Festival toilets in Europe (Great Britain, France, Germany, ...)

  • Pootopia
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Re: Festival toilets in Europe (Great Britain, France, Germany, ...)

[Start of Page 3 of the discussion]

We are now very ready to go to supply up to 1200 loos into the german festival market.. So it is now not a problem regarding supplying events with how ever many they need. We are really looking forward to hearing from different people and businesses who may be interested in using the Natural Event loos and systems in a franchised system where everything is supplied.. lets talk some time!
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  • Kevinkuhn
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Re: Festival toilets in Europe (Great Britain, France, Germany, ...)

I want to give a quick update about one progress in mobile sustainable sanitation in Germany.

In the last year the communication between the different companies got better and with that also knowledge sharing. Apart from seeing everyone become more professional in all aspects, I want to share the development regarding the disposal of the collected feces and urine.

In the past years there were no legal ways for proper treatment/composting for the residuals. Therefore we started our activities by storing the material. At that point the quantities were very low and unproblematic.

However, as the market demand for composting toilets in festivals increases, every player in the field needed to come up with a legal and scalable solution. Through intense research and lobbying at the different stakeholders in the waste spectrum (administration, unions, collectors, composting sites) there is now a solution.

It is legal to dispose the solid residuals (sawdust, toilet paper and feces) as municipal waste in a MBT plant (Mechanical - Biological - Treatment plant) if you can declare your material as waste. At these facilities the material gets either composted or incinerated. The composted material will usually be used for non-food applications as i.e. parks.

With that way of disposal there are also a couple of downsides:

1) It is not totally transparent what is happening with the material, if it gets composted or incinerated. We rely only on oral statements by the facility staff.

2) The material needs to contain very little fluids. This requires a filtering of liquids and solid matter before disposal, which is an extra process and coupled with technical complexity. Especially in public toilets the share of liquids is higher than on private toilets. The liquids need to go into the waste water treatment plant, which produces higher costs and the valuable urine can´get reused.

3) The costs for disposal are quite high. Prices range currently between 160€/t - 260€/t. Additionally a container needs to be ordered to transport the material from the festival site to the composting facility, which produces extra costs of 90€ - 160€ .

4) A few of the facilities still refuse to take the material and the number of facilities is limited in a region. The reasons for refusal are usually fear and lack of knowledge. This leads in such scenario to higher distances and with that to higher costs and unnecessary truck emissions.


We are happy to have a first solution. However, it also leads to competitive disadvantages against suppliers of chemical toilets. We at EcoToiletten (and I suppose every other player in Germany agrees) wish more support from local administrations and composting facility to solve the problems described above. Especially by having the chance to dispose the material in every composting site without special treatment permissions (which are vastly available) the financial disadvantages would decrease. Also administrative support through sharing of knowledge would help to reduce concerns about the material.

I felt that sharing this development might be helpful for one or another. Hopefully in the future we will receive money from the disposal instead of bearing the costs of it ;)

Kevin

Non-Water Sanitation e.V.
www.nonwatersanitation.de

EcoToiletten - Rental for composting toilets for festivals and construction sites in Berlin, Germany
www.ecotoiletten.de
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  • muench
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Re: Festival toilets in Europe (Great Britain, France, Germany, ...)

Dear Kevin,

Thanks for this update, much appreciated!

A couple of small questions. You said:

In the last year the communication between the different companies got better and with that also knowledge sharing.


Who are these companies or how many of them are there? How do you overcome the issue that you're also competitors? Have there perhaps been any mergers?

And you said:

However, it also leads to competitive disadvantages against suppliers of chemical toilets


How do they dispose of their collected waste? Can they dump it at any municipal wastewater treatment plant without any problems? They also have to pay a fee, right?

What is your share of the market now for these festivals in Germany, i.e. can you estimate what % of festival users in Germany can now use composting toilets instead of chemical toilets? Is it around 0.1 %, 1% or perhaps even 10%? I am curious.

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

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  • Florent
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Re: Festival toilets in Europe (Great Britain, France, Germany, ...)

Bonjour Kevin,
je suis ravi de voir que ça évolue bien en Allemagne. Nous sommes toujours en train de travailler sur une étude scientifique de caractérisation des impacts des filières de traitement pour les toilettes sèches mobiles évènementiels en France. Ainsi, je suis preneur du ou des textes de loi allemand qui spécifient la légalité de disposer des résidus solides (sciure de bois, du papier toilette et des matières fécales) comme les déchets municipaux dans un MBT usine.
Merci de ton retour.
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Hello Kevin ,
I am delighted to see that it is evolving well in Germany. We are still working on a scientific study to characterize the impact of treatment processes for mobile event- dry toilets in France . So, I am taker or German laws that specify the law to dispose of solid waste (sawdust , toilet paper and faeces ) such as municipal waste in an MBT plant .
Thank you for your return.
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  • Kevinkuhn
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Re: Festival toilets in Europe (Great Britain, France, Germany, ...)

Hello,

I want to give a quick update and answer the questions above.

First of all, there is a great article about the German market for sustainable festival toilets published at the 5th Dry Toilet Conference by Roach et al. :

www.susana.org/_resources/documents/defa...323-7-1458726148.pdf

That article might answer a couple of questions, however the sectors development is moving very quickly. The numbers are not correctly anymore and for example EcoToiletten has today around 300 composting toilets available and we fully covered the Feel Festival with 18.000 visitors on four days with 180 toilets. It is hard to tell what market share the companies altogether have, but it will be no more than 5%.

The companies (that I am aware of) are listed in the article. If one might also include the german speaking part of Switzerland, than there is also Kompotoi in Zurich. All of us are frequently in contact and meet at least once a year. No mergers happen so far and competition is fairly low. Everyone has the goal to promote sustainable sanitation in their own fashion.

We dispose the material usually to regular composting plants with the waste code "AVV 200399". But in a few regions only MBT plants are available. Also a few biogas plants take the material. However, waste water treatment plants are not an option for the solid residuals, because it would disorder the processes.

The supplier of chemical toilets dispose the material directly into municipal waste water plants. However the material need the be diluted with water by a factor of 20 (see attachted file from the Bavarian ministry for hydrology). Smaller treatment plants are unable to process that load in a short period. Therefore at larger events in rural areas the supplier of chemical toilets need to approach more WWTPs.

@Florent. Please keep us updated of the developments on the French market.

Best
Kevin

Non-Water Sanitation e.V.
www.nonwatersanitation.de

EcoToiletten - Rental for composting toilets for festivals and construction sites in Berlin, Germany
www.ecotoiletten.de

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