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An Arborloo is a simple type of dry toilet consisting of a pit (like a pit latrine, but less deep), concrete slab, superstructure (toilet house or outhouse) to provide privacy and possibly a ring beam to protect the pit from collapsing.
The arborloo works by temporarily putting the slab and superstructure above a shallow pit while this pit fills. When the pit is nearly full, the superstructure and slab is moved to a newly dug pit and the old pit is covered with the earth got by digging the new pit and left to compost. The old site uses a bed for fruit tree or other, which is preferably planted during the rainy season.
The arborloo can be considered a simple form of composting toilet. In using the nutrient-rich soil of a retired pit, the arborloo in effect treats feces as a resource rather than a waste product.
The defecation pit may be circular or square and this may depend on the slab and superstructure. A circular pit is less likely to collapse. The pit of the arborloo is shallow (between 1-1.5 meter).
If the pit is dug by hand it must have a diameter of at least 0.9 meters to accommodate effective digging. The pit should not be wider than the slab and must allow for 0.1 meter bearing around the edge.
- Morgan, Peter (2007). Toilets that make compost: Low-cost, sanitary toilets that produce valuable compost for crops in an African context. Stockholm: EcoSanRes Programme. ISBN 978-9-197-60222-8.
- WEDC (2012). An engineer's guide to latrine slabs (PDF). Loughborough University: WEDC. p. 4. ISBN 978 1 84380 143 6.
- CAWST (2011). Introduction to Low Cost Sanitation Latrine Construction. CAWST: Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology. p. 16.
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