No flush toilets
A British firm is marketing an environment-friendly, flushless toilet that doesn't require disinfectants, deodorants or sewer connections and even turns human waste into compost (New Scientist, Vol 138, No 1868).
Dubbed the Clivus system, the innovative toilet has a chute beneath the pan that conveys waste downward to a polyethylene tank in which it decomposes into compost. An electric fan keeps the compost pile and the toilet itself well-ventilated and without unpleasant odours.
Because the pan requires only periodic cleaning, the Clivus consumes just 25,000 litres of water if used 40,000 times, compared to 360,000 litres for the conventional toilet.
However, as the tank of the Clivus has to be installed below, it is unsuitable for urban apartments and offices, but is ideal for remote recreational areas or health resorts where there are no sewers.