An off-grid, sustainable, eco-friendly, low cost, odor-free private toilet that reuses a few ounces of greywater from a previous user’s hand wash to isolate waste and flush.
In 2009, GSAP began to structure itself toward more sustainable programs, starting with developing a new type of toilet in Ghana. In the past, well-intentioned efforts at fixing the problem have used pit latrines and ‘improved’ pit latrines, however these toilets have been smelly, fly-ridden, environmentally intrusive, and a disgusting experience for users who have no choice in the daily necessity of having to relieve themselves. They are often public and located far from the typical travels of most people in a community. Neither the accessibility problem nor the health problem resulting from the lack of sanitation facilities is solved.
With the help of GSAP’s research partners at the S-Lab at Providence College and a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Stephen Mecca has been working on the problem for over ten years. The result is the innovative GSAP Microflush Toilet: an off-grid, sustainable, environmentally friendly, low cost, odor- and fly-free toilet that reuses the small amount (1 cup) of greywater from a previous user’s hand wash to isolate waste and flush the toilet. Microflush toilets are often owned and built in household blocks that typically house 2-3 families. This means many families can share a toilet, and enjoy the benefits of improved sanitation.
In the Microflush toilet, a user’s flush of waste directly falls into a filter-digester where the solids and liquids are rapidly separated. The solids are composted in an aerobic process enhanced by simple earthworms (e-fetida) found everywhere in the world. The small filtrate volume is processed naturally in a soak hole – a micro version of a rural leaching field in the US. There is no dislodging of sludge or transportation to a waste processing plant. Every 2 years, the rear cover is removed and an organically rich compost is harvested for use in agriculture.
GSAP also created a unique and financially sustainable distribution system to create small businesses and jobs around the toilets. Read more about the MAKER-LENDER microfranchise model.
Nonprofits and individuals interested in becoming toilet MAKERs, please Contact Us
Read our published papers on the application of GSAP Microflush toilets and the microfranchise model as a sanitation distribution system.