Gates Foundation launches several rounds of reinvent the toilet challenge (RTTC)


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Re: Gates Foundation launches 2nd round of reinvent the toilet challenge

Thanks for mentioning this.

I totally agree with your comment that marketing of "high-tech" solutions might be the key in some areas.

I have one question regarding the requirements though: Do you think a small DEWATS system connecting <100HH would still fall under the no outgoing sewer requirements? I assume not, but technically it is all self-contained and I guess that is the original idea.
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Gates Foundation launches several rounds of reinvent the toilet challenge (RTTC) - and RTTC fair in Seattle in August 2012

RFLOI: Reinvent the Toilet Challenge (Round 2)
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announces the second round of its Reinvent the Toilet Challenge designed to prototype a means of dealing effectively and cost-efficiently with human waste for the 2 billion people on earth who currently lack access to safe and affordable sanitation.

"...prototyping and testing entirely stand-alone, self-contained, practical sanitation modules which intake bodily wastes and swiftly dispose of them without any incoming water piping, outgoing sewer piping or electric or gas utility services. These modules must intake all outputs of the serviced population – ultimately at single-residence scales – with minimal module footprints and assured biosafety. Thus, chemical and mechanical engineering approaches are preferred."


Richard Holden already mentioned his thoughts on this new approach by the BMGF via the ecosanres Yahoo! group, so I am wondering what you, dear SuSanA members, think about these new requirements (bold formatting done by me) ?

I personally like it that the high-tech approach is regarded as a plausible solution and hope that someone will come up with some sort of Magic Toilet 3.0 that may also scale later on. I also believe that these high-tech approaches must not necessarily be that bad. Who knows, maybe there's going to be a system that pops out dry pellets or anything else that we may dispose of safely?

As far as I read this offer, all mentioned requirements are some sort of Desiderata and a guidance for where the future BMGF support is aiming at - with a special focus on self-contained solutions. I understand that they are also only focusing on brown and yellow water, leaving an option for a future grey water treatment. Dunno about anal cleaning practices though and how to tackle this side.

What I especially like about the high-tech approach as such is that high-tech solutions may be an ideal marketing instrument.
Many people in developing countries don't buy/drive Lada or Dacia, but Mercedes and BMW, if possible. Similarly, the ideal toilet may also be a high-tech product and not just the typical low-cost, low-tech solution - and be something (that) people are willing to invest in. Something the slum dwellers can take along once they move around (like their TV & VCR sets - our main investment competitors).
So that's why I don't oppose any high-tech solution even though I am also very sceptical how such a zero output will be achieved (hence the pellets idea).

What DO YOU THINK about this?
Juergen Eichholz
watsan eng.
water, sanitation, IT & knowledge management

Toilets in Frankfurt/Main
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