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Inside this issue:
M54 Trailheads in the Heart of New York City
Prospect Park Wellhouse: Award-Winning Green Restroom in the Park
GSA May 2, 2019 | Vol. 12, Issue 1

Clivus Multrum on GSA

We've signed a contract with the General Services Administration to sell our M54 Trailhead series at a discounted rate to customers in the federal government. Visit us at to see how easy it is!

Clivus Multrum on GSA Advantage

Maintenance Services

Did you know that Clivus can arrange to provide your facility with composting system maintenance services? Clivus offers a variety of maintenance options to meet your needs. No matter where your facility is located, we'll come to you or work with local subcontractors to ensure that the job is done right. Call us at 800-425-4887 for more information.

Greetings from Clivus Multrum!

This seasonís Natural Solution News highlights two projects in New York City. New York Restoration Project has found the M54 Trailhead to be a perfect fit for their community gardens. We also feature an award-winning restroom utilizing the Clivus system in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY.

M54 Trailheads in the Heart of New York City

Clivus Multrum Trailhead
M54W Trailhead at Target Community Garden*
Clivus Multrum Trailhead
M54W Trailhead at Rodale Community Garden*

New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is a non-profit "driven by the conviction that all New Yorkers deserve beautiful, high-quality public space within ready walking distance of their homes." The organization was founded in 1995 by actor/singer Bette Midler and owns and operates 52 community gardens in all five boroughs of New York City. NYRP also oversees 80 acres of park land for the City of New York.

In 2003, NYRP installed its first M54 Trailhead composting toilet system at the 103rd St. Community Garden in East Harlem, NY. The gardens typically begin as vacant lots, which NYRP helps to restore in partnership with the local community. Since 2003, the organization has installed an additional ten composting toilet systems in various community gardens in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan. At several gardens, the M54 is incorporated within a larger structure to include garden tool storage. Most recently M54 bases were included in their new administrative office at Sherman Creek in upper Manhattan. The Sherman Creek site has water access but no sewer so NYRP installed four M54 bases with Foam-flush toilets. Three of the restrooms are for NYRP staff, and a fourth toilet is accessed from outside the structure.

M54W Trailhead at Paradise on Earth Community Garden*

According to Simon Skinner, Director of Operations, NYRP has selected the M54 Trailhead as their restroom solution for sites which lack sewer and electric connection. Skinner says, "The alternative would be a portable toilet, and the Trailhead minimizes the ongoing expense and hassle of dealing with porta-potties."

The M54 Trailheads are utilized both by community gardeners and crews employed by NYRP. Skinner contends that, while feedback is generally neutral, the composting toilets are a step up from what is typically expected at a community garden, and NYRP has added the restrooms as they've renovated gardens that can accommodate them due to setback restrictions. Due to siting issues such as building obstructions, solar panels for the fans at some locations have occasionally been relocated in order to provide enough electricity. Other than occasionally moving solar panels, he says, the M54 composting toilet systems are relatively simple to operate. For maintenance, NYRP contracts with Clivus Multrum, Inc., which provides NYRP with biannual maintenance reports and recommendations.

*Images by Clivus Multrum, Inc.

Prospect Park Wellhouse: Award-Winning Green Restroom in the Park

Prospect Park Wellhouse Restroom
Image by Jordan Rathkopf

Built in 1869, the Wellhouse is the last remaining building designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY. The Wellhouse originally housed the boiler which ran pumps located in the well, moving water through the streams, ponds and other water features in Prospect Park. The park was connected to the city water system in the early 1900s and the Wellhouse slowly fell into disrepair. Prospect Park Alliance, a private non-profit organization which partners with NYC Parks to operate Prospect Park, restored the Wellhouse, incorporating Clivus Multrum M35 composting toilet systems with Foam-flush toilets and a greywater garden. The Wellhouse opened in the summer of 2017 and is home to the first composting toilet system in a New York City park.

Clivus Multrum Trailhead
Wellhouse 1870
Image by Prospect Park Archives

According to Alden Maddry, Senior Architect with Prospect Park Alliance, the number one request by the public is for restrooms so restoring the Wellhouse as a restroom was determined early in the process. During the design phase, designers from the Alliance discovered a lower level in the original Olmsted and Vaux drawings as well as bricks from the original well buried less than a foot underground. With the availability of the lower level and the half-mile distance from the city sewer system, the composting toilet and greywater systems were selected primarily due to cost savings. An expensive series of pipes and pumps would have been required to connect the restroom to the sewer system, making the composting toilet and greywater system more cost-effective.

Wellhouse M35 Clivus Composting Systems
Image by Prospect Park Alliance

Prior to selecting the Clivus composting toilet system, Maddry and other Alliance staff visited the Bronx Zoo and Queens Botanical Garden, which have composting toilet systems with high usage. After seeing the success of those systems, the Alliance worked with Clivus Multrum to size the Wellhouse system appropriately and determined that three of the largest capacity M35 systems would handle the high usage at Prospect Park.

The composting toilet and greywater systems save 250,000 gallons of water per year from entering the city’s overburdened sewer system. Similar to other urban areas, New York City has a combined sewer system for both wastewater and rainwater which overflows 20 billion gallons of water into local waterways during heavy rains each year.

Prospect Park Alliance contracts Clivus Multrum to manage the regular maintenance of the system and, Maddry says, “This is working very well.” The park sees over 10 million visitors per year so it is very important to the Prospect Park Alliance that the system is maintained and functioning properly.

Clivus Multrum Trailhead
Wellhouse Restroom Interior
Image by Prospect Park Alliance
In addition to incorporating the composting toilet and greywater systems, the building was restored to the original design including a distinctive wooden portico painted in historically appropriate colors, decorative metal roof finials, and two over two double hung windows custom made to match the originals. Bricks from the original well were left in place, with comparable brick added to the top of the well to form a semicircular bench.

According to Maddry, “the public loves it, as do folks at NYC Parks and the Sanitation Department.” The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by the Commissioner of NYC Parks and the Commissioner of Sanitation, both of whom expressed their support of the historical renovation of the Wellhouse and the inclusion of the composting toilet and greywater systems. The Wellhouse restoration has been so successful that the Prospect Park Alliance received a Lucy Moses award in April 2019, the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s highest honor for outstanding preservation.


Contact Clivus Multrum to see if a Clivus composting toilet system is right for your next project.