Thursday, September 6, 2012

Diversion Toilet Wins Gates Prize

I previously wrote about efforts by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote the development of toilets suitable for developing nations.  A team from Switzerland and Austria received a $40,000 prize for their “Diversion” toilet.

The winning design is a squatting toilet that separates liquid and solid wastes.  It treats water to provide small amounts for hand and anal washing as practices in many Islamic and Hindu cultures.  Urine and feces are collected in separate, self-sealing barrels that are hauled to a central location for treatment.

The toilet includes a business model as well as a technical design.  The toilets are rented to local entrepreneurs who will in turn lease them to customers and perform maintenance and waste hauling.

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