Gates Foundation: ‘We need to reinvent the toilet’

Bill Gates, ex Microsoft, recognizes that flush toilet technology is wasteful and costly for areas lacking water resources, liquid waste-transport, and treatment infrastructure, but that toilet technology is pivotal for good human health. 

Overview Video:

Program Fact Sheet:
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/watersanitationhygiene/Documents/wsh-reinvent-the-toilet-challenge.pdf

He’s right, especially for any place with a limited water resource, which is a good part of the world, and certainly true already in my corner. Using 3-5 gallons to flush, transport to a distant treatment facility, chemicaly treat, and dispose of the effluent into a stream is a generally wasteful process, and it’s time to do better. Alternatives need to be as convenient as what we are used to, which poses a surprisingly tough engineering problem.  Some effective technologies already exist, which may or may not be on local code enforcements radar. 

At least someone with influence and bucks is recognizing a problem and doing something about it.  The problem is not limited to the developing world.

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