honey wagon

Honey bucket

A honey bucket is a bucket that is used in place of a flush toilet in communities that lack a water-borne sewage system.

The honey bucket sits under a wooden frame affixed with a toilet seat lid. The honey bucket gets its name from the actual five–gallon (19 litre) buckets which were once used as containers for honey. These are the same type of plastic buckets used for shipping many paints, cleaners, and solvents, as well as institutional quantities of food products.

Honey buckets in Alaska

Honey buckets are common in many rural villages in the Alaska, such as those in the Bethel area of the YukonKuskokwim Delta in Alaska and are found throughout the rural regions of that state. Honey buckets are used especially where permafrost makes the installation of septic systems or outhouses impractical. They were also relatively common in the Yukon but by now have mostly been replaced with indoor plumbing and sewage pump-out tanks.

The bucket is emptied, usually about once a week, by carrying it by way of boardwalk or road to a nearby honey bucket well or hopper. A honey bucket well is a hole in the ground capped with a raised wooden enclosure. A hopper is a metal container, which is then removed by the city/village authority to a larger dumping area.

Honey buckets in South Africa

The "bucket system" is used in rapidly developing parts of South Africa. The South African government hoped to eliminate the bucket system by 2007.

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