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A resident of Oradea invented the first automatic dry ecological toilet, with sawdust instead of water

Teodor Gomboş wants to become a successful businessman, thanks to a unique product he put up for sale: a toilet that uses sawdust instead of water.

He claims to have launched into the business world as the world’s first manufacturer of sawdust-based and fully automated ecological toilets, whose waste does not need to be cleaned, but can become fertilizer. Instead of drawing water, the user only watches how the toilet is “washed” with sawdust, writes

Teodor Gomboş graduated from Aurel Lazar High School, then from the Faculty of Physics, the medical department. Since he was a student, he realized that he would not practice as a physicist in hospitals, because he had no desire for this field.

Determined to be an entrepreneur, but not knowing clearly what business to start, the young man was inspired by a friend, who told him that he saw, at a Christmas market in Vienna, a special ecological toilet: it used sawdust instead of water, it was clean and did not emit odors, which is why it was placed right in the area with dishes.

“I found it hard to believe, but I discovered that there are few manufacturers of ecological toilets in the world and most of them make those plastic toilets, which we all know and avoid, because they smell bad,” he says.

The principle is quite simple: instead of using water, the toilet made of wood and metal has a tank with sawdust, from where approximately 250 grams of this material automatically “drops” into the toilet bowl. Here, a motor operator spreads the sawdust like a blanket, and after the toilet is used, which is detected by specially installed sensors, the sawdust and droppings descend into another tank, lined with a special cleaning bag.

This second tank can be pulled out and the waste bag is simply lifted, sealed and replaced with a clean one. Waste mixed with sawdust can be used to produce compost, i.e. soil fertilizer. “In Bihor, they can also be delivered to the power plant in Săcueni, which uses biomass for electricity production,” says Teo.

Because the toilet does not use water at all, it has a container for hand sanitizer inside. At the same time, it has natural light, but also LED bulbs, powered by a solar panel. The panel also provides the electricity needed for the automated equipment.

With European money

The innovation proposed by Teodor brought him a financing of 25,000 euros, through a European project of the Bihor County Employment Agency, which sought business ideas proposed by young people from the county. The money arrived only to start the business, so until it is profitable, Teodor continues to work on weekends as a waiter at events.

Together with his partners, the young man has so far created two prototypes of the product, which he presents to potential customers. Because emptying the toilet is easy, Arida Cultus fits well in public areas. “In Oradea and in the whole county we lack public toilets. Why not have a toilet in the bus stations in the county, in the city parks, not to mention the mountain tourist areas?”, says Teodor.

The representatives of the Oradea City Hall would have accepted his product at the Christmas Fair, but the production was not completed. “The chief architect told me that he is thinking about the possibility of placing it in the city”, says the entrepreneur, confidently.

At the same time, Teodor has advanced discussions with other clients willing to buy Arida Cultus, four of which are companies from abroad, from Poland to distant Australia. The list price of an automated dry toilet is 4,200 euros, money that – says Teo – a company that deals with the provision of toilets at public events, would easily recoup.

The entrepreneur admits, however, that he most wants to see Arida Cultus at home, in his community. “The joy of knowing that you have contributed to the quality of life in your city is incomparable to any other gain.” And he hopes that he will be able to offer a win to Oradea…

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