Related Links & Sources
Things to Consider
Composting Factors
Urine Diverting

Latrines in general

General Information on Ecological Sanitation

Commercial products

Self construct models/technical briefs

Project/field reports and successful use

Efficacy and biological results

General/comprehensive information on composting toilets
The place really for some of the best and most thorough information. General information, FAQs, links and references, supplier information and even links to consultants. Site is current and still a bit under construction.“The Center for Ecological Pollution Prevention (CEPP) develops, promotes and demonstrates better waste management systems and practices, with an emphasis on source-separation and utilization approaches.” They also offer workshops and training both in the USA and at international sites. Also can provide technical assistance.

The composting toilet system book :a practical guide to choosing, planning and maintaining composting toilet systems, a water-saving, pollution-preventing alternative, DavidDel Porto and Carol Steinfeld, 2000, Center for Ecological Pollution Prevention, White River Junction, VT. Can be purchased at several outlets including and  This is the bible of sorts for composting toilets with a thorough description of processes and options. It is mostly geared, however, for more developed countries with connections to commercial products. Might be a good place to start if you have limited internet access. Check out the excerpts list below and in other sections hosted by
This is a lengthy excerpt from The Composting Toilet System Book listed above. Very useful general information.
This is another lengthy excerpt from The Composting Toilet System Book listed above.
A lengthy general article with a good overview. Also describes some of the different approaches of the commercial manufacturers. Has some installation tips (for commercial type products) and information of greywater.
A list of sources and links for composting toilets, but most are of a more general nature.
This is the website for ReSource – Institute for low entropy systems “is an independent, nonprofit organization that works in partnership with communities in English and Spanish speaking countries to protect public health and the environment. We support non-depleting, non-wasting, non-polluting methods and technologies for sustainable development.” They work with communities on ecological sanitation issues emphasizing composting toilets. The site has some good information, a thorough list of links and resources and even some photos of composting toilets they have assisted with. Might be a partner if working in some Latin American countries.
This is the Mexico based website of SIRDOS – Grupo de Tecnologia Alternativa. It is a general site for alternative technologies, but includes sections and information on composting toilets.
Website for BioCycle – Journal of Composting and Organics Recycling. Has some archived articles on composting, but most are not technical guides – just description and advocacies pieces.
The Humanure Handbook – A great comprehensive handbook written by a man in the USA who has composted his family’s excrement since 1979.  A wealth of information and practical knowledge concentrated in this book on composting in general.  Source: The Humanure Handbook. Jenkins Publishing, PO Box 607, Grove City, PA 16127. To order, phone: 1-800-639-4099.

Composting toilet systems, planning, design, & maintenance, Brenda Land, 1995, San Dimas Technology & Development Center, San Dimas, CA.

Stop the five gallon flush!: a survey of alternative waste disposal systems, Witold Rybczynski and Alvaro Ortega, 1976, Minimum Cost Housing Group, McGill University Publication: Montreal, Canada

Guidelines for the use of composting toilets. Office of Environmental Health Programs, Technical Review Committee, 1980, Washington State Dept. of Social and Health Services, Olympia, WA.

Technology Improves for Composting Toilets, David Riggle, 1996, BioCycle. 37, no.4: 39.

Toilets: Low Flush/No Flush, Robert Kourik, 1990, Garbage: the practical journal for the environment. 2, no. 1:16-24

Composting Toilets Reach the 90s, David Riggle, 1990, BioCycle. 31, no.8: 68-71.


Latrines in general

Latrine Building: A handbook to implementing the Sanplat system, Bjorn Brandberg, 1997, ITDG Publishing at

Lifting the Lid: Ecological approach to toilet systems, Peter Harper with Lousie Halestrap, Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), UK

Low cost sanitation: A survey of practical experience, J. Pickford, 1995, IT Publications, UK

A Guide to the Development of On-site Sanitation, R. Franceys, J. Pickford, and R. Reed, 1992, World Health Organization (WHO). Available from ITDG Publications at This is a very valuable book regarding all aspects of low-cost sanitation. The publication is also available in Spanish and French


General Information on Ecological Sanitation
Pages 203-214 are a chapter in Towards and Ecological Approach in Sanitation written by Uno Winbald for WHO. It is an excellent overview of issues
This is the UNDP’s site for Ecological Sanitation. Has a few links, but more big policy approach.
Website home of Sanitation Connection – An Environmental Sanitation Network. It is the network of some of the major agencies involved with sanitation issues in low income countries and therefore has some good general information as well as links. Emphasis on health, policies, and financing – all important aspects of putting the technology in place.
“SANDEC is the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries at the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG) in Duebendorf, Switzerland. Its activities centre on problems of sustainable development in economically less developed countries. Its mandate is to assist in developing appropriate and sustainable water and sanitation concepts and technologies adapted to the different physical and socio-economic conditions prevailing in developing countries.”

Some papers from SANDEC related to Composting Toilets

Reduction Efficiency of Index Pathogens in Dry Sanitation Compared with Traditional and Alternative Wastewater Treatment Systems

Microbiological Studies of Ecological Sanitation in El Salvador

Survival of Ascaris Suum Ova, Indicator Bacteria and Salmonella Typhimurium Phage 28B in Mesophilic Composting of Household Waste

Dry-Composting Toilets in Hot Arid Climates

Fertile Waste: Managing your domestic sewage, Peter Harper, 1994, Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), UK

The risk of groundwater pollution by on-site sanitation in developing countries, J. Lewis, S Foster and B. S. Drasar, 1980, IRCWD. This and any other publications on the use of human waste and ecological sanitation can be ordered from

Sanitation without Water, U. Winblad and W. Kilama, 1985, Macmillan. Useful practical guidance on how to build different types of latrine - in particular composting latrines p112 - 127.

The following is a small selection of many downloadable documents focusing on ecological sanitation from the proceedings of the international symposium "ecosan - closing the loop in wastewater management and sanitation" from October 2000.

ecosan – Introduction of closed-loop approaches in wastewater management and sanitation – a new supra-regional GTZ – project, Jana Schlick and Christine Werner, 12/2001. Available in English, French, Spanish, and German.

Ecological sanitation - Closing the Loop, Steven A. Esrey and Ingvar Anderson

Urine Separation - Closing the nutrient cycle, Mats Johansson

Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater and excreta in agriculture and aquaculture, executive summary, D. Mara and S. Cairncross.

Community-based technologies for domestic wastewater treatment and reuse: Options for urban agriculture, Gregory D. Rose


Commercial products

Many of these manufacturer websites have loads of information not just about their products but also the composting toilet concept, environmental sanitation, and other related topics.

Other good lists of manufacturers can be found at: (The most thorough and detailed list!) (USA) (International) (International – very thorough)

BioLet 2 Damonmill Square Concord, MA 01742 800-524-6538.

Clivus Multrum 104 Mount Auburn St., 5th Floor Cambridge, MA 02138-5051 508-725-5591. (several international offices)

CTS Composting Toilet Systems P.O. Box 1928 Newport, WA 99156-1928 509-447-3708.

Envirolet Composting Toilet SanCor Industries 140-30 Milner Ave. Scarborough, Ontario M1S 3R3 Canada.

Nature-Loo P.O. Box 1213 Milton Q 4064 Australia +07-3367-0601.

Phoenix Composting Toilet Advanced Composting Systems 195 Meadows Road Whitefish, MT 59937 406-862-3854

Rota-Loo Environment Equipment 2/32 Jarrah Drive Braeside, VIC.3195 Australia +03-587-2447.

Sun-Mar Corporation 5035 N. Service Road, C9-C10 Burlington, Ontario L7L 5V2 Canada 905-332-1314

Vera-EcoTech Carousel Vera-EcoTech 152 Commonwealth Ave., Concord, MA 01742 508-369-3951


Self construct models/technical briefs
An excellent set of technical briefs in PDF format originally produced by the Development Information Center of USAID.
There are three specific to composting toilets:
Designing Compost Toilets (SAN.1.D.6)
Constructing Compost Toilets (SAN.1.C.6)
Operating and Maintaining Compost Toilets (SAN.1.O.6)

There are many other great briefs at this site concerning rural water supply and disease.
This site contains access to several technical briefs considering rural water supply and sanitation. The one of interest for composting toilets is #63 – Using Human Waste which provides some composting toilets guidelines.The whole series together can be obtained in a print version from WEDC at
ITDG. Composting toilets: Technical brief. International Technology Development Group.  Another “how-to” brief, but without significant construction detail.
A super list of several self-build designs. Some just a brief description and an external picture, others hook you up to websites or references for the complete plans. Lots of variety here for some ideas and solutions.Composting toilets and greywater disposal-- building your own, Zandy Clark, 1977, Alternative Waste Treatment Association, Bath, ME. Have not located a source to purchase this book.


Project/field reports and successful use
Pages 215-224 are a chapter in Towards and Ecological Approach in Sanitation titled “Promoting Composting Toilets in the Pacific Islands.” It is an excellent review of a project in Kiribati. It addresses both the technology and the community role and involvement of the project. Also a good list of lessons learned.
A useful set of FAQs concerning composting toilet projects in low and middle income countries. An evaluation of the Enviro Loo composting latrine in an informal settlement area in greater Johannesburg, 1998, Stewart Scott, Water Research Commission, Pretoria (KV112/98). This and several other related reports on “Developing Communities: Water supply and sanitation” is available at:
Composting Toilet trial in Kiritimati, Kiribati

Solar energy utilization in composting toilet: final report, Max Kroschel, 1981, Pacific Southwest Region, U.S. Dept. of Energy, San Francisco, CA.

Backcountry human waste management: a guidance manual for public composting toilet facilities, 1994, Yosemite National Park, CA: Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service.

Double-vault composting toilets a state-of-the-art review, Witold Rybczynski,. 1981, Environment Sanitation Information Center, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand

Composting toilets: report on a visit to the alternative waste disposal project, J. Eygelaar 1977, Housing Research and Development Unit, University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Aerobic Composting Toilets for Tropical Environments, Dave Rapaport, 1996, BioCycle, 37, no. 7, 77.


Efficacy and biological results

Survival of Fecal Coliforms in Dry-Composting ToiletsI, Thomas Redlinger, Jay Graham, Veronica Corella-Barud, and Racuel Avitia, 2001, Applied and environmental microbiology. 67, no. 9: 4036.
One of the only results oriented studies found. Excellent information.

Water efficiency technology fact sheet: composting toilets, 1999, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. http//
This is a lengthy excerpt from The Composting Toilet System Book listed in the General Information section. Very useful general information.
This is another lengthy excerpt from The Composting Toilet System Book.

Composting Toilets - Is Zero Discharge Possible, Robert D. Barshied, 1990, Public works. 122, no. 10: 44-46.

Performance assessment of composting toilet facilities: a report, G. D. Hooper, 1996, T & E Consultants, Victoria, B.C.