Production and Market Demonstration of Fecal Sludge By-Products At Scale (Sanergy, Kenya)

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Production and Market Demonstration of Fecal Sludge By-Products At Scale (Sanergy, Kenya)

Hi,
Here is an introduction about the grant we have received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for our work at Sanergy in Nairobi, Kenya:

Title of grant: Production and Market Demonstration of Fecal Sludge By-Products At Scale
Name of lead organization: Sanergy
Primary contact at lead organization: David Auerbach, Co-Founder This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Edith Karimi, Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Grantee location: Nairobi, Kenya
Developing country where the research is taking place: Kenya
Start and end date: 21 Nov. 2014 to 31 Dec 2017
Grant type: (e.g. Global Challenges Explorations, Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, Other) Global Development
Grant size in USD: ~$ 2.3 million, dependent on milestones (according to grant database: www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quic...s/2014/11/OPP1118635 )

Short description of the project:

This project will support the implementation of efficient fecal sludge management systems, the production of by-products made from fecal sludge, and the demonstration of the market viability of these by-products. The project will also allow Sanergy to build an enabling environment in terms of policy and advocacy.

Sanergy began working in Nairobi in November 2011. We design and manufacture low-cost, high-quality sanitation facilities. Developed by our engineers, the Fresh Life Toilet (FLT) is pre-fabricated at our local workshop. Our FLT features qualities users value most:

Hygiene: FLTs are made of high-quality materials that are easy to keep clean and maintain.
Accessibility: FLTs have a small footprint that enables them to be install them close to homes
Affordability: FLTs are cost-effective and include essential features like hand-washing facilities.

Grantees by the BMGF have been using our setup to test various research aspects.

Goal(s):

(1) Establishment of scalable supply chains for sourcing fecal sludge at scale, including taking on fecal sludge from sources other than Sanergy’s network of franchised toilets
(2) Development of commercial processes to convert fecal sludge into saleable by-products, such as active composting processes, biogas production, high-protein animal feed, biochar, and urine valorization
(3) Development of markets for by-products of fecal sludge

Objectives:

To promote the safe collection of fecal sludge and the delivery of hygienic sanitation services to low-income populations in urban informal settlements by establishing scalable supply chains for sourcing fecal sludge, developing processes to convert fecal sludge into saleable by-products, and developing the markets for by-products of fecal sludge

Research or implementation partners:
Sanergy works with various organisations and other BMGF grantees such as eawag, UKZN, Climate Foundation, Firmenich, WASH United, UNESCO-IHE, and Agriprotein

Links, further readings – results to date:

Our website: saner.gy

Documents in SuSanA library: www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/2226

Presentations at FSM3 conference in Hanoi in January 2015:

"Sustainable Sanitation in Urban Slums: Introduction Workshop FSM - Maximizing Resources Recovery" by Laura Kimani:
www.susana.org/images/documents/07-cap-d...shops/WS3/Kimani.pdf

"Presenting the Sanergy Solution" at FSM3: Laura Kimani, Sanergy:
www.susana.org/images/documents/07-cap-d...3/2-3-2-4-Kimani.pdf

Video of the presentation:


Or please go to time 13m55s in the video:

[url=http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nOjK6FSnjk&index=1&list=PL0gMdVBup-4M-IHZSfFeeo3GzXI3OmqbG#t=13m55s]Video of Sanergy presentation at FSM3[/url]

Previous forum threads about Sanergy: Interview with David Auerbach at Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Delhi in April 2014 (Part 1; Part 2 can be accessed in the forum thread linked to above):



Current state of affairs:

As of May 2015, we have successfully launched 684 franchises to 331 Fresh Life Operator in seven informal settlements in Nairobi. Each toilet has an average of 40-60 paying users each day, and over 27,000 residents now have access to hygienic sanitation on a daily basis. Our franchise network has created a further 139 jobs in the community in operating and maintaining the sanitation businesses. The waste is being collected without fail by our network of waste collectors. To date, we have collected 5,168mt of waste that would have otherwise been dumped in rivers.

We process over 40 metric tons of waste per week, predominantly into organic fertilizer. We sell the fertilizer to a variety of farms that specialize in horticulture, floriculture, and tea and coffee, as well as to distributors who work with smallholder farms throughout Kenya.

We are also running R&D on biogas, biochar, urine nitrification and animal feed. We are exploring the technical and financial requirements to source fecal sludge from other sanitation centers.

We have received endorsements from the Nairobi County Council, the Ministries of Environment, Education and Health and local MPs. We are a team of 245 people. We have created over 690 jobs in the communities where we work.

Biggest successes so far:
Sanergy’s greatest successes so far have been gaining community buy-in to our model of sanitation service provision and to have demonstrated that a full value chain approach can be realized.

Main challenges / frustration:
Sanergy’s main challenge has been the time taken to work through red tape and bureaucracy with the government. Each step of our model presents new challenges for a government that is cautious in its approach to sanitation and reuse.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask us.

Edith Kamiri (communications manager) and David Auerbach (co-founder)

Sanergy is a social enterprise that is building healthy and prosperous communities through provision of hygienic, affordable and accessible sanitation in urban slums for everyone, forever - starting with Nairobi, Kenya.

For more information on Sanergy visit:

Our website: saner.gy/
Like our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Sanergy
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  • arno
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Re: Production and Market Demonstration of Fecal Sludge By-Products At Scale (Sanergy, Kenya)

Hello Sanergy
Thanks for this description.

What is the potential for the Sanergy model to tackle large-scale slums like Kibera?

Can the franchises be integrated with solid waste collection? How is drinking water being managed - linkages there?

Are the franchise's subsidized even indirectly in anyway? Or can these businesses stay afloat on their own? Transportation seems to always be the major challenge to centralized sites for processing. Are the treatment and storage sites also being franchised?

Saw from Laura Kimani's presentation dated Jan 2015 the slide on "Nitrogen fertilizer from urine". How are you using/transforming urine into a fertilizer? Nitrification? Losses?

The management and logistics surrounding urine are very different compared to dry faecal material. The volume for urine is so much larger (at least 10-fold). Are urinals being promoted? What about franchising vegetable farms using urine where it is being produced following the standard WHO storage requirement?

Best wishes..

Arno Rosemarin PhD
Stockholm Environment Institute
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Re: Production and Market Demonstration of Fecal Sludge By-Products At Scale (Sanergy, Kenya)

Dear all,

There was recently a paper published by David Auerbach about the Sanergy work in Kenya. I checked it out and it doesn't answer Arno's questions above but it may nevertheless be useful for those who are not so familar with the Sanergy approach.

It is in this journal:
www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/2379

Article title:
Auerbach, D. (2015). Sustainable Sanitation Provision in Urban Slums – The Sanergy Way, in Sustainable Sanitation Practice - Financing Sanitation, Issue 24, October 2015, Sustainable Sanitation Practice (SSP) Journal

The abstract:

Sanergy, a Nairobi-based social enterprise, builds healthy prosperous communities by making hygienic sanitation accessible and affordable in urban informal settlements. We take an innovative, systems-based approach that addresses the entire sanitation value chain. We build high-quality, low-cost sanitation units, known as Fresh Life Toilets, which we franchise to community members, who run them as businesses. We collect the waste on a regular basis, removing it from the community. We then convert the waste into valuable by-products, including organic fertilizer and insect-based animal feed, which we sell to regional farmers. Through this model, we are making it profitable – and thus sustainable – to provide hygienic sanitation in urban slums.


I checked through the paper for any financial figures (as it's in a journal issue called Financing Sanitation) and didn't find many, only these paragraphs which I've copied from different parts of the paper:

(1)
For the last three years, we have had a partnership with
Kiva, an online micro-lending platform, to help potential
FLOs gain access to interest-free loans with which to
purchase an FLT, which costs around 500 USD. Once
approved for a loan, FLOs are able to choose between
either a 12-month or a 24-month loan. After paying an
initial down payment of about 20%, they use revenue
generated from running the toilet to pay down the
balance of the loan. Our credit team services the loans,
ensuring timely payments and low default rates.

FLT = Fresh life toilet (= urine-diverting dry toilet)
FLO = Fresh life operator (= toilet operator)


(2)
With an average of 50 users per day, a Fresh Life Operator can earn 80,000
Kenyan shillings
* per toilet per year – a solid income for
residents of Nairobi’s informal settlements. Most Fresh
Life Operators run at least two toilets, which increases
their income even more.

(3)
We have also built a robust and efficient waste-collection
network, which currently removes 9-10 tons of waste per
week that works in complement with our infrastructure
distribution network. In addition to the cost of the toilet,
Fresh Life Operators pay an annual renewal fee of about
90 USD for our waste collection services. This renewal
fee is less expensive and more convenient than hiring a
vacuum truck or other exhaustion service, as pit latrine
owners have to do.

(4)
Sanergy’s R&D is primarily funded through grant capital, allowing for
experimentation to ensure we can develop by-products
that efficiently convert waste into something of value for
our customers.

(5)
As a young company, Sanergy is not yet profitable;
however, we are confident we have developed an
economically viable model that will allow the sustainable
provision of hygienic sanitation in urban informal
settlements. We are working to scale the model to reach
profitability, in addition to achieving maximum impact.

(6)
The results of the Sanergy model so far are promising. In
just four years, we have launched 750 Fresh Life Toilets
in Nairobi’s slums, run by 350 operators. The network
of Fresh Life Toilets is used over 33,000 times per day.
Sanergy ensures the removal of 60 tons of waste from
the toilets per week, and the waste is converted into
by-products that help Kenyan farmers increase their
crop yields and keep their animals well-fed.

(7)
Commercial operators running two Fresh Life Toilets
generate about USD 2000 per year in profit from
charging a minimal usage fee to customers. Schools have
seen significant increases in attendance and enrolment
after installing Fresh Life Toilets, and in residential
compounds, plot owners have seen occupancy go up
by 60 percent, and more timely rent payments.

Looking forwward to reading more about Sanergy's work, including some answers to Arno's questions.

Regards,
Elisabeth

* = USD 782 with today's exchange rate

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant in Frankfurt, Germany
Community manager of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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  • medorabrown
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Re: Production and Market Demonstration of Fecal Sludge By-Products At Scale (Sanergy, Kenya)

Hi Arno,
Thanks for your questions. We’ve responded inline below.

Cheers,
Medora Brown
Sanergy Communications Manager

What is the potential for the Sanergy model to tackle large-scale slums like Kibera?
The Sanergy model has great potential to tackle large-scale slums around the world. The success of our model does rely on achieving a certain density of toilets in order to make waste collection as efficient as possible. With our multiple distribution models, we are working both to achieve maximum coverage in the areas we currently serve and to prove the viability and applicability of a variety of different service models that could work in diverse environments.

Can the franchises be integrated with solid waste collection? How is drinking water being managed - linkages there?
Currently our waste collection team visits every Fresh Life Toilet on a regular basis (mostly daily) to safely and professionally remove both the solid and liquid waste from each toilet and from the community completely. As our toilets are waterless, we don’t manage the distribution or removal/treatment of water. We are exploring ways to convert pit latrines, so that they are more hygienic for users and their waste can also be managed by our collection process.

Are the franchise's subsidized even indirectly in anyway? Or can these businesses stay afloat on their own? Transportation seems to always be the major challenge to centralized sites for processing. Are the treatment and storage sites also being franchised?
Some of our school toilets have been subsidized through partnerships with a variety of NGOs and other organizations. Our commercial toilets, however, are stand-alone businesses that stay afloat on their own. All our Fresh Life Operators can access interest-free loans through our partnership with Kiva.

Our central collection points and treatment and storage sites are not franchised; we own all of them outright. We are, however, piloting mobile waste transfer stations and other ways to increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of our collections process.

Saw from Laura Kimani's presentation dated Jan 2015 the slide on "Nitrogen fertilizer from urine". How are you using/transforming urine into a fertilizer? Nitrification? Losses?
In collaboration with EAWAG, we’ve been piloting ways to valorize our urine and the effluent from our biogas for liquid fertilizer. The primary process we’ve been working to develop is nitrification.

The management and logistics surrounding urine are very different compared to dry faecal material. The volume for urine is so much larger (at least 10-fold). Are urinals being promoted? What about franchising vegetable farms using urine where it is being produced following the standard WHO storage requirement?
We are exploring the development of urinals and other ways to collect more urine. As mentioned above, however, our urine valorization processes are still being developed, so the large-scale collection and processing of urine is still a bit down the road.
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Re: Production and Market Demonstration of Fecal Sludge By-Products At Scale (Sanergy, Kenya)

Hello Medora
Thanks for the explanations. Looks like good progress on all fronts. What sort of conceptual design is Sanergy considering regarding upgrading pit latrines so they can be connected to your composting stations. This if found efficient could become a breakthrough for faecal sludge management and reuse. Are you thinking about urine diversion and relatively dry pit latrines? Shallow design allowing for easier and more frequent emptying? Fee structure similar to the present ecosan toilets? What about using the Fossa alterna model which will allow composting in situ.

Best wishes

Arno Rosemarin PhD
Stockholm Environment Institute
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Re: Production and Market Demonstration of Fecal Sludge By-Products At Scale (Sanergy, Kenya)

For people with an interest in black soldier fly larvae (insect-based animal feed) production from human excreta, read on:

I recently saw this in one of Sanergy's recent newsletters:

Preparing to launch PureProtein

We have made significant progress on commercializing our insect-based animal feed operation. First, we’ve developed a brand name – PureProtein – and logo for the product, which emphasizes the consistent quality of the product as compared to substitutes, in addition to the target livestock markets. We’ve also transferred our operations to a new facility in order to scale up production to 1 ton per month, by growing our colony of Black Soldier Flies. We are currently engaging investors to finance the scaling of our operations.

We are working closely with Germany-based Hermetia, from whom we will be receiving our new bio-reactor in the coming months, which will be used to mechanize and optimize the rearing of larvae. Engineers Laura Kimani and Elizabeth Wangari were in Germany for one month to receive training from Hermetia on the new bio-reactor.

In a pilot conducted on chickens in January, our PureProtein animal feed performed comparably to fishmeal-based feeds (currently the main animal-based protein input for feeds), and we can further optimize the formulations used to outperform fishmeal, often called Omena. We continue to receive strong interest from feed millers and farmers in the region, and we look forward to commercializing the product in the next quarter.




Here is the link to their newsletter:
us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d705e543efc...56f7e09&e=dd29520909

I tried to find out more information on their website but it's not on there (yet). But if you have questions or comments about this, please put them here.

Interesting for me as a German that they've teamed up with a German company for this. :-)

Regards,
Elisabeth

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant in Frankfurt, Germany
Community manager of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
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  • medorabrown
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Re: Production and Market Demonstration of Fecal Sludge By-Products At Scale (Sanergy, Kenya)

Hi Arno,
We're still in the early phases of working out what works best in our context and what government regulators may require from us; whether it's retrofitting pits to hold our containers or whether it's filling in pits and effectively replacing them with FLTs. For more on Sanergy's thinking around CBS, please check out a recent Woods Institute webinar David participated in here: woods.stanford.edu/news-events/event/web...sanitation-solutions

Cheers,
Medora
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