“Waterless and composting toilets are niche technologies, marketed to “ultra-green” consumers and those living in remote locations.
Indeed, the recycling of grey water, even for non-potable uses such as watering landscapes, is still controversial in many places.
Certainly, most people don’t want to talk about poop, much less debate whether and how it might be recycled in their communities.
But it is precisely this debate that is needed. We need to trigger sanitation innovations that can benefit citizens of wealthy and poor countries, and also instigate systems that help protect the resource base they depend on for development.
Wouldn’t that be something to celebrate?”
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In most cases these sanitation champions promote or deliver “on-site” services such as a pit latrine or a toilet with septic tank. These facilities capture feces and urine in a chamber under or next to the users’ dwelling. When adopted on a wide scale and maintained properly, these solutions can dramatically improve household and environmental sanitation. 1
On-site solutions are also popular because they cost less to build, and require much lower volumes of water than a conventional sewer system. In addition, some on-site sanitation facilities allow for the possibility of generating biogas for cooking and lighting, and for re-using composted excreta as fertilizer for agriculture. 1
1. Jenna Davis, CNN World News 25 Nov 2011. Jenna Davis is a faculty member in Stanford University’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, where her research and teaching focuses on water, sanitation and health. She served on the United Nations Millennium Task Force for Water and Sanitation and her research team, The Poop Group, has worked on water and sanitation issues in more than a dozen developing countries.
Perhaps one of the first essential tasks is to set up an emergency loo. Get prepared now with a plastic drum and a plywood lid. Half a sack of sawdust is also essential. Using your existing toilet seat, you can be in business in minutes. Without it, you might be urgently uncomfortable.