- « We think urine is important and we want to use it for a good cause: It will help our garden flourish. »Marija Janežič, gardener
NIMBY, an acronym for the expression ‘Not In My Back Yard’, is a term that applies to people who back a proposal but resist its implementation in a manner that might require personal sacrifice. NIMBY toilet is a project by Henriëtte Waal that focuses on this phenomenon: a behavioural change is much more difficult than a shift in thinking.
The NIMBY toilet a dry toilet, which ferments urine with lactobacillus cultures and converts it into nutrients that contribute to fertile soil. The toilet developed by Henriette Waal aimed to introduce ‘pee-cycling’ in the Onkraj Gradbišča community garden in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana.
The dry toilet’s seat is a reinterpretation of the Sedia 1 chair designed by Enzo Mari in 1974, a self-assembly product intended as a tool for theoretical and practical engagement. The urine-fermenting dry toilet underpins the self-sufficiency of this food-producing garden. Besides the fact that dry toilets save lots of water, they also offer an alternative for chemical fertilizer.
The toilet is intended as an educational exercise and encourages people to think about waste and self-supporting autonomy in relation to your personal contribution (in the literal sense). And the NIMBY toilet demonstrated what the project is about here as well: though the gardeners initially asked for it, this dry toilet wasn’t appreciated by all of them. When push came to shove there was no assurance that everyone was prepared to contribute to the maintenance of an ‘public’ toilet.