How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

  • DaveBates
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Re: How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

That is the thing....if we want to be scientifically accurate, it may turn out to be a "dull" name.

If we want something "sexy" for marketing, any number of names are possible.
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  • DaveBates
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Re: How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

I wanted to back up the discussion to "part of the question":

How should we call........product of a composting toilet or a UDDT?

1) Recommend eliminating "composting toilet" from the question.

2) Open up discussion for making a broader category at a level above UDDT:

2a) UDT's - Urine Diversion Toilet

Some UDT's do not do a good job at dehydrating and depend on dehydration or composting outside the toilet, so in my opinion (& I believe Joe Turner's) they do not adequately dehydrate the waste maybe because too short of a repose time of only 3-6 months, so perhaps can't fully claim that part of the name....perhaps those should just be called:

UDT's - Urine Diverting toilets

If they typically are designed to fully dehydrate (minimum say 1 year repose time*), they could "probably" (if designed & sited right) rightfully claim the name:

UDDT's - Urine Diverting Dehydration Toilets


* When I first started in the business in the 1980's, World Bank documents from CDM WASH stated 1 year minimum repose time
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  • DaveBates
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Re: How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

Another reason I wish to suggest changing the name is more personal:

I use the term "desiccation" instead of "dehydration" in my publications and work.


a) Desiccation Toilets, in particular the ones I named : Alkaline Desiccation Toilets (ADT's) which by the way also divert urine, and desiccate the waste through generous quick lime use, or sometimes ash



If this argument is accepted, then the toilet solids from true UDDTs, the "partially-wet operating" UDT's and the ADT could all be called UDT's

UDT's would be able then to include:

Urine Diversion Dehydration Toilets
Urine Diversion Toilets
Alkaline Desiccation Toilets


Note: I know this industry is probably already very attached to UDDT....I don't expect this recommendation from this newcomer to SuSunA to be accepted....lol B)
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Re: Reply: How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

Well wishes,

We try and use a simpler term so that all understand the meaning of new terms.

Between desiccation and dehydration, dehydration is simpler and easier word to comprehend.. I think both mean.. drying out.. release of moisture.. water vapour.. etc..

In the case of .. UDT- Urine Diverting Toilet .. is a better term..if we use UDDT.. then one has to be clear about the expansion of abbreviations etc..

Let us keep the words as simple as possible.. because we have all persons from different levels, education, working in this sector.. inclusive of conservancy personnel, scientists, social workers.. others.. All the best, keep up the good work on ..

-- Er. Ajit Seshadri, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, New Delhi, India. www.vigyanvijay.org
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  • toiletrevolution
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Re: How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

My view on this is that a composting toilet is a different thing to a UDDT. We are suppliers of both types. The reason why the waste does not break down in the UUDT is that the waste is too dry, is lacking in nitrogen and does not have aeration. The true composting toilet (mentioned above) does not separate out the urine and has a rotatable drum so that all three factors (mositure, nitrogen, air) are supplied. So to answer the question what should we call the waste that comes out of a UDDT? I would say that it's unbroken down faecal matter.
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  • DavidAlan
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Re: How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

We only build UDDTs and our compost is a very good composition and well aerated. We do add ash to the faecal matter after each use, but we have never had a problem with waste not breaking down. We have some small experience with 80,000 users in India per day.
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  • Tore
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Re: How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

The term needs to be positive and explain what it is. The product is a fertilizer that helps plants grow, especially urine and the solids are great soil conditioners. Human fertilizer could work.

Sanitation & water consultant in developing countries
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  • fabiola
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Re: How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

In Mexico we refer to it as "poposta" (faeces + dyhydrating material), a kind of literal translation would be "poopost"!
Therefore, we refer to the poposta treatment facility (storage + dehydration) as a "popostero", that is a "pooposter".

I am attatching an old factsheet we developed for reference.

Posted by Sarar Transformacion, based in Tepoztlan, Mexico
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  • KaiMikkel
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Re: How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

Fabiola - "Poopost" - ¡me encanta! ¡Y me encanta tambien "pooposter"!

And while they are a little cumbersome in English - for best effect, it would be necessary in all marketing materials to equate each directly to the words "compost" and "composter" - I think that, from a marketing perspective, they are the best yet! :)

Kai Mikkel Førlie

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Re: How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

I support what Patrick was saying above (Patrick, please tell us more about your work, maybe by starting a new thread?):

My view on this is that a composting toilet is a different thing to a UDDT.

This is why we have two different pages on Wikipedia: one for composting toilets ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composting_toilet ) and one for UDDTs ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine-diverting_dry_toilet ). :-) If we keep mixing up the terms, we will continue to confuse people.

Therefore, I would be opposed to calling the product from a UDDT "compost", unless you want to mislead your customers (or of course unless you do external, community-based composting of the materials that comes out of the UDDT; like they do at Sanergy in Nairob, Kenya or in El Alto in Bolivia).

David, can you explain why your UDDT is producing compost? How is it different to a normal UDDT? Are you adding moisture? Can you provide photos of the faeces vault and photos of your finished "compost" product? Are you establishing a rich mixture of microorganisms in the faeces pile, perhaps even including earthworms? Because all that would be required to make real compost, wouldn't it?

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  • Tore
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Re: How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

One of the main benefits of a UDDT is free fertilizer that can substantially increase the output of crops. Synthetic fertilizers destroy the soil and are typically too expensive for small subsistence farmers to buy. The UDDT generates the fertilizer required and also enhances the condition of the soil. These benefits are only realized if the urine and treated feces are used. With a positive name for the product it will be easier to "sell" the use of the products to the users.

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  • toiletrevolution
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Re: How should we call the excreta-derived product of a composting toilet or a UDDT? Do we need a new term?

Sadly in my experience, the terms compost toilets, composting toilets and urine diverting toilets are used interchangeably. I spend most of my time explaining the differences and the pros and cons. I have written a quick post on the topic for people:

www.toiletrevolution.com/news/composting...e-diverting-toilets/

I think accurate, meaningfull terminology is essential in explaining these products correctly. Needless to say that if we confuse customers, people won't buy into the technology. To answer your question Muench, I run a small company that specialises in supply of waterless toilets and urinals. We distribute to the UK and Ireland. It's very interesting work as I get to hear about people's plans to live in a tree, on a boat or in a normal home and need a waterless toilet.

On the topic of trying to market the waste from a UDDT. Hmmm I'm not sure about calling it a nicer name/ new term. I think the number one thing in good marketing is truth. I think we could sell the benefits of the waste rather than sell the product. We could sell the solution in so far as we know how to transform human waste into compost.

There is such disbelief that human waste can break down into compost though. People I talk to really need assurance. I know that we humans are evolutionary programmed to avoid contact with human waste as it is a potential source of infection. But it was "just food" about a day ago. Yes it stinks because it has been in an anaerobic environment in the intestine. But because it's mushed into a paste and partially broken down it's easier to break down than food waste.
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