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Container-based Sanitation Guidelines

3 July 2024

Container-based Sanitation Guidelines

Access the full document for free.


GreenCape, in partnership with the City of Cape Town (CCT) and Container-based Sanitation Alliance (CBSA), has published a document which unpacks the guidelines and best practices for container-based sanitation (CBS).

CBS is a sanitation system that consists of a sustained service in which toilets collect excreta in sealable, removable containers (also called cartridges). Once full, the containers are collected and transported to treatment facilities. CBS is a relatively new approach to sanitation (~15 years old), and in 2019 was formally recognised as “improved sanitation” — and household-level CBS models as “safely managed” — by the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation, the official UN body for monitoring progress toward the sanitation Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6).

There are three distinct operational areas within the CBS service chain:

  1. The first area deals with customer relations with users (marketing, toilet installation, explaining servicing, etc.), which is crucial to establishing connections and trust within served communities.
  2. The second area covers design and operations that directly contribute to the provision of the safely managed sanitation service, including the containment and collection of household waste and subsequent transfer for safe disposal.
  3. The final area involves the commercialisation of any reuse product. In practice, different CBS providers will adopt different elements within their service chain.

These proposed guidelines for CBS services draw on the principles of universal access, human dignity, user participation and service standards. These guidelines were informed by the principles of sustainability, affordability, effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness to communities. Cognisance is taken of the water scarcity context of the country (South Africa), and as such reduction, re-use and recycling are common themes that underpin these guidelines.

This document outlines guidelines for best practices for CBS. The development of these guidelines was funded by the CCT, to support improved and sustained service delivery within the city. These guidelines can be adopted or adapted in other geographical regions.

To download the guidelines, clikc the PDF link at the top of this post.