In 2023-24, we worked with the South African NGO GreenCape and the City of Cape Town, to develop guidelines and best practices for container-based sanitation (CBS), specifically to accompany service improvements in Cape Town.  

The City of Cape Town has been operating a variety of toilets such in-home portable flush toilets and standalone container toilets (see this industry brief by GreenCape), serviced several times per week. CBSA staff and members had the opportunity to visit these operations in October 2023 and organise a debate at the IWA Non-Sewered Sanitation conference on that topic. 

Together, we developed these guidelines to support improved and sustained service delivery within the city. The guidelines draw from CBSA member experiences and best practices, and cover three operational areas within the CBS service chain:

  1. Relations with users (marketing, toilet installation, explaining servicing, etc.), which is crucial to establishing connections and trust within served communities.
  2. 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. Commercialisation of any reuse product. In practice, different CBS providers will adopt different elements within their service chain.

We hope many of these best practices will be adopted and adapted in Cape Town and more widely in South Africa. We are now planning to develop global guidelines to establish service quality standards, helping the adoption of CBS globally.