Frontiers in Environmental Science: Scaling Container-Based Sanitation

As SOIL continues to work towards expanding lifesaving sanitation in Haiti, we aren’t stopping there. In partnership with global communities and a network of container-based sanitation (CBS) practitioners, we are developing solutions we believe are poised for replication to provide sanitation in some of the globe’s most challenging contexts.

A new paper in Frontiers in Environmental Science, which SOIL helped contribute to, evaluates the benefits, opportunities, and challenges for container-based sanitation (CBS) implementers like SOIL. The article touches on the multitude of “economic, health, and environmental returns” offered by CBS services and explores the barriers to scale that we face. We’re excited to share a few takeaways from the article with you!

A visual guide to CBS from the paper. Want to learn more about CBS solutions? Watch the video here.

  • Combatting Climate Change: The article notes that traditional sanitation technologies are a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and that “unless the prevailing sanitation paradigm shifts to climate-positive sanitation solutions,” the emissions may increase. Studies have shown that SOIL’s sanitation service not only safely treats waste, but has also proven to emit less greenhouse gases and support soil carbon sequestration.
  • Increasing Safety for Women and Girls: Access to safe in-home helps to reduce exposure to violence that women and girls often face without private sanitation access, especially when looking for a safe place to go to the bathroom at night. The article states that, “CBS could contribute to multi-sector approaches to eradicate this type of violence and harassment.” SOIL’s household composting toilets help women and girls thrive.
  • The Challenge of an Enabling Environment: The article highlights that a big struggle for CBS providers working to expand services to reach underserved areas is the lack of government buy-in and regulation. Luckily, the Container-Based Sanitation Alliance (CBSA) “seeks to standardize CBS through research and advocacy.” SOIL continues to nourish and build strong relationships with local government and stakeholders in Haiti. We work closely with Haiti’s Ministry of Environment and water and sanitation authority and see it as critical to the success of our work.

Ultimately, the authors argue that “with cities expanding at unprecedented rates and the number of people living in informal urban settlements expected to double by 2030, it is critical that new sanitation technologies and services like CBS be studied and made available to governments and unserved communities.” Full speed ahead!

Read the Paper

If you’re curious to learn more about container-based sanitation, we hope you’ll read the new paper here. Share your thoughts with us by joining the conversation online @SOILHaiti.

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Photo Credit: Vic Hinterlang

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