The dry separation toilet

What is a dry separation toilet?

A mobile separation toilet is portable, lightweight and incredibly easy to use. It is used like a normal toilet . 

At the front, the urine runs through the funnel of the separation insert into a canister. When the canister is full, the contents are disposed of via a classic toilet or other sewer.

Falls behind the solid into another container. This comes with a bag that can be tied up immediately after each use and disposed of with residual waste. If you travel longer and further away from civilization, you will the solid covered with litter and collected. At the next opportunity it will also be disposed of with residual waste or composted.

northbox_Separating toilet_sectional drawing

The separation toilet offers many advantages:

  • the impact on the environment is minimal
  • No odor formation if the solid waste is disposed of immediately
  • Simply dispose of it with residual waste, no special disposal station required
  • Excreta can also be used as compost and fertilizer
  • Even in countries with less developed sewage systems, disposal is completely harmless

Depending on which size you choose and how often and how much you need , You can use the separating toilet for several days without having to empty it.

→ So you are self-sufficient and don't have to adapt your travel route to disposal options. You then dispose of it when it's convenient.

What are the biggest advantages of a separating toilet over a chemical toilet?

A separation toilet has several advantages compared to a chemical toilet:

  1. Disposal: The main argument is the quick and easy disposal of all excretions without any disgust factor. It is disposed of using a normal toilet or a garbage can.

  2. Odor reduction: Compared to chemical toilets, the odors in a separating toilet are effectively reduced. Unpleasant odors arise from the mixing of urine and solids. However, if the excretions are separated, the urine remains almost odorless.

  3. Sustainability: A separation toilet does not require chemicals to suppress odor or break down waste, meaning it is much more environmentally friendly. If you also consider that in structurally weak countries the drains all too often end up flowing into the next stream, unfortunately even with alternative “bio-sanitary additives” for chemical toilets, water damage often occurs.

  4. No water consumption : There is no need to carry water for a separation toilet. This saves weight and makes them ideal for use in remote or dry areas.

Photo by Daniel J. Schwarz

Which litter is best?

It's easiest if you simply tie the bag shut after each visit to the toilet and dispose of it in the nearest garbage can. However, if you are away from garbage cans, using litter is an advisable alternative.

It is important that the litter is absorbent and reduces the formation of odors. Small animal litter is the most common product and has already proven itself many times over. But there are also alternatives.

Small animal litter and sawdust

✔️very absorbent

✔️significantly reduced odor formation

✔️Easy and inexpensive to purchase

✔️suitable for composting

Coconut fibers

✔️very absorbent

✔️significantly reduced odor formation

⚡Imported product, therefore ecologically less recommended

⚡decomposes slowly, so it is less compostable

⚡more suitable for toilets with a crank as they form a monoculture

more organic cat litter

✔️very absorbent

✔️significantly reduced odor formation

⚡Moisture is not released again, making it very heavy

dry coffee grounds


✔️binds odors

⚡It requires a lot of coffee grounds, so only suitable for coffee junkies

Litter especially for dry separation toilets


✔️binds odors thanks to the activated carbon it contains

✔️very suitable for composting

⚡more expensive and not available everywhere

Which bags are suitable?

This is something like the crucial question. The answer is again the question of disposal. When you're on the move, it's most practical to dispose of it with residual waste. If you want to compost, you have to take a closer look.

Garbage bags made from recycled plastic

✔️very tear-resistant

✔️ecologically acceptable as recycled plastic is used for production

✔️Easy to dispose of with residual waste

⚡not compostable

We use bags from wild plastic. The manufacturer has plastic collected from the environment in countries without functioning waste systems in order to produce robust garbage bags. The landscape is cleared of rubbish lying around and raw materials are brought back into the cycle instead of polluting nature.

compostable organic garbage bags

⚡Tear more quickly and often do not hold as tightly due to the decomposition properties

⚡There are no binding standards that define what is considered “compostable” and what the degradability requirements are. This can lead to confusion and greenwashing.

⚡The bags are often made from cornstarch or potato starch. These raw materials are grown with high levels of pesticide use and in monocultures where food could otherwise be grown. This means that this type of bag is much less climate and environmentally friendly than it seems.

⚡Compostable plastic bags often take several months or even years to fully decompose, even under industrial conditions (constantly high temperatures, humidity and ventilation). Decomposition will therefore be even less successful on a normal compost heap. Disposing of feces in organic waste is neither permitted nor sensible.

→ So, keep your eyes open when choosing your bag!

no bag

✔️If you're really serious, line the bucket with an old newspaper

⚡little joy in disposal and cleaning

Good reasons for an aluminum box

Why is the box made of aluminum?

The advantages of our aluminum box are obvious:

✔️ very light and very robust

✔️ dust and weatherproof (IP56)

✔️ UV resistant

✔️ no plastic abrasion on rough terrain

✔️ is easy to clean

✔️ fits well into existing aluminum box equipment

✔️ just looks cool

What is special about aluminum?

Aluminum is not only the flyweight among metals, it is also robust, flexible and shatterproof. Unlike plastic, it does not absorb any discoloration or external odors. Compared to other metals, aluminum is relatively soft, so the first scratches and dents can occur during the manufacturing process of the aluminum box. Aluminum forms its characteristic patina on the surface. This gives the box its charm and uniqueness. Each box tells its own story.

northbox separation toilet vintage look on the beach

Hygiene and disposal

Now butter the fish, how bad does it smell?

Even if you separate your excreta from each other, odors arise. By separating the excretions, the formation of odors is significantly reduced, but a separating toilet does not conjure up a lovely scent of roses where no roses grow.

Because the moisture in the solid excretions is not completely removed, some smell remains. Since the northbox seals tightly, no odors escape when closed. If you are sensitive, it is best to tie a knot and replace the bag with the solid after using it once. The urine collected in the canister is almost odorless.

Which toilet paper is recommended?

Basically, whatever you like is allowed. If you dispose of it with residual waste, you can use any paper you like.

I have my period, what now?

Of course you don't miss out on the camping trip. Dispose of used utensils together with the food; the contents of a menstrual cup can also be disposed of in this way .

How is the separation toilet cleaned?

Rinse and you're done.

The separating insert is made of polyethylene, so it can withstand any cleaning agents, but in our experience it is sufficient to rinse it every now and then with vinegar water (ratio 1:1). The insert can be removed from the toilet seat in just a few steps and then reinserted.
You can also use citric acid instead of vinegar.

Please do not use abrasive cleaning agents, scouring pads or similar.

After emptying, the urine canister and the membrane closure are simply rinsed out with water and then swished with a little vinegar water (or citric acid). The acid content is important so that the lime contained in the water does not lead to the formation of urine scale, which can cause discoloration and an unpleasant smell.

Ideally, after cleaning, you let everything dry in the sun.

Ordering and shipping

How long does the delivery take?

We produce on demand, so it can take up to 20 days for your goods to arrive. After you place the order, we will inform you as soon as your package is shipped to you.

How do I return my order?

You have the right to cancel the purchase contract and return the goods within 14 days without giving reasons.

We do not cover the costs for return shipping.
If possible, please send the goods back in the original packaging to the following address and provide us with the associated tracking number by email ( ).

Michael Leßmöllmann
Rellinger Str. 16
20257 Hamburg

More about the right of withdrawal .

Used items cannot be returned.

However, if your northbox is faulty, please contact us via  

Please note that aluminum is a light metal and forms a corrosion-related patina when it comes into contact with oxygen. Aluminum is also relatively soft compared to other types of metal, so small scratches, dents, etc. can occur during the production of the box. Such traces give the aluminum boxes their special character and are part of their history. Therefore they are not grounds for complaint.

I need a spare part, what now?

No problem. Simply write us an email to

Anything still unclear?