Rapid population growth and urbanization are exerting excessive pressure on soil and water resources. To address these problems this paper proposes a cheap and sustainable alternative sanitation system, which accelerates nutrient recycling (“closing the loop”): ecological sanitation (ecosan) is a potential alternative to conventional sanitation systems that replenishes the organic matter and nutrients of the soil that are taken off as the crop harvest. A comparison is made of the environmental and the operation and maintenance costs between a modern wastewater treatment plant and on-site sanitation. An elevated double box urine diverting toilet (“ecotoilet”) is proposed and its advantages and disadvantages over a system with a centrally controlled modern WWTP are discussed. Bagmati Area Sewerage Project in Kathmandu is taken as an example of modern WWTP and ecosan being practiced in a village in Nepal is taken as an example of ecotoilet for the comparison.

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