The Daily Grind

We need a new grinder because we flush our toilets with peanut shells and sugar cane!

SOIL’s ecological sanitation (EcoSan) toilets, branded in Haiti as “EkoLakay,” are used in dense urban areas to transform water-polluting human waste into rich, organic compost that is critical for agriculture and reforestation. 

How Does the EkoLakay Business Work?

> Customers rent an EcoSan toilet (built by local contractors using local materials) for about $5 USD per month; the fee also includes carbon cover material (used for "flushing" a SOIL EkoLakay toilet) and weekly waste collection.

> After collecting the full buckets, SOIL transports the waste to our compost sites, where, through a carefully monitored thermophilic composting process that exceeds the World Heath Organization’s standards for the treatment of human waste, it is transformed into nutrient-rich compost.

> SOIL then sells the compost for use in agriculture and reforestation projects, providing an environmentally-friendly alternative to chemical fertilizers while generating revenue to support the costs of waste treatment.

Why This Matters

By affordably and sustainably transforming a public health problem into a valuable environmental resource, SOIL’s work in Haiti is one of the first and most successful examples of how to scale-up critical sanitation services globally while also restoring degraded ecosystems, protecting freshwater resources, improving food security, and creating new livelihood opportunities for green entrepreneurs.

Revenue from monthly toilet user fees, waste treatment fees, and compost sales are collected to support ongoing project costs and showcase the potential for profitable social businesses to sustainably provide sanitation services in the world’s most impoverished and water-scarce communities. 

How You Can Help

SOIL makes the organic cover material for "flushing" our EkoLakay toilets out of ground sugar cane bagasse (a by-product of sugar and rum production) and ground peanut shells. We get our sugar cane bagasse and peanut sheets for free from local agricultural producers, but we need to grind them to get the perfect texture for "flushing" a composting toilet. Purchasing two additional grinders will help make it possible for SOIL to mill sugar cane bagasse and peanut shells on-site so we can keep up with the growing demand for SOIL's EkoLakay toilets.