International conference explores dry toilet technologies and circular economy

International conference explores dry toilet technologies and circular economy

The 6th International Dry Toilet Conference takes place in Tampere, Finland, on 22-24 August 2018. The event includes an exhibition that is open to all.

The global market for dry toilet technologies has vast growth potential, as 2.3 billion people worldwide are living without access to basic sanitation.  

– An estimated 2.1 billion people lack safe drinking water and 4.5 billion lack safe sanitation. As much as 80 per cent of the world's wastewater continues to be discharged without any treatment," says Tapio S.Katko, Adjunct Professor and holder of the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Water Services at Tampere University of Technology (TUT).  

The 2018 International Dry Toilet Conference, which will take place in Tampere on 22-24 August, will discuss this topical theme from a broad perspective. The conference is a collaborative effort between the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland, TUT, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, the University of Tampere and the University of Jyväskylä. The theme of the conference is 'Dry Toilet Goes Circular' and it showcases the latest research on dry toilets, their use and the opportunities they open up in Finland and abroad. The conference covers a broad range of topics on circular economy. One of the circular economy targets of the EU and Finland concerns nutrient recovery.

The international conference brings together experts on sanitation, water and nutrient cycle from 40 countries around the world. One of the keynote speakers is Bruce Oreck, former U.S Ambassador to Finland. 

The conference will be held in the Hiedanranta area in Tampere. It is evolving into a unique new city district that is both resource and energy efficient. 

– Hiedanranta is an intriguing location, as the area is currently serving as a testbed for projects conducted by companies and the local higher education institutions. TUT is actively involved in a number of the projects. One of them explores how nutrients recovered from urine could be used to grow microalgae, and Postdoctoral Researcher Pritha Chatterjee of TUT will present the results of the first stage of the project at the conference, says University Teacher and member of the Organizing Committee Marja Palmroth of the Laboratory of Chemistry and Bioengineering at TUT.

The research results from TAMK on utilizing urine as fertilizer in field farming will be presented in an international conference and national seminar on the subject. Research projects on recycling nutrients funded by the Ministry of the Environment (Raki2) were coordinated by Principal Lecturer Ms Eeva-Liisa Viskari who is also in the conference organizing committee.

The Dry Toilet Goes Circular Exhibition will be spread out in the culture centre Kuivaamo in Hiedanranta from 22 August to 24 August. The exhibition showcases, among other things, wastewater management solutions developed for rural areas as well as dry toilet technologies. Admission is free.

Seminar conducted in Finnish discusses circular economy in rural areas

An established part of the conference is a seminar conducted in Finnish. This year's seminar on Wednesday, 22 August is titled 'Dry Circles' and it explores the nutrient cycle and related challenges and solutions from a national perspective.

The full programme and instructions for registering are available on the website of the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland. 

The Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland, TUT, Tampere University of Applied Sciences and the University of Tampere have organised the International Dry Toilet Conference every three years since 2003. The three higher education institutions have previously taken turns hosting the conference on their respective campuses.

Inquiries: Suvi Kekki,

Published 06.08.2018