Going green in a natural environment
Date published: 15th July 2021
As part of the drive to find more sustainable solutions to support visitors to our beautiful coastline, North Norfolk District Council is pleased to be trialling this environmentally friendly facility as part of a series of green initiatives. This innovatively designed installation is enabling us to provide facilities in one of our more remote locations.
A new public toilet is situated alongside the beach car park in Weybourne has been developed creating a low cost option for human waste disposal. This free standing toilet functions without water, electricity or chemicals and works by harnessing the natural energy from the sun and wind, making it a much more carbon efficient option than traditional toilets.
These ingeniously designed toilets have been used in several remote, countryside and sensitive locations across the country and our teams visited a similar installation at Thornham Walks in Suffolk. This installation complements the Council’s portfolio of public toilets, in particular offering a solution for Weybourne which is not only situated in a stunning natural environment but has no readily accessible utilities.
The toilets, which are attractively designed, feature a black ‘chimney’ (known as a pod) which is positioned to maximise the solar exposure throughout the year. The solar radiation heats up, raising the temperature inside which in turn speeds up evaporation, dehydration and natural aerobic decomposition. The prevailing wind continues to operate the system when there is no sun. Depending on use, the dried waste is removed approximately every six months. The toilets will be open 24/7 and a hand cleansing station is provided. Lighting will be provided by a solar powered light.
North Norfolk District Council, through the use of this environmentally friendly design instead of traditional facilities will:
- Reduce our carbon footprint
- Cut down water usage
- Use solar lighting instead of mains electric
- Eradicate methane gas output by dispensing with a septic tank
- Reduce the impact on the environment through not installing new drainage or power supplies
- Increase protection of groundwater sources and our natural environment
Cllr Nigel Lloyd, NNDC’s Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services, Climate Change & Environment, commented: “I am delighted that the Council have found an environmentally sound solution to the difficult problem of installing toilet facilities in locations where standard utility services are not available. These eco-toilets will cut our reliance on grid energy by using power from the sun and the wind, reduce our reliance on water resources and also minimise the environmental impacts of the waste produced. They are ideal facilities for deployment in rural areas of North Norfolk where standard utilities are not always available.”
The toilet is now open.