Bill Gates has unveiled a waterless toilet is able to turn human waste into fertiliser
Gates unveiled the new loo at the start of the three-day Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing. The futuristic toilet doesn’t need water. Instead, it uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertiliser.
The technology is the result of research projects which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have already committed £153m too. The foundation announced they will need to spend the same again before the technology is ready for wide-scale use.
“I have to say, a decade ago I never imagined that I’d know so much about poop […] and I definitely never thought that Melinda would have to tell me to stop talking about toilets and faecal sludge at the dinner table.” Bill Gates speaking at the Reinvented Toilet Expo today
The advantage of the new technology is that instead of simply sending the waste away in the water the creation of fertilizer can be done in the toilet itself. No additional infrastructure is required.
Bill Gates stands before a graphic showing how the loo would work
While basic sanitation is taken for granted in the developed world; poor sanitation still poses a huge problem for many people. Poor sanatory conditions are thought to be responsible for the deaths of around 500,000 children under the age of five every year and cost around £153bn in lost-income and health costs.
The next step will be finding manufacturers to produce the toilet. In his speech Gates stated he believed the market for these types of toilets could be as large as £4.5 billion by 2030.