Are so-called "freezing toilets" common in Finland? Does anyone know anything about them?

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  • Coolcenter Forssa Oy is a Finnish company that produces freezing toilets and want to raise awareness of sustainable toilet solutions.
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Re: Are so-called "freezing toilets" common in Finland? Does anyone know anything about them?

Hi everyone,

Hope that you have had a nice and sunny spring!

Now under summer the dry toilet season is going on hot.
It has been surprising, that when discussing about freezing toilets and dry toilets over, the amount of used water is very surprising for everyone. 10 000 litres per person is a huge amount just for flushing !
When discussing about the climate change, it should be very important to discuss about this topic as well. Another point is, of course, about electricity, but luckily the energy consumption for freezing toilets has been optimized in order to respect the nature (0,73 kWh / day).

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Re: Are so-called "freezing toilets" common in Finland? Does anyone know anything about them?

Hi everyone,

Hope you have had a fresh start for the spring ! :) At least it is sunny and nice in Finland :-)

As we have been discussing about the functionality of freezing toilet, here would be demonstration in the link as how it works. Please find the video to check more of the video as an example that how it is being used in the house. We produce freezing toilets for three brands.





Best regards,
Coolcenter Forssa team

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  • coolcenterforssa
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  • Coolcenter Forssa Oy is a Finnish company that produces freezing toilets and want to raise awareness of sustainable toilet solutions.
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Re: Are so-called "freezing toilets" common in Finland? Does anyone know anything about them?

Hi,


Thank you for your viral discussion, this has been very delightful to follow and to learn from you:)

Thank you for encouraging words, I agree that freezing toilet is very good product for these kinds of places in which it is possible to take care of the content itself :)
Thank you also for this roundworm egg information, so it is easier to be aware of the thing. As I mentioned earlier, freezing kills bacterium growing but not all of them, as it seems to be the thing with these roundworm eggs.

Freezing toilet are mainly segmented for Western countries in which there doesn't appear these kinds of challenges with the hygenic level. :)

Have you seen these freezing toilets in real life ? :-)

Happy New Year 2016 ! :)

Best regards,
Coolcenter Forssa Team

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  • goeco
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Re: Are so-called "freezing toilets" common in Finland? Does anyone know anything about them?

From The Humanure handbook:
Roundworm eggs are resistant to freezing temperatures.
Cold winter temperatures of -80C to -120C (17.60F to 10.40F) are fatal to whipworm eggs.
The freezing temperatures of winter will kill the eggs and larvae of hookworm.
Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Vermifilter.com
www.vermifilter.com

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Re: Are so-called "freezing toilets" common in Finland? Does anyone know anything about them?

Seems useful in some circumstances where composting can subsequently be undertaken hygienically such as within a suitable enclosure. Not sure if open composting of human waste would be acceptable in all parts of the globe, there is risk of animals digging it up, flies finding it etc. Reminds me of the dry flush toilet , solves the first part of the problem, but thats all... I assume that most parasitic worm eggs would survive freezing followed by composting?

Dean
Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Vermifilter.com
www.vermifilter.com

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  • coolcenterforssa
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  • Coolcenter Forssa Oy is a Finnish company that produces freezing toilets and want to raise awareness of sustainable toilet solutions.
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Re: Are so-called "freezing toilets" common in Finland? Does anyone know anything about them?

Dear Elisabeth,

Thank you for your questions and interest in freezing toilets !

Yes, you are right, when making the line between the issues between developed and developing countries.

Freezing toilets are mostly exported to Sweden, Norway and Baltic countries. We are trying to raise the awareness of the product and interest in it, as it is not that well-known, although consumers like it and it is very easy to use. As the product has been developed in Sweden, it is a bit better known there.

There has not appeared any issues as it has been made according to the requirements. Consequently, it has CE-certificate (that we are responsible of producing the product, mostly safety certification and the package is recyclable material) and the other certificate that it is an environmental-friendly product and it has been approved according to Montreal protocol (that it doesn't contain CFC-components).

We are happy to reply to all your questions ! Happy New Year ! :)

Best regards,
Coolcenter Forssa team
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Are so-called "freezing toilets" common in Finland? Does anyone know anything about them?

Dear Eeva Alanen and team,

Thanks for your interesting reply. It shows that the sanitation issues do differ a lot between developed and developing countries.. - I think the helminth issue is one important difference (i.e. a lot of people in developing countries being infected with helminths, and people in developed countries not; only pet sometimes and occasionally children). In a way, this is quite a scandal and that's why people are working on giving more attention to neglected tropical diseases, of which helminthisis is one (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neglected_tropical_diseases)).

Anyway, I like your practical approach. Which are the countries that you are exporting to? Have you ever had any issues with "certification" of your toilet, i.e. are some countries perhaps more demanding that it meets certain standards than others? Perhaps regulating the weight that the toilet can take or safety on electrical devices (the freezer) or similar issues?

Kind regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • coolcenterforssa
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  • Coolcenter Forssa Oy is a Finnish company that produces freezing toilets and want to raise awareness of sustainable toilet solutions.
  • Posts: 7
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Re: Are so-called "freezing toilets" common in Finland? Does anyone know anything about them?

Hi Elisabeth,

Thank you for your questions and kind compliments! :)


Very nice to hear that you have questions, I'm happy to reply to all of them and discuss about these issues :)

Composting is an important part of this process. It is very common way of process biodegreable material in Finland, which is mainly due to the summer cottage culture. There are various brands that provide different kinds of composters for composting purposes, and composting is very common in the countryside and at summer cottage places.
As you were wondering, it is a way of processing the content of the freezing toilet. The content is throwed as the whole iced piece in the compost. So then the content is processed and transformed in a safe manner.

Yes exactly as you mentioned, freezing stops bacteria from growing while they are being frozen but after that some of them live. Helminth egg is not an issue in Finland - and not in the other export countries as far as we know :) This was actually the very first time we hear of these kind of questions.

What do you think about the concept ? :)

Thank you for your questions and have a nice day ! :)

Best regards,
Coolcenter Forssa team

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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Are so-called "freezing toilets" common in Finland? Does anyone know anything about them?

Dear Eeva-maija from Coolcenter Forssa Oy,

Thanks for your reply here. It's great to have a private sector representative here on the forum who is engaging with us in discussion rather than just promoting their product (which also happens).
So thank you for your openness to our questions!

I would like to come back to the issue of pathogen kill. So the freezing stops bacteria from growing while they are frozen but afterwards (after thawing) they - and most other pathogens - live happily ever after, right? Intuitively it makes sense to me that the freezing doesn't kill off living beings (well, it would kill us off!); otherwise we wouldn't be able to freeze sperm, eggs and embryos during fertility treatment pcoesses, would we.

So my question is: do your customers have any concerns about this lack of pathogen kill or not really because:
a) helminth eggs are not an issue in Finland; and
b) your customers are well educated people who know how to deal with the thawed material in a safe manner - i.e. by incoporating it into their composting heap in summer and then deal with it via composting or burial?

Are my assumptions correct?

Joe's concern is coming more from the developing countries perspective, where there are more pathogens in people's feces and where the people dealing with the material might be less careful in terms of hygiene and other safety practices; that's why he'd probably argue that a toilet / sanitation system that doesn't kill pathogens is from that perspective not "safe". (it's my assumption that he'd argue in that way)

Personally, I don't think that pathogen kill needs to be the "be all and end all"; it all depends on the circumstances and the risk management procedures that communities are able to put in place and follow.
Could you tell us something about the conversations in Finland about this issue (for the Finnish conditions) and perhaps in other countries that you have exported to?

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
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  • coolcenterforssa
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  • Coolcenter Forssa Oy is a Finnish company that produces freezing toilets and want to raise awareness of sustainable toilet solutions.
  • Posts: 7
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Re: Are so-called "freezing toilets" common in Finland? Does anyone know anything about them?

Hi !

Thank you for your viral and versatile conversation !

Nice that both of the discussions have been linked together. It is also interesting to read your discussions and brainstorming about the product. It is extremely good to discuss about the product, as it isn't that well-known in Finland or abroad. It is very useful product, as it is very easy to set everywhere, where exist electricity. Thank you Karoliina for very precise and good information sharing.

About earlier discussion about the surroundings of freezing toilets: The current working temperature is suitable between 5 to 30 degrees. However, it can be modified suitable for higher temperatures as well, so that it could be in warmer surroundings. Moreover, it can be stored in colder temperatures as well, if it is not plugged. As discussed here, if there appears frequent power cut, this is not the most optimal product :) However, if the power cuts are rare, freezing toilet stays freezed up to 12 hours, if the lid is not opened during the power cut.

About the empirical studies; Freezing stops the bacterium growing. The freezing process kill some of the bacterium, but not all of them.

I'm happy to answer all your questions and tell more information about the topic.

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  • joeturner
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Re: Are so-called "freezing toilets" common in Finland? Does anyone know anything about them?

I thought it might be interesting to consider the survival of faecal pathogens in freezing conditions and see what papers have been published on the topic.

Long-term survival of human faecal microorganisms on the Antarctic Peninsula by Hughes and Nobbs - Antarctic Science 16:3 (2004) pp 293-297 dx.doi.org/10.1017/S095410200400210X

The abstract reads:

Human faecal waste has been discarded at inland Antarctic sites for over 100 years, but little is known about the long-term survival of faecal microorganisms in the Antarctic terrestrial environment or the environmental impact. This study identified viable faecal microorganisms in 30–40 year old human faeces sampled from the waste dump at Fossil Bluff Field Station, Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula. Viable aerobic and anaerobic bacteria were predominantly spore-forming varieties (Bacillus and Clostridium spp.). Faecal coliform bacteria were not detected, indicating that they are less able to survive Antarctic environmental conditions than spore-forming bacteria. In recent years, regional warming around the Antarctic Peninsula has caused a decrease in permanent snow cover around nunataks and coastal regions. As a result, previously buried toilet pits, depots and food dumps are now melting out and Antarctic Treaty Parties face the legacy of waste dumped in the Antarctic terrestrial environment by earlier expeditions. Previous faecal waste disposal on land may now start to produce detectable environmental pollution as well as potential health and scientific problems.


Glacial Transport of Human Waste and Survival of Fecal Bacteria on Mt. McKinley's Kahiltna Glacier, Denali National Park, Alaska by Goodwin, Loso and Braun - Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 44(4):432-445. 2012 dx.doi.org/10.1657/1938-4246-44.4.432

The abstract says:

Each year, over 1000 climbers attempt an ascent of Mt. McKinley via the West Buttress, located on the 77-km-long Kahiltna Glacier in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Climbers generate over two metric tons of human waste annually, the majority of which is disposed of in crevasses.

Based on surface velocities we predict that waste buried in major camps will emerge at the glacier surface in as little as 71 years after traveling 28 km downstream. Our results show fecal microorganisms are persistent in a glacial environment, these pathogens pose a minor threat to human health, and buried human waste can be expected to emerge at the glacier surface within decades.


Effect of Long-Term Freezing and Freeze–Thaw Cycles on Indigenous and Inoculated Microorganisms in Dewatered Blackwater by Gunnarsdóttir, Müller, Jensen and others Environ. Sci. Technol., 2012, 46 (22), pp 12408–12416 dx.doi.org/10.1021/es3018489

from the abstract:

Wastewater treatment in many Arctic regions is inadequate, even nonexisting. Natural freezing of wastewater in those areas may be beneficial for reduction of microorganisms. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of long-term freezing, and repeated freezing and thawing, on indigenous coliforms, fecal streptococci, and antibiotic-resistant (AR) bacteria, and inoculated Salmonella Enteriditis and E. coli bacteriophage ΦX174 in dewatered blackwater.

Fecal streptococci were more resistant to long-term freezing than the coliform group. Total number of AR bacteria decreased slowly but constantly over the 10-month freezing period. Salmonella rapidly decreased and were nondetectable within a week but exhibited some recovery after 10 months of freezing, whereas limited or no recovery of coliforms and AR-bacteria was detected. Bacteriophages showed limited reduction during the long-term freezing. Repeated freezing and thawing increased the reduction of all tested microbial groups markedly.


I'm not sure this is conclusive, but it seems that freezing may not necessarily fully sanitise faeces.

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  • coolcenterforssa
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Re: Freezing toilet

Hi !

I would like to share you more information and raise awareness about freezing toilet that we produce here at Coolcenter Forssa in Finland.
We have gotten interested inquiries about the product, as it is very useful and sustainable solution as waterless toilet.

Freezing toilet is based on the use of freeze. The content is freezed, which stops bacteria growing and make the content odourless, so it can be placed next to bed, for example.

Freezing toilet needs only electricity for working. It is easy to install and remove from the use. Furthermore, it consumes electricity only 60W, which is compared to the energy consumption of a bulb.

Freezing toilet is an environmental-friendly solution, as it doesn't require ventilation, sanitation or chemicals. It provides various possibilities as a sustainable toilet solution.



Freezing toilet has established its position in the Nordic markets as well as in the Baltic states. However, we would like to expand the awareness of the product. We are looking for new partners and exporters for freezing toilet, so I'm happy to reply all your questions !

I attached a picture of it to show how it looks like.


Thank you for your time to read this ! I'm more than happy to discuss and answer to the questions about freezing toilet.
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