A new video on Toilet Changing campaign in Mongolia

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  • canaday
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  • A biologist working toward sustainability
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Re: Toilet Business Cluster is just being formed in Mongolia

Dear Oyungerel,

I congratulate you on your work on toilets in Mongolia. I work on Ecological Sanitation in Ecuador and I post some of my experiences on www.inodoroseco.blogspot.com (in English and Spanish). If I can ever be of any help with ideas for your project in Mongolia, that would be a pleasure.

Has anyone tried ArborLoos there? I think this could be good, because:
--there is not a deep, dangerous pit
--nutrients go straight to trees
--no one has to ever handle or transport the excrement
--the structure can as be as elegant (and warm) as we like, as long as it is lightweight.
🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳🏡

I have some questions and comments about your current system:
--How biodegradable are these "biodegradable plastic bags"? I suspect that microscopic plastic particles may remain. They also create permanent dependency on a factory that is likely not in Mongolia. The polypropylene woven sacks that 100 pounds are flour, rice or potatos are sold in are stronger and cheaper, plus they can be used year after year (as long as they are not exposed to solar UV).
--Sawdust requires sourcing and transport. Have you tried soil ? It is more widely available and would not require transport, plus it inoculates the feces with the right microbes to break them down (especially if we recycle the soil, after a prudent amount of time of drying and decomposition).
--What do you think of building UDDTs in Mongolia, with recycled or readily available materials, especially as the project moves onto a bigger scale?

Best wishes.
Chris Canaday
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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  • oyunlt
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Re: Toilet Business Cluster is just being formed in Mongolia

Dear Chris,

Thank you for your questions and comments. Please find my answers below:

Q: Has anyone tried ArborLoos there?
A: not yet.

Q: How biodegradable are these "biodegradable plastic bags"? I suspect that microscopic plastic particles may remain.
A: We buy the most biodegradable bag we can find from the closest market - China. So far, it has been good, and made of corns (100% bio and no petroleum product involved). However, we haven't done any research on the plastic particles that may remain in environment. We chose this product to help overcome prejudice against cleaning toilets, and it is playing this role very well.

Q: They also create permanent dependency on a factory that is likely not in Mongolia.
A: Indeed, we are importing it. Mongolia imports many many products overseas. This is one of them. We are not so afraid of trade, so, I guess buying something useful for environment is a good trade. Luckily, one family needs only one roll a year ($2.5)

Q: The polypropylene woven sacks that 100 pounds are flour, rice or potatos are sold in are stronger and cheaper, plus they can be used year after year.
A: One issue with the toilet bags is that Mongolians are culturally not yet ready to re-use bags that were once or twice filled with feces. So, for the time being, we chose one-time-use biodegradable bags. Without making it easy to clean dry toilets, it is very difficult to change toilets at all, in our culture.

Q: Sawdust requires sourcing and transport. Have you tried soil? It is more widely available and would not require transport and inoculates the feces with the right microbes to break them down.
A: No, we haven't tried soil yet. But we encourage our users to get the biomass in their local areas and use all kinds of sources including top soil. In our case, a family uses one bag of sawdust for a month or two. Such bags can be carried by hand, doesn't require much transportation. Families don't need to accumulate too much sawdust in their homes, they can purchase it from the same company that is selling biodegradable bags and dry toilets. We also encourage the users to get free sawdust or bio mass in their local areas, and even use dried cow dung (so much available in countryside)and topsoil.

In below pictures you can see 1) a biomass being enriched by local bacteria and prepared for Ulaanbaatar market by TJNR company; 2) A Muren (800km away from Ulaanbaatar) family using local biomass in her area.

Thank you again for your questions.
Oyungerel Tsedevdamba
Leading a movement "Let's Change Our Toilets" in Mongolia.
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  • oyunlt
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Re: A new video on Toilet Changing campaign in Mongolia

This video is in Mongolian. However, it has some English excerpts in writing.  From its visuals, one can understand some developments of our movement Let's Change Our Toilets. I hope you can enjoy it, even partially. 

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2582463688674861

Oyungerel
Oyungerel Tsedevdamba
Leading a movement "Let's Change Our Toilets" in Mongolia.
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