I first learned about the Kailash Ecovillage in 2018, when I met its director, Dr. Ole Ersson, during the Dry Toilet Conference in Tampere, Finland. The sustainable housing project located in Portland, Oregon has proven that container-based sanitation using dry compost toilets and urine diverting toilets, can be successfully adopted in an urban environment, while complying with international plumbing and sanitary standards.

Following the model from Joe Jenkins, author The Humanure Handbook, their system composts human excreta and uses urine to produce rich humus fertilizer, used in their community garden. It reduces the need to access municipal water and sewers, reclaims nitrogen and other nutrients, saves potable water and does significant carbon sequestration via topsoil creation.

The 22-page article titled “The Kailash Ecovillage project converting human excreta into organic foodstuffs and sanitized compost using new international building codes for compost toilet and urine diversion systems”, explains in detail the practical and scientific aspects of the system. It is written by O. Ersson and K. King and published in Blue-Green Systems of the International Water Association (IWA).