What is CBS?

Container based sanitation (CBS) is a sanitation service which provides toilets that collect human excreta in sealable, removable containers on a regular basis and safely disposes of or reuses excreta. While some CBS service providers manage the entire sanitation service chain themselves, others partner with other groups to implement parts of the service model. Since toilet waste is not mixed with water from other household tasks, many providers take advantage of the nutrient rich waste to convert the undiluted excreta into reuse products, such as biogas, solid fuel, compost and animal feed.

Learn more in our implementation guide.

Watch this World Bank video profiling the work of some of our members to find out more:

Benefits of CBS

Inclusive: CBS services are able to reach users in areas where sewers are challenging or not feasible, including in areas that are densely populated or have rocky or unstable soil conditions, high water tables, limited water availability, challenging topography or are prone to flooding.
Hygienically safe: CBS toilets never fill up or leave sludge untreated to contaminate the environment, even during flooding when they can be sealed to ensure no waste is released into the environment.
Affordable: For families, a CBS system typically would represent a substantially lower initial investment (usually a deposit equivalent to the monthly service fee) compared to the cost of constructing a latrine or pour flush toilet.
Water-saving: as a dry or minimal-water system, water savings using CBS as compared water-flush systems can vary from 6 m3/person to 25 m3/person annually, depending on waste separating techniques .
Climate-smart: through active management, and often separating faeces from urine, CBS reduces carbon emissions from excreta and is resilient during floods and droughts.
Rapid deployment: with the ability to be rapidly deployed and scaled up, CBS services are well suited to serving humanitarian contexts.
Non-permanent: services can be a good solution in temporary and informal areas, such as displaced people camps, or where there are land tenure issues such as squatter settlements. Moreover, household CBS toilets can be moved or reinstalled when a subscriber moves.
Accessible: CBS toilets increase accessibility for those with physical disabilities, the elderly and young children.
Protecting women and girls: CBS toilets provide women and girls with a private, safe space to use the toilet and manage menstruation and pregnancy.
Ideal for reuse: CBS toilets produce less diluted or decomposed waste, which is ideal for reuse because it has not been mixed with greywater in sewers or stored in a pit for extended periods of time. As a result, fecal waste from CBS systems often produces higher quality reuse products
Customer satisfaction: CBS competes with sewers in its satisfaction and desirability.