I must begin this idea by saying that it describes a toilet, and the processes by which it works, so naturally it (like the toilet) will of course contain material that you may find distasteful, and not wish to read on if you are sensitive to such things.... I will try to keep to a purely mechanical description, but without being overly descriptive or graphic. I will also try, as hard as it will be to do so with such a golden opportunity, to forego the immense comic possibilities that this subject
affords me (although I shall be smiling as I write it!) in order to simply convey the substance (sorry) of the idea to you. So if you do read, and find it off putting... Sorry.
It was while reading a blog I arrived at by clicking through the link on one of Ideas4all's Twitter tweets that I decided to try and come up with a possible solution to an enduring problem mentioned there.
One of the main problems facing those in poverty is sanitation... Open or communal toilet areas being one of the prime locations for disease to thrive and spread, it is necessary to find solutions that can contribute to the general hygiene of the people there.So I set myself the challenge of considering how a rudimentary toilet could be constructed cheaply, with comparative ease, and from the likely materials at hand.
My Dark Materials
Among the many technologies found almost universally around the world are cars and bicycles, and the wheels of these are the basis of my toilet design.
Although a toilet made of stacked tyres may not be the most original idea ever, I am not simply proposing a hollow tube of rubber as opposed to a hole in the ground, but a system which uses the materials of the tyres and inner tubes of scrapped cars and bicycles to incorporate an artificial method of Peristalsis in order to make a series of opening and closing chambers, operated by the weight of the occupant (similar method, but reapplication of my idea: Shower Bag) which will receive the human matter, each one passing it to the next while closing the chamber aperture of the chamber previous to it, downward into a collection pot or can, where it is squashed by the same means into dry bricks, and a separate pot of the expelled fluids beneath.
Peristalsis is the method by which animals, and us, swallow food, by the throat and the oesophagus passing food from the mouth to the stomach... expanding around the food as it goes, and closing tightly behind it, pushing it downwards, and along to the stomach...and is best exemplified by the idea of a snake when it has swallowed it's prey.
The two tyres(or more, according to the desired height of the toilet, and the width of the tyres) are placed or stacked one on the other, but with a smaller bicycle tyre cut in half around the circumference placed between them, and the bicycle inner tubes under each of these halves, which will contain the water (more on that later). This assembly will eventually be stuck together with the appropriate glue or cement, and form the overall shape, and case of the finished toilet (i).
This will sit on a tyre shaped case made of wood or board of whatever kind can be obtained, and which will offer the firm base to house the squeezing bag and water bag, and against which thecompression of the tyres will act for internal pumping and squashing purposes.An Open and Shut Case
One of the inner tubes of the car wheels forms the internal sleeve, which is the innermost functional part of the toilet.
This is done by cutting the inner tube in half, so you are left with a long rubber tube when stretched out, it is cut to length, so that it will reach from the height of the tyres to the depth. The top is attached to a wooden circle with a suitable sized hole in where on which the occupant sits, and which is fitted to the inside of the top most tyre rim.
This wooden circular seat piece has long rods of some description and of fixed length protruding from it's underside (iii),
down to a companion piece of slightly smaller size at the base. This is the squashing device operated by the weight borne upon it, and reset when the occupant removes that weight after use. The base aperture us also the hole through which the bottom of the inner sleeve is plugged into the squeezing bag by an appropriate detachable and sealing fitting (perhaps a bottle top and thread fitting of suitable size) (ii (a)).
The inner tube sleeve is constricted at two points along the length by off cuts of the inner tube tied around tightly to close it at those points... but this tie, being made of flexible rubber, can expand to open a small aperture at the appropriate time when the right force is applied, to close again after.
The two constrictions are offset, so that when one is open, the other is shut, so that the base collector is never exposed to open air, through which odours and disease carrying insects can pass.
This is achieved by using other lengths of inner tube as ligatures with the right tension tied through this constriction tie, and attached to the inside of the tyres (iv),
so when the occupant seats themselves, the weight causes a compressing movement of the tyre assembly, and the distances between the tyre attachment points and the constriction tie changes, alternately pulling the tie from the inside of the tie radially outward, and then releasing, so the occupant is the operator by the simple act of seating themselves.
The ligatures at the highest constriction are tensioned so that the distance is shortest when no occupant is seated, and so is closed when this is so, but open when they apply their weight.
The ligatures at the lower constriction, just before the bottle top plug which goes through the wooden ring at the bottom into the squashing bag are set in the open position when no occupant is on the seat, but closes when they are, and therefore when the aperture above it is open.This whole assembly is shown in cross section in(ii).
The Water Pump System
shows the pumping system made of bicycle inner tubes and vertical connecting hose pipe lengths. Two whole inner tubes with some manner of valve system in the hose which allows the water used for flushing to be pumped up but not down, when the occupant's weight squeezes the tubes between the car tyres is in place. The halves of the bicycle tyre are placed over the bicycle inner tubes and stuck to the car tyres, so that there is room for travel between these car tyres and so to squeeze the water in the bicycle inner tubes, but to set a limit in how it can go, and prevent the tubes popping under pressure (i)a+b)).
They also provide the spring to return the distance betweenhe car tyres back to where they were, and so open the water tubes inside to do so also, sucking up more water to replace the flushed water.
Two short lengths of hose are attached to the inside of the bicycle inner tubes on one end, and the other end to a hole in the top of each chamber of the constricted inner sleeve, so the water is pumped to the top of the inner tubes by the compression and release of the weight of the occupant, and expelled under this pressure (appropriately angled trajectory) around the inside of each chamber, to clear debris etc. This water will also gather in the base of each chamber when it is closed, and assist in the flushing of the chamber when it becomes open again, by providing a volume of water to carry away the remainder as it goes.
The two halves of the bicycle tyre between the two car tyres ensure that when the weight of the occupant is applied, the top tyre comes to rest evenly around the circumference by sitting on the firmer half tyre cut edge, and not bearing uneven pressure on the softer bicycle inner tubes.
So as the remainder of that age old human equation (man plus food) is deposited by the seated occupant, the top constriction is open with pressured water firing in around the surface, and it passes directly to the second chamber, where it, along with the collecting water, are caught by the closed constriction at the base of this chamber, and when the occupant has finished, and stood, the compression of the tyres eases, they push apart, with the top constriction closing, and the bottom one opening to admit the remainder into the squeezing bag, with the water.
The next occupant then seats over an open, and clean top chamber and the process repeats, except this time, there are contents in the squeezing bag at the base, left by the previous person, but restricted from view and any potential contact by the closed bottom chamber constriction and the water it is gathering by the current occupant's weight.
This new occupant then completes the process of the previous user by causing the connected wooden rings to squash down on the bag with these contents in, the fluids being squeezed out by this means, through valved holes perhaps, until the next matter enters into it.The whole assembly can easily be removed by collectors, and placed with other full toilets from a neighbourhood into trucks and taken away to an appropriate facility or area for cleaning and emptying, with the contents safely disposed of (or used for fertiliser or power generation), and a clean one left in it's place... they would fit nicely into the back of a truck in ranks of tyre cylinder toilets for removal