Bill and Melinda gates foundation is taking high roads on the philanthropic side. The foundations latest attention is on merging technology with innovative designs to create a reinvented toilet. In a latest competition organized by the foundation, designs from bright minds from all across the world were welcomed.
The core idea was to create a toilet which doesn’t use running water, electricity or a septic tank. The inventors had to come up with alternative ideas to create smarter toilets which did not expel pollutants. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation motivated the participants to create a technology that was cost effective and captured energy which could be utilized for other functions.
The idea came into light about a year back and has already collected around $370 million in grants and foundation funds. The fair which was named ‘Reinventing the toilet’ was hosted at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle. A lot of interesting designs were introduced at the event. Most of the designs incorporated technology to recycle waste.
A design presented at the event used microwaves to transform human waste into electricity. Another unit presented at the event converted toilet waste into charcoal which could be used for combustion. Sophisticated equipment was also presented which used urine to flush the toilet instead of using water.
Most of the acclaimed designs recycled the waste from the toilets to usable resources such as water for irrigation, animal feed etc. A system which used soldier fly larvae to process waste was showcased by The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The unit was cost effective which produced animal feed at the cost of just a penny per day.
Field testing of the units showcased at the event will happen in the next three years. Successful prototypes could revolutionize the toilet systems in middle income countries. The foundation is hopeful about the progressions and expects that the units will solve the crisis faced by around 2.6 billion worldwide.