How Does SOIL Make Its Toilet Seats? With a Vacuum Cleaner, a Stove Top Burner and a Roll of Aluminum Foil

Hold on to your hats as SOIL gets sucked into the future! We purchased a standard household vacuum, a single stove top burner, a roll of aluminum foil, and have created our very own vacuformer box. With this new technology at the farm workshop, we are now able to produce our own urine diversion seats, the specially designed toilet seats that help make SOIL’s EcoSan toilets easy and pleasant to use.

A vacuformer works by heating up an enclosed box, on top of which is a 1/16″ PETG sheet of plastic. When the plastic sheet begins to melt, we turn on a vacuum that pulls the now malleable plastic into the desired form. Our initial trials have proved successful, and though right now we are still waiting on the availability of the necessary PETG clear plastic sheeting in order to begin production, we are working with connections locally and abroad to facilitate future supply. Demand for SOIL’s EcoSan toilets in Haiti is high, and we are thrilled to be discovering ways to speed up production and decrease costs.

A urine diversion toilet seat in action (from one of SOIL's emergency toilets in Port-au-Prince).

Now, thanks to our new vacuformer, every part of a SOIL EcoSan toilet is purchased or constructed locally meaning that we can keep our toilets affordable and support the local economy. The timing for having a working vacuformer also couldn’t be better as we’re continuing to scale up our household toilet project and we’re building more and more twalèt vwazinaj* every day.

*(Haitian Creole for “neighbor toilets,” our model of Ecosan toilets that are placed in a communal location and shared between 2 – 4 surrounding families).

SOIL invites you to stay tuned as we install more toilets and continue to discover new sanitation technologies.

Making toilet seats in Haiti with our new vacuformer.

2 Replies to "How Does SOIL Make Its Toilet Seats? With a Vacuum Cleaner, a Stove Top Burner and a Roll of Aluminum Foil"

  • Peter Dreher
    March 13, 2013 (3:01 am)

    Hi Sasha,

    How goes it? Comment ce va?

    I would like to discuss sending you some of our toilets next month. Are the home collections going well?


    • Leah Page
      March 13, 2013 (1:16 pm)

      Hi Pete,

      Home collections are going well and we even have a new moto-trike to pick up the household toilet buckets with.

      We definitely interested in your toilet offer. Please send us a note at [email protected] to coordinate.

      Thanks, Leah

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