Track Care have been manufacturing and installing toilets on the CSR since it’s beginnings in 1997. Volunteers have put in countless hours of labour and materials as well as the monumental effort to transport these structures to site and they have served the public very well. The amount of human waste that has been diverted from fluttering across the landscape to a somewhat manageable problem has help make the CSR a memorable journey for all to enjoy.

But, like all things, they can be improved. The current system can be very difficult to deal with when it comes time to empty the trailers that contain the waste. Fire hazard is real and can stymy efforts to burn the waste. Untreated human effluent is a health concern and members have suffered health issues in the past when dealing with the management of the waste. So with this in mind, Track Care looked a for a new solution.

Since 2008, the Sago Network has been dealing with the same problem with remote villages in Papua New Guinea and have a solution that is proven to be effective in raising the health standards of the villagers. The Sago Dry Toilet story can be found here Sago Dry Toilet — SAGO Network.

During our regular maintenance run in 2022 we met some of the traditional owners from the Birriliburu people, who have Native Title of an area that includes Well 5 – 15 and made a request for Track Care to install a toilet system at Well 5. The timing could not have been better. Partnering with The Sago Network, Notre Dame University & Troppo Architects Troppo Architects, Track Care could make this an ideal trial site for Australia.

The design for the toilet was undertaken by Master students at Notre Dame as a 5-week program, under the supervision of Troppo Architects, who have extensive experience in remote community projects and also provided workshop facilities. The project encompasses all aspects of architectural design including, environmental impact, carbon footprint, climatic conditions, transport and simple construction techniques. A manual, complete with exploded diagrams, cut lists and assembly instructions was produced as well as a fully built prototype was that has now been used at Well 5.

This system, in conjunction with another in Sydney, will now be used for the certification process which is expensive and time consuming. It will encompass all aspects including the manufacturing process, health department approval as well as building certification which will all lead to an economical and approved solution for any low to moderate use situation. It’s hoped that with this certification, councils, shires and state government departments will allow this system to be used on land they control. A small but highly skilled team from Track Care and Troppo Architects headed to Well 5 in October 2023 to build the very first Sago Dry Toilet system in Australia and under hot conditions completed the project in under 2 days. The result was remarkable and can now be enjoyed by the travelling public, tradition owners and rangers of the Birriliburu people.

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