Can the Composting Porto-Potty Solve Israel's Water Woes?


Consider this fact: flush toilets account for 40% of household water consumption in Israel. In other words, almost half of the water used in Israeli households goes to disposal and transport (through the sewage system) of peoples' daily needs. A new company, operating according to a "Jewish-holistic, small is beautiful" philosophy, believes that this is unnecessary. In a country where a chronic water shortage causes rivers, lakes and nature preserves to dry up, brings about the collapse of ecosystems and exacerbates an already intractable political situation, they just might be onto something."Meitivai - The Art of Use" is marketing its solution to Israel's water woes - the composting toilet - available in household and porto-potty versions. While the household composting toilet is not new to the Israeli market, the portable composting toilet is an interesting innovation. And so far, it appears to be a commercial success. The company's list of clients includes various festivals, event organizers and regional councils.


Chemical portojohn and its composting cousin: plastic and chemicals vs. wood and sawdust.

The portable composting toilet is offered as a service to clients who are looking for an ecological alternative to traditional chemical toilets. Built of environmentally friendly materials, the company assures its customers a pleasant experience by providing the services of an employee whose job it is to answer any questions that users might have. Instead of water, untreated sawdust is used to cover waste, which prevents any unpleasant odors, aside from a faint "moist forest" scent.

Meitivai's business philosophy was inspired by Permaculture, one of the principles of which is to turn waste into a resource. The compost created by a composting toilet, however, is a bit different than that created from kitchen scraps. For a really comprehensive exploration of the subject, check out Joseph Jenkin's book Humanure.

Meitivai's website (in Hebrew):

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