Can I discard sanitary bags as compost waste (organic waste)?
No, the bags have to be discarded as residual waste. Although we already have developed bio-degradable foils, we are currently not applying them in our toilet system. The reason for this is simple: bio-degradable foils begin to degrade as soon as they get in contact with organic materials. So bio-degradable bags would have to be disposed of within no more than 2 hours to prevent leaking. This of course would be a game-stopper for our aim to ensure more freedom for you. Furthermore degradable bags necessarily have to be discarded as compost waste. The law mandates that human excretions are not discarded openly if they haven’t been composted for the duration of at least one year. The disposal of bio-degradable bags in, let’s say, a forrest is therefore illegal. Fully degradable bags would in any case have to be composted right after every single use of the toilet – not really the flexibility we at Clesana are going for.
Our solution lies in bio-based foils. We use plant-based and therefore climate-neutral polymeres. These bio-based foils will be available soon as an alternative to our proven barrier foils developed in accordance with medicinal standards. In addition, we at Clesana enforce the principle of residue-free disposal to protect waters and soils. This in turn makes it necessary to discard the sanitary bags holding all excretions and potentially toxic substances (hormons, pharmaceutical residues, etc.) as household/residue waste, to be processed in waste incineration plants.
Can I discard the sanitary bags as household waste?
Yes, unless prohibited by special regulations.
Are the sanitary bags odour-proof?
At room temperature the bags remain odour-proof for 2-4 weeks. At higher temperatures we recommend to discard the bags within 2 days.
Is the toilet fully operational immediately after use?
In principle it is, however the “flushing process” needs to be completed. Opening the lid before completion might cause the system to malfunction.
Is the welding functionality suitable for toilet waste?
Yes, the system will also bag organic waste, diapers or feminine hygiene products. However, no sharp-edged objects or hot ashes should be put into the toilet. Please mind the maximum fill level!
Does the toilet operate exclusively under 12 volt?
Yes, the input voltage is restricted to 12 volt.
Do I have to equip the sanitary bag compartment with an additional waste bag?
No. You may consider using an additional waste bag for discrete and hygienic disposal, but that is entirely up to you. Ideally you should choose a reusable container.
What is the maximum load capacity of the toilet?
The load capacity with closed lid is 150 kg (person sitting).
Can toilets other than the Thetford C260 be converted?
Yes, generally all makes, and types can be converted. The respective installation situation determines the complexity and the effort required for the conversion. The C260 from Thetford can be easily converted using an L-adapter due to its identical layout. In general, however, the round base can also be used for placing the C1. The service opening must then be closed separately. The right contact point for planning the conversion is your trusted specialist workshop. The technical drawings on the Clesana website in the “Media” section can be used to plan the conversion in the best possible way and estimate the effort involved. We are currently in talks with specialist workshops for possible modifications to shower trays and will also announce these contacts before the start of series production. This is particularly interesting for bench toilets, and all makes that are recessed into the shower tray at floor level.
Can the toilet also be operated with 220/230V mains voltage?
A validated power supply unit is required for this type of operation. Currently, we have not validated a power supply unit for long-term operation with 220/230V mains voltage and do not plan to do so.
Can the toilet also be operated with a battery?
Power supply via an external, mobile battery is possible. Operation can be carried out considering the performance data of the C1. Since the C1 is a system that is to be permanently installed, we have not planned a battery version for it. The possibility of a mobile, portable version of the C1 with an integrated battery is under consideration.
Can the toilet be used flexibly?
The C1 is designed to be fixed to the floor. Other types of fixing have an influence on the stability and, depending on the type of installation, also on the function of the toilet.
What is the service life of the toilet?
All visible parts are made of ABS, all load bearing, and power-transmitting components are made of glass-fibre reinforced plastic. When developing the welding unit, we relied on commercially available components that have already been tried and tested many times on the market. Accordingly, the service life of both the plastic components and the welding unit corresponds to the current state of the art. Only the Teflon belts are wearing parts. Their coating starts to degrade after approx. 1,500 cycles. We currently have C1 toilets on the test bench that have completed over 22,000 cycles without mechanical defects in the welding unit.
Do I have to weld (“flush”) after every toilet use?
The most hygienically safe way to use the C1 is to seal the contents after every toilet use. You can also go to the toilet several times without triggering the sealing. However, one has to pay attention to the maximum filling level of the bags (toilet paper should not protrude). Likewise, too much content can pull the bag down due to its own weight. This should be avoided if possible. Foil that is pulled downwards cannot be detected by the system and can therefore lead to an incorrect display of remaining cycles.
Is the absorber necessary for toileting?
No. The absorber has no effect on the function of the toilet. It only binds liquid to a semolina-like consistency. This can be used to make the bags more comfortable to use or to provide additional safety to prevent leakage if the bags are damaged. Likewise, the absorber can make going to the toilet more pleasant when there is repeated small business in the same bag (e.g., at night).
Why is the film used not biodegradable?
According to the EU directive on biodegradable plastics (EN 13432), the following conditions are necessary for the declaration “biodegradable/compostable”:
•Biodegradability in aqueous media: 90% of the organic material must be converted into CO2 in 6 months.
•Composting: After 12 weeks of composting, no more than 10 % residues in relation to the original mass in a 2 mm sieve.
Only industrial compostability is required. The plastic therefore only degrades so quickly in an industrial environment (temperature/pressure). Through self-composting, even products described as 100% compostable are not necessarily completely degraded. Therefore a large proportion of bio-based/compostable bags must not be disposed of in organic waste. Here, too, they must be disposed of in the residual waste. This is the only way to ensure that the part that does not degrade, or only degrades very slowly, does not degrade into microplastic, and end up in the environment. Another reason why we do not use a biodegradable polymer is that this limits the barrier function of the film. Without a barrier, contents and parts of the film end up proportionally in the environment before proper disposal.
Our philosophy is to reduce the CO2 footprint while avoiding environmental hazards (microplastics, legacies polluted by hormones/ medicines/ etc., chemicals). That is why we focus on the use of CO2-neutral materials. That means bio-based film. With our standard film, the CO2 footprint is already smaller than with chemical toilets and we also reduce the creation of CO2 elsewhere (e.g., through journeys or detours to the disposal station).
By using CO2-neutral materials, we reduce this even further. We are currently testing bio-based film with 60% biomass content. We are also testing film that is made of recycled material.
Whether biobased or biodegradable, it is important to protect the environment in both cases by disposing of it properly with residual waste.