UPDATED: April 14, 2010
This BFP article on waterless toilets from almost four years ago (!) makes interesting reading because nothing appears to have changed since then. The old mains are still leaking half of what we produce into the ground, government is talking about getting water from Dominica and everybody points out that if we would only fix the mains, conserve usage and gather water during the rains we’d have more than enough water on this little island.
Meanwhile as Prime Minister David Thompson so accurately and recently pointed out, the last government blew a billion dollars on cricket parties and failed environmental projects led by then-government Minister Liz Thompson.
How much would it take to replace, fix or harden the majority of our large water mains? Whatever the price, it would be worth it.
And then there is the “but” factor… but…
Sometimes I despair because I know that this is a country where we don’t change the engine oil. We’d rather replace an entire fleet of garbage trucks prematurely than to set a schedule for engine and transmission oil changes and adhere to it.
Oil is cheap: transmissions and engines are expensive. Barbados opted to “save money” on the oil changes!
Replacing water mains is cheap. Expanding our water making capacity to fill those leaking mains is expensive, but so far that’s been the choice of every government for the last 20 years.
Yes, folks… sometimes I do despair!
Here’s our original article: Waterless Toilets for Barbados – a Good Idea that Government ignores…
Other Countries Benefit From Waterless Toilets – What About Barbados?
We have a water shortage in Barbados. Barbados Free Press calls it a crisis, but even if some dismiss the word “crisis” as hyperbole, none of us has any doubt that if things continue as they are going for another ten years there will be no disagreement over the word “crisis”.
This weekend, Barbados Free Press will publish the second article in our feature series: Water Crisis In Barbados. (You can link to our first article “A Bird’s Eye View” here.) As I was preparing the new article for posting, I started thinking about waterless toilets, so I Googled the term to see where the technology is now and ended up reading for half an hour about toilets of all kinds.
As usual, Wikipedia was a good place to start. There, I learned that governments in British Columbia, Sweden, Washington State, Hawaii, Montana, Fiji, Japan and other countries have modified their building codes to allow the use of various types of waterless toilets. I also learned that the NSF – the National Sanitation Foundation – has established “Standard 41” for waterless toilets and that many available models meet this internationally recognized standard.
When I Googled for “Barbados + Composting Toilet” or “Barbados + Waterless Toilet“, I really couldn’t find anything worthwhile about waterless toilets in Barbados – with the exception of a post about the life of that great Bajan environmentalist and futurist, Dr. Colin Hudson. (Tributes To Colin Hudson, 1938-2004)
Zero Information About Waterless Toilets In Barbados
In other words, nothing about the use of waterless toilets in Barbados, nothing about any government study or initiative. Zero. Nada.
Why hasn’t the Government of Barbados at least studied the technology and published the results? Why haven’t we started any pilot projects – perhaps in schools or government office buildings as other jurisdictions have successfully done?
The technology is at least one hundred and thirty-seven years old and, judging by what I see on the internet, waterless toilets are ready for prime time – especially in a country like Barbados that has both a water shortage and problems with the disposal of human waste.
Zero Leadership From Barbados Environment Ministry
Talk Talk Talk – that’s all we seem to get from the Liz Thompson and the Barbados Ministry of The Environment. But when it comes to action, well, we’d better think and act for ourselves.
The only leadership I see is Ministry staffers fighting to see who’ll be first to the buffet table on Wednesdays at the Savannah Hotel. (As we pointed out in a previous article Can Barbados Pee It’s Way To More Water?, Environment Minister Thompson likes white wine with lunch at the Savannah, while her deputy takes rum ‘n coke.)
More Info – Waterless Toilets For Barbados
The following are some waterless toilet resources we found on the internet. This listing by Barbados Free Press is, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive list of waterless toilet information published in Barbados.
Waterless Toilet Info At Barbados Ministry Of The Environment Website
Oh… we forgot. The Barbados Ministry of the Environment doesn’t have a website. That way, they don’t have to bother posting any advice, research, current environmental legislation or any other information to assist Barbados citizens.
Go back to your white wine and rum ‘n coke, girls – ‘an Liz… doan you worry ’bout a thing. We wouldn’t want to disturb your lunch, so we’ll post some resources for Barbados…
Waterless Toilet Info On The Web
Ecowaters (books on managing human waste)
Humanure Handbook (really… an excellent read online)
Wikipedia – Composting Toilets (excellent overview of composting toilets)
Biolytix (Australian manufacturer of home waste-water treatment equipment)
Government & Organizations, Studies, Academic Papers
Australian Government – Waterless Toilets Information
National Sanitation Foundation – Standards for waterless toilets
United States Environmental Protection Agency – Composting Toilets Fact Sheet