Dry composting toilets are a solution in Bali

Emas Hitam is a small NGO operating on the Indonesian island of Bali in the village of Petula. They received a Permafund grant of $1,000 in February 2017 to construct two dry composting toilets on their community garden site called Ancut Garden.

Emas Hitam volunteers

In Balinese, ’Ancut’ means the ‘border’ which represents the permaculture principle of ‘Use Edge and Value the Marginal’. The 40 families in the village of Petula use the site for their ceremonial and nutritional needs and it’s also hoped to provide an evacuation point in the event of the Mt Agung volcano erupting again.

One of the downsides of the popularity of Bali being a tourist destination is that it has created a water crisis. Stored groundwater is being sucked dry by the ever-increasing resort industry making water a finite resource for everyday use by the Balinese people.

Community area and composting toilet systems under construction

Dry composting toilets become one of the solutions to this problem through water minimisation. The added benefit of this process is the ‘humanure’ that is created is returned to the soil to produce food.

Signage has been placed inside the toilets with educational facts about soil, compost and water conservation for the many visitors expected.

Household scale system

Construction material of the two composting toilets consisted mainly of natural materials such as palm fronds woven around bamboo frames for the walls and river stones for the floor and drainage.

The first toilet built used a small bucket as a collection point to demonstrate a household scale while for the second toilet, a wheelie bin was used for larger numbers of people attending the site.

Wheelie bin dry composting toilet in cubicle built using local resources

Emas Hitam will continue to provide community outreach and educational programs with the two composting toilets providing valuable structures to demonstrate some solutions for the challenges that Bali faces.

Help support projects such as this by making a donation to Permafund. Donations of $2.00 and over are tax deductible in Australia and are much appreciated.

For more information please contact [email protected].


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