be treated more cautious because it contains pathogens. After every use it should be covered with a handful of dry material like sawdust, ashes, dry leaves, or shredded newspaper to take up the moisture. The material should be composted later but can be emptied into a (large) container for interim storage.

This New Zealand group (with a community-based approach) was the first to suggest two separate buckets:

Further instructions on how to build such toilets can also be found here: and here:



Photo by Carol McCreary

Oct. 2015

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Taken on October 10, 2011