Tag Archives: mobile toilets

Mobile toilets: Convenience truths

The surprisingly innovative portable-loo business

PORTABLE toilets have come a long way since Britain first imported them from America 25 years ago. The beech panelling, wraparound mirrors, plasma-screen televisions and sumptuous toiletries of some modern trailers would not be out of place in a posh hotel.

Construction workers were the earliest adopters of mobile serviced lavatories, which became standard issue on building sites in the mid-1990s. Before then some had no facilities, whereas others set up typically squalid immobile toilets. Industrial users still account for three-quarters of the 100,000-plus portable loos in the country.

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Germany: Metalheads get their own personal toilet

The personal Metal Mobil WC, 2012 model. Photo: Wacken.com

Nowadays some (older?) fans of black metal, death metal, gothic metal and the like are not averse to a bit of luxury. Since 2007, the organisers of Wacken Open Air (W:O:A), an annual heavy metal festival in Germany, offer attendees the chance to rent a personal mobile toilet. Costing 120 Euros each, there are 150 MMWCs (Metal Mobil WCs) on offer. The MMWC provider will clean your toilet too, for an additional 25 Euros.

In 2011 all 150 personal toilets were booked within 4 hours, according to the festival web site.

The vast majority of the 80,000 festival goers will still have to queue, as usual, in front of the public mobile toilets available for free on the festival site.

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Bangladesh: mobile toilets hit Dhaka’s streets

Bangladesh has ordered an emergency deployment of 100 mobile toilets in its capital to head off a worrying rise in public defecation, Dhaka’s mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka said. With an official population of 12 million (unofficially 20 million), the city has only 48 public toilets – one for every quarter of a million residents.

“We have launched 100 mobile toilets, which will be carried around manually on tricycle vans. They will be strategically placed so that people don’t have to use road corners to answer the call of nature,” he said.

The tin-sided mobile toilets are plastered with colourful advertisements including quotes from a famous Bangla poem which tells people: “Let’s do good work, no matter where you were born.”

They also carry posters urging people not to treat streets and open spaces as public toilets.

The mobile toilets will charge five taka (3.5 US dollar cents) for people to defecate and two taka to urinate, and are now available for 12 hours a day — between 8am and 8pm.

Dhaka’s chief city planner, Sirajul Islam, said the authorities had adopted the mobile toilet plan after failing to identify sufficient plots of vacant city-centre land on which to build permanent public toilets.

“The situation has become so bad on some roads that you cannot walk there. This is spreading disease,” he said.

Source: AFP, 26 Jan 2010

Nigeria: DMT Mobile Toilets to produce gas from human waste

DMT Mobile Toilet's motto

DMT Mobile Toilet's motto

DMT Mobile Toilets, has unveiled a programme [to] generate at least 35 per cent gas for domestic use and electricity from human and animal waste for the Lagos mega city project [in 2009]. The mega city project is jointly being promoted by the Federal Government, Lagos and Ogun State governments.

According to the Chairman of DMT Mobile Toilets, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, the biogas plant is designed to process and convert sanitation waste into cooking gas and other gases that could be used to generate electricity at its site on the Lagos-Ibadan Experssway.

[…] The plant, which was developed with technical assistance from DMT‘s foreign partner, Environmental Resource Management Foundation, will commence production in 2009. [R]aw materials for the plant would be sourced from DMT’s mobile toilets, abattoirs and septic tanks.

[T]he plant would power a housing estate near it on an experimental basis.

DMT founder Isaac Durojaiye

Former bodyguard, DMT founder Isaac Durojaiye

[DMT plans to introduce] six new designs […] within the first quarter of 2009 that will incorporate overhead 300-litre tanks, solar lighting and air freshener dispensers. Plastic will also replace ceramic toilet fittings to prevent breakages and to act as an added safety measure, especially in schools.

[DMT runs a] Basic Toilet for Schools Scheme through which schools [are] offered mobile toilets at special discounts. The company had earlier donated 100 toilets to public schools in Lagos and Ogun states.

DMT stands for Dignified Mobile Toilets.  At the beginning of 2008, DMT founder and Managing Director, Isaac Durojaiye, was one of five Ashoka-Lemelson Fellows, who were recognised for developing innovative sanitation business models.

See a Sept 2008 Reuters video on DMT here.

Source: Akinpelu Dada, The Punch, 22 Dec 2008

Nepal: mobile toilets in the Valley

The Kathmandu Municipal Corporation (KMC) is planning to construct mobile toilets in 50 different locations in collaboration with private sector. KMC has stated that these mobile toilets will solve the problem of lack of public toilets in the municipality.[…] An agreement was made among the stakeholders including the KMC, the Department of Roads and traffic police for construction of mobile toilets in the municipality a year ago.

The Solid Waste Management and Resource Mobilization Centre had operated mobile toilets in Kathmandu Durbar Square and some other public places more than a decade ago. [S]carcity of water, faulty toilet structure and difficulty in disposing the toilet waste properly as the main reasons for failure of the toilets after 2 years of operation.

The KMC plans to operate the toilets mainly in busy public places and in the places of activities like mass gathering, festivals and public meetings.

Source: Rama Luintel, Annapurna Post / NGO Forum, 18 Aug 2008

There are currently 8 mobile toilets in operation in Nepal, including one in Lalitpur, which was constructed by the Centre for Energy Studies, Institute of Engineering and Kantipur Research Academy with technical and financial support of UN-HABITAT.

Nepal: Mobile toilets under operation in Lalitpur

Considering the difficulties people face due to lack of public toilets, mobile toilet is constructed for the first time in Lalitpur. The Centre for Energy Studies, Institute of Engineering and Kantipur Research Academy have constructed the public mobile toilet with technical and financial support of UN-HABITAT and handed it over to the Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan City for its operation.


The centre is preparing to produce biogas from the waste collected in the mobile toilet. There are 8 mobile toilets under operation in Nepal including Dhulikhel, Bharatpur and Dhangadi. A septic tank having capacity of 200 litres has been installed in the toilet that can be used by 500 people before cleaning.

Read more: NGO Forum, 11 Aug 2008

Nepal, Kathmadu: mobile toilets for metro denizens soon

Thursday, 17 January 2008
By: Merina Sharma

Kathmandu: Considering the lack of public toilets in Kathmandu, the Environment Management Division (EMD) of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has invited tenders for the construction 10 mobile public toilets in 10 busiest areas of the capital within a month. The KMC plans to have separate toilets for males and females.

The KMC had planned to construct 20 public toilets in Kathmandu two years ago, but only three toilets were constructed due to lack of areas for construction.

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Mobile toilets would be more than welcome in the town of Rajbiraj in south-eastern Nepal, where the Raj sports stadium “is turning into toilet”. Vice-president of District Football Association Saptari, Manoj Kumar Majhi said, “As the buses going to different places stops nearby the stadium, the passengers of the bus enter the stadium to relieve themselves.” Read more