Built-in toilet

Featuring recycled wood beams, bricks from torn down buildings and a system that allows for the reuse of grey water and rainwater, the C.K. Choi Building has been a symbol of sustainability efforts ever since it was built on the University of British Columbia campus in 1996. Now, the addition of 10 “dry toilets” have taken these sustainability efforts to the next level, reports university newspaper, The Ubyssey.

The dry toilets are able to function without being connected to sanitary and water systems because any waste put in them is dropped through chutes into holding containers stored at the bottom of the building. Wood chips are later added to those containers, helping the waste to breakdown aerobically. The content within these containers if often aerated, createing enough space that the containers only need to be emptied once every 10 years.

The university had hoped to use the waste from the containers as compost for its gardens, but it had been discovered that the contents within those bins possessed potential pathogens. The school opted instead to take the waste to a treatment facility. This final act helps the school to accomplish its original goal of using the dry toilets to reduce energy and water consumption.

The Ubyssey says the dry toilets are unlikely to be used in other buildings on campus because they’re not built to withstand frequent use. Instead, the university hopes to implement more low-flow fixtures.