A Review of the Financial Value of Faecal Sludge Reuse in Low-Income Countries


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A Review of the Financial Value of Faecal Sludge Reuse in Low-Income Countries

Adrian Mallory, Rochelle Holm and myself have just published:

A Review of the Financial Value of Faecal Sludge Reuse in Low-Income Countries

Faecal sludge reuse could promote responsible waste management and alleviate resource shortages. However, for this reuse to be carried out  at scale, it needs to be financially viable. This paper reviews the  financial values of resource recovery from 112 data points from 43  publications from academic and grey literature. The results found 65% of the existing literature is projected rather than being based on observed data from products in practice, with limited studies providing  actual experiences of revenue in practice. Some of the estimates of the  potential value were ten times those observed in data from operating businesses. Reasons for this include pricing of products against  unrealistic competitors, for example, pricing briquettes against diesel  fuel, or difficulties in marketing or regulation of products in  practice. The most common form of reuse in practice is agricultural  composting, which is also the lowest value product. Few cases were able  to achieve more than $5/person/year from sludge reuse, therefore other  drivers are needed to promote proper human waste disposal, including the health and dignity of citizens, but which are not easily monetised.  Certification and recognition of product safety can improve the  perception of value and products. Resource recovery has a limited role in the financial viability of providing Circular Economy sanitation in  low-income countries. Instead, there is a need to focus on supportive  policies and subsidies enabling the transition towards a Circular  Economy supporting environmental quality, ecological health and human health.

You can download the full text for free here .

We'd love to hear your opinion about it!
Alison Parker
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