Some estimates of the global market size (in $, not people) for pit emptying?

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  • tgurksi
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Some estimates of the global market size (in $, not people) for pit emptying?

Hi everyone,

In support of trying to apply a "startup" methodology to various new FSM technologies, I'm trying to find some estimates of the global market size (in $, not people) for pit emptying. Surprisingly, I haven't been able to find information that is both global in scale and with the appropriate scope (expenditure for emptying and transportation for pit latrines and septic tanks in low and lower-middle income countries). I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could point me in the right direction to find this information.

Cheers,
Tom
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Some estimates of the global market size (in $, not people) for pit emptying?

Hi Tom,
Let me try to give this thread a bit of a boost. I am trying to remember if we had this question before on the forum, but I think we haven't. A related sub-category would be the one on "faecal sludge transport":  forum.susana.org/99-faecal-sludge-transp...its-and-septic-tanks

You have probably already browsed there. Two years ago Nicola posted a somewhat related thread that gave some interesting responses:
Number of vacuum trucks and pit latrine emptiers in Africa - CROWDSOURCING INFORMATION PLEASE
forum.susana.org/99-faecal-sludge-transp...g-information-please

When you say "global" do you mean even high-income densely populated countries like the European ones? I am assuming the market there for pit and septic tank emptying would be pretty small. But perhaps in high-income less-densely populated countries (United States, Canada, New Zealand maybe) there would be a bigger market for such services? Is that also how you see it?

Regarding a "start-up methodology" you probably want to zoom in on those countries where the potential market is most lucrative/dynamic/interesting?

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Elisabeth
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  • povington
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Re: Some estimates of the global market size (in $, not people) for pit emptying?

Hi Tom,

It's not global, but this study ( https://www.susana.org/_resources/documents/default/2-1662-chowdhury-2012-business.pdf ) from 2012 describes the market for FSM emptying services in detail across 10 countries. I think it could be one of the stronger sources for expenditures related to emptying. It's based heavily on surveys conducted in a few cities in each country. You can scan section 4.3 (Market Size for Emptying Services) to get a sense of the data most relevant to your question. You could stitch these and other data together to shape your global estimate, maybe viewing the profiled cities or countries as archetypes for other countries not covered herein.

If you aren't already familiar with it, the JMP household sanitation data ( https://washdata.org/ ) would be a useful reference point for OSS usage by country.

Last year, our team at RTI Innovation Advisors put together a market sizing model for fecal sludge treatment plants in India. You can access it via the Sanitation Technology Platform (STeP) Resource Center here ( https://www.stepsforsanitation.org/2019/10/op-market-sizing-model/ ). While we didn't look at emptying costs, some of the intermediary calculations could be helpful as you think about estimating OSS emptying frequency by country. This is likely a core assumption for your purposes, as the product of 'Population' x '% of Population with OSS" x '% of population receiving OSS emptying (ever)' x 'Emptying Frequency (or how often the OSS is emptied'  will be useful in comparing markets. The way we built our calculation (see 'Inputs and Summary Outputs' tab, cells C18-C20) could be replicated using data from SFDs collected on tab 'SFD Data'.

Happy to answer follow-up questions if it's useful.

Best,
Tyler
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  • tgurksi
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Re: Some estimates of the global market size (in $, not people) for pit emptying?

Thank you Elizabeth and Tyler.

I did manage to find some of the resources you mentioned and, with the help of Nicola, put together some rough numbers. 

With 720 million OSSs in the world (from JMP) and a population-weighted average annual household expenditure on emptying services of ~$28 (based on data from Chowdhury/Kone), the total addressable global market for emptying services is ~$20 billion. 

To determine the serviceable portion of that market (the portion that would realize the value proposition of novel pit-emptying technologies), I considered it to be the 370 million (from JMP) OSSs comprising un-emptied urban systems and manually emptied urban and rural systems. I exempted un-emptied rural systems because it's not clear if a better (or at least more customer-appealing) solution is to dig a new pit. The annual serviceable market for pit-emptying systems is therefore about $10 billion.

Given an average of 3 years between emptying for urban systems and 5 for rural (I don't remember where I pulled these numbers from) and assuming an average of 3 pits emptied per day per emptying system, I came up with a total global demand of 115,000 new pit-emptying systems. 

Happy to field any feedback on these numbers or methods!

Thanks again,
Tom
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