Lisa Witte

Dismantling the NIMBY toilet

Reflections on an educational exercise

This month Henriette Waal’s Not-In-My-BackYard toilet was taken down. What was this curious art project and what can we learn from it?


The Not In My Back Yard toilet on a sunny day - Anne Lakeman


The NIMBY toilet works as follows: After the toilet is used any urination is stored and fementated so they can be used to enhance fertile soil and gardens. The Not-In-My-BackYard toilet was built in 2014 for the BIO50 exhibition in Ljubljana, Slovenia. There it was placed in a communal garden with over 100 members, who each could make use of the toilet (or in other words, 'donate' to it) and it’s provided resources. The work was intended as a social experiment to try to understand the practise of sustainable living. People say they want to do the work, but will they let a project like this work? In the communal garden, the opinions started mixed, as they didn't always appreciate it. 

Public Space /Misuse

Participation with idea but the misuse has influence on how the work ends up being treated in the public space. 




Rosalie Bak, ‘The NIMBY toiletMediamatic.

Matevž Čelik, ‘Director's introductionBIO 50.

Ildi Horváth, ‘Henriette WaalMediamatic.

Unknown, ‘NIMBY TOILET’, BIO 50.

Henriette Waal, ‘NIMBY’, HW.