Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

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Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

The SuSanA secretariat is happy to announce the 14th featured user today: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China! (Previous featured users can be found here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/145-featured-users )

Scott joined the SuSanA community in December 2013 in order share his experiences on his Ecosan project: Scott is a Chinese farmer who fertilizes his fruits and vegetables with human waste, which he collects from UDDTs in more than 30 schools.




Read more about his work and his achievements in the following interview and take a look at these exemplary forum posts:
Another good source to find out more about Scott's work is this video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIbZ4F96IQ0

To find all other 67 postings, take a look at Scott's profile: http://forum.susana.org/forum/profile/userid-3522

Thank you, Scott, for sharing your experiences with us!
It is great to see that you don't only dream of sustainable agriculture, but also put forward a good example.

Please also keep us updated on your next project on urine diverting piggeries!



Interview Part 1: About Scott as a person and his work

1. You registered with SuSanA on 04 Dec 2013. Do you remember what made you join the network then?

I did communicate with Arno Rosemarine only about my Ecosan experiments in China before that date. 2013 was my 2nd successful year and I decided to register with SuSanA for reporting what I had achieved in China.

2. What is your nationality and where do you live currently? Have you lived somewhere else before? Where and why – if relevant?

My nationality is Chinese. I have never been living abroad.

3. What and where did you study, and why?

I graduated from Xiaogan Junior Normal college, majored in English between 1988-1990. It is my dream to see the world so I study English very hard.

4. How did you get the idea of establishing an Ecosan Project? What have you reached so far and want to reach in the future?

As the sole agent of Separett in China, I was given an opportunity by Arno to improve the UDDTS with Separett Villa 9000 in the China-Sweden Erdos Eco-town. I had a feeling that we must have the property owners to benefit from the Ecosan projects for obtaining their support.

In 2010, Arno invited me to attend a phosphorus summit in Sweden. I learned that the dry toilets in the world seldom succeeded. I decided to set up the 1st profitable Ecosan project sample in the world, turning the waste into money as we Chinese have this culture for thousands of years.

So far, what I have achieved is that the demand-driven ECOSAN approach is workable with the following achievements:
  1. Since 2010, I have taken the urine from the UDDTs in 31 schools to the orchards as fertilizers, reducing their usage of chemical fertilizer by around 60%, reaching a turnover of 1.3 million Yuan per year.
  2. Over 7,000 people have purchased my apples, cherries, potatoes at a price which is 3-5 times higher than the crops using chemical fertilizers.
  3. I have over 25,000 fans in China in my social media through which millions of people have come to understand the importance of circular economy.







What I want to reach in the future?

My next focus is to set up a company to promote urine diverting piggeries in China solving the pollution caused by pigs manure. We Chinese people eat over 700 million pigs each year. But so far, few people are specializing in dealing with the pollution in large scale pig farms.
Cooperl, a French company, has invented a system to separate the pigs’ urine and solid waste. We are discussing to work with each other in China.

5. How do you get the human waste collected from 31 school UDDTs to your fields? What or who initiated the cooperation between you and the schools?

I bought a truck with a loan and employed a driver to take the urine to the fields owned by peasants. SOHO China Foundation who donated the schools toilets initiated the cooperation between me and the schools.




6. How is the daily life of an apple grower? And what has been the most challenging situation you have faced professionally?

An apple grower has to trim the trees, thinning the flowers, erasing the weeds...all the time.
The most challenging thing is that I do not have enough energy and time to train the teachers and students in time. In some schools the students do not use the UDDTs as we expect.
The 2nd challenge is to serve the customers with consistent quality products since the urine is not fertile enough for the plant to grow.

7. What are the three things you would take to a remote island? Or what are the three “things” that are really important for you in practical terms?

1st, a book such as organic agriculture and etc.
2nd, a match for produce fire
3rd, a fishing rod for fishing to feed me.

8. What books or magazines can be found on your bedside table?

The books written by Dr. Arno Rosemarine about the China-Sweden Erdos Eco-tow and the MDGs.

9. What are your hobbies?

Listening to the radio and swimming.

10. Do you have a personal slogan or a motto that keeps you motivated at all times?

Based in China, establishing a sustainable agriculture, providing save food and improve the water quality to pre-1970’s.




The interview is split up into 3 parts with the next two parts following in the next days.

Have a nice day everybody,

Raphaela
(On behalf of the SuSanA secretariat)

Posted by a member of the SuSanA secretariat held by the GIZ Sustainable sanitation sector program
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany
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Re: Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

Dear SuSanA community,

here is part 2 of the interview with Scott. Have fun reading about his interest and thoughts on sanitation!

Part 2: Scott's interests and thoughts on sanitation


11. What do you see as the biggest threats and the biggest opportunities for China’s future? (In terms of sanitation and public health or in general)

The biggest threat is that few Chinese people like UDDTs and they just want to flush and forget.
The biggest opportunity is that there is a heavy demand for organic and safe food. Thus, we can use the demand-driven approach to fulfill the task.

12. What kind of research topics are needed in the sanitation field?

The methods of applying urine to the crops which can bring profits to the stakeholders.

13. In the “About me” section in the forum you say “trying to set up the most profitable Ecosan project for the world” – In terms of what do you exactly mean by “profitable”?

It seems that all sustainable projects are not sustainable. All Ecosan projects supported by rich countries have failed in developing countries.
For the sake of my waterless toilets business, I must set up a good example turning the waste into money, telling the world that the toilet is a good product worth to buy.

14. What would you recommend to youngsters from countries in the global North who want to get involved in development work – how should they go about it? And does it even make sense?

First, the youngsters must bear in mind that the Ecosan business can last forever.
2nd, they should set up a demonstration project growing vegetables with the urine and solid waste so that the potential customer can taste it and buy it. It takes time.
I investigated that even in China, more than 50% of college students would not eat the vegetables if they knew that it were grown with the human waste.



Kind regards,
Raphaela
(On behalf of the SuSanA Secretariat)

Posted by a member of the SuSanA secretariat held by the GIZ Sustainable sanitation sector program
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany
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Re: Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

secretariat wrote: 13. In the “About me” section in the forum you say “trying to set up the most profitable Ecosan project for the world” – In terms of what do you exactly mean by “profitable”?

It seems that all sustainable projects are not sustainable. All Ecosan projects supported by rich countries have failed in developing countries.
For the sake of my waterless toilets business, I must set up a good example turning the waste into money, telling the world that the toilet is a good product worth to buy.


Very important message, and I hope you will get some challenge to the "most profitable Ecosan project for the world" throne, as right now that is a bit too easy with your project being more or less the only "profitable" one in the world I assume.

Keep up the great work and thanks for taking the time to do this interview!

Microbiologist & emergency WASH specialist
WASH news aggregator at: news.watsan.eu
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Re: Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

Hi, JK Makowka:
Thank you for your comments and encouragment to me. China has the biggest demand for safe food. There is a great space for me to work. I will keep on working to turn the toilet business biggger and bigger with more profits.

Chen Xiang Yang, an apple dealer,is growing apples and cherries with the human waste collected from 31 school UDDTs donated by SOHO China Foundation, based in Tianshui City, Gansu Province , China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., tel:0086 151 9380 3972
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Re: Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

Dear Scott,

It is great to learn more about you. I am glad you studied English so now you can share your experiences with us.

I have also thought of making a urine-diverting piggery. Pigs are very intelligent and much cleaner than most people think.

A great existing technology is Deep Bedding for Pigs, where some 50 cm of coarse, dry, organic matter is kept on the floor to absorb the urine, and, since the pig will dig and root, it covers the feces itself. In 6 months, when the pig goes to the slaughterhouse, beautiful soil goes back to the farm. No water is wasted and the river is not affected at all.
www.thepigsite.com/articles/3464/pigs-the-deeplitter-solution/


This could be combined with urine diversion. It may be much easier to do for male pigs, but even if it only works for half of this pigs, this would still be a huge advance.

On a separate note, did you see this new Waterless Urinal design?
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2015/12/un-nuev...inario-sin-agua.html
It would be very practical to set these up in the schools you work at. Students would mostly need to urinate at school, this keeps the urine entirely separate from feces, and no pumping is needed.

I look forward to seeing more news from you.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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Re: Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

Chris:
Thank you for your valuable information. Unfortunately, Youtube is not allowed in China. I can not watch theat vedio.

Deep Bedding is not new to us. I was born in central China where we grow rice mainly. Each familiy make a rice straw bed for the pigs and the bufferlo. But now, individual peasants can not affort to raise pigs by themselves because of the high labor cost. Huge pig farms are producing pork of us and they do not use the deep bedding technology which takes a lot of time.

As for the UD peggery, a Frech company, Cooperl, has been working on it since 2010.The system is name TRAC which can separate the urine from solid waste very efficiently.

best wishes
Scott

Chen Xiang Yang, an apple dealer,is growing apples and cherries with the human waste collected from 31 school UDDTs donated by SOHO China Foundation, based in Tianshui City, Gansu Province , China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., tel:0086 151 9380 3972
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Re: Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

Dear Scott,

I searched for Cooperl's TRAC system and there is very little information ... and that little bit contradicts itself. This is likely because they do not want anyone to copy them. In summary, it seems that the urine flows down the sloped floors into buried tanks. The feces apparently get scraped off the floor and some of the sources say they make biogas, others say that they simply dry the feces out to be sold as a soil conditioner.

I like the idea of keeping the urine separate and getting the feces into a biogas reactor as soon as possible, but I think it can be done in a cleaner and more economical way by "house training" the pigs. Dogs and cats get house-trained, so why not pigs? Pigs tend to not deposit at random in their pens, but in certain spots. I suspect the pigs would also prefer their excrement to disappear, if given the chance.

Training could include disagreeable sounds when they miss and treats to eat when they get it right. Designs could be different for males and females.

I think it would be good to combine this with deep bedding, since the pig would be happier and healthier, plus the deep bedding would deal with any "accidents" of feces or urine. The bedding should not have to be changed during the entire life of the pig.

On a separate note, do you have experience with the numerous biogas reactors in China? What economical design would you recommend for processing the feces and stomach contents at a slaughterhouse?

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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Re: Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

Dear community,

it is nice to see that Scott's work is being further discussed. Maybe Scott can find the time in a few days to answer the last comments and questions by Chris, in the meanwhile we want to publish the last part of the interview with Scott:

Part 3: About Scott's opinions about the forum

15. Do other farmers also use the forum?

No, in China, I am possibly the only one who is using the forum though I often market the forum website in my social media, Webo and Wechat.

16. Which topics or categories on the forum do you feel most passionate about?

To scale up the Ecosan projects and make it profitable

17. What don’t you like about the forum or about other forum users?

I like everything and everyone in the forum. But, I am too busy to participate the discussion.

18. What is your advice to the forum moderators?

Try to discuss the Ecosan projects that can sustain themselves.

19. What developments are you observing with the discussion forum?

The projects in Africa and India.

20. Which developments do you like, which don’t you like?

It makes me uncomfortable to see Ecosan projects without mentioning the farmers. We need the farmers to get involved to have a better profit. It seems that in the forum, few people are talking about the profitability of the Ecosan projects, which is the most import aspect for all stakeholders.


Thanks again, Scott, for sharing your experiences, visions and pictures with us!






Kind regards,
Raphaela (On behalf of the SuSanA secretariat)

Posted by a member of the SuSanA secretariat held by the GIZ Sustainable sanitation sector program
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany
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Re: Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

Hi Scott and everyone,

Thanks, Scott, for your answers in Part 3.

It would be great to include more Chinese and others who do not speak English

Would it work for Google Translate to translate Susana posts to various languages and people who speak whichever language could sign up to receive the forum in their preferred language, with the option for these same members to correct the translations whenever they like? If anyone abuses this privilege, it can be taken away.

---Previous paragraph translated into Chinese by Google Translate---
它會為谷歌工作,翻譯成蘇珊娜帖子翻譯成不同的語言和誰講任何語言可以註冊以接收該論壇以他們的首選語言的人,與這些相同的成員選項修正翻譯只要他們喜歡?如果有人濫用這種特權,它可以帶走。

---Same paragraph translated into Spanish. Not perfect, but fully understandable.---
¿Funcionaría de Google Translate para traducir mensajes Susana a varios idiomas y las que hablan el idioma que podría inscribirse para recibir el foro en su idioma preferido, con la opción para estos mismos miembros para corregir las traducciones cuando quieran? Si alguien abusa de este privilegio, que puede ser quitado.

Google might like this idea enough to help set it up. B)

With respect to Scott's suggestion to involve farmers more, would it be possible for Forum members to help mobilize a system of scholarships for thesis students throughout the world who want to study the application of urine and decomposed feces as fertilizer in agriculture?

Scott, would you mind telling us more about how you fertilize your apple trees? Or are there proprietary issues with protected intellectual property? What problems did you have to overcome?

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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Re: Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

Hi, Chris:
Sorry for my late answer to you.
1, To get more Chinese farmers involved in this forum, we need a Chinese version. But, Google is not a good translation tool.
2, As for how I apply the urine to the apple trees, please search Urine Superpowers in www.youtube.com . I just pump the urine out from the shool toilet urine tank, transport it to the orchard ,park the truck in a higher place and apply the urine to the trees one by one.No intelectual properties for applying the urine to the crops since it is a common sense for all Chinese.
3, Cooperl Trac technology for the piggeries
Cooperl started building urine diverting peggeries as shown in the attached file since 2010. Only 3% solid waste is contained in the urine. Quite successul separation, I think.
Did I answer all your questions?
best wishes
Scott

Chen Xiang Yang, an apple dealer,is growing apples and cherries with the human waste collected from 31 school UDDTs donated by SOHO China Foundation, based in Tianshui City, Gansu Province , China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., tel:0086 151 9380 3972

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Re: Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

Hi, Chris:
Sorry. I do not have the experience with biogas reactors. But, I did applied the liquid of the biogas reactor fot the apples trees. The apples taste good but many trees died because I applied too much to the trees. It is a heavy lesson.
FIY. In China, few farmers can afford to raise a pig by themselves. All the biogas reactors built for farmers are sleeping because of the lack of raw material.
best wishes
Scott

Chen Xiang Yang, an apple dealer,is growing apples and cherries with the human waste collected from 31 school UDDTs donated by SOHO China Foundation, based in Tianshui City, Gansu Province , China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., tel:0086 151 9380 3972
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Re: Featured User (14) of June 2016: Chen Xiangyang (Scott) from China

Dear Scott,

Please do not worry about the delay. I know that you are very busy.

Thank you for the info on the Cooperl TRAC system for separating the urine and feces of pigs.

Thank you also for the info on how you fertilize the trees. I am surprized that you do not dilute the urine before giving it to the trees. Do you water the trees before or after urine application? Do you apply the urine any time of day, in any weather, at any moment in the annual cycle of the tree?

Maybe dilution could have saved those trees that died sfter application of concentrated biogas digestate. Too much of that slurry killed those trees, but have you ever killed a tree with too much urine?

Have you ever made liquid organic fertilizer by fermenting the urine with other organic materials, like animal manure, weeds, biogas digestate, etc.?

If Google Translate is not good enough to translate into Chinese, what would be a better alternative? Do you think some university would like their students to do this, to learn more about Sustainable Sanitation and to practice their English?

I hope you have great success with your activities.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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