Bill Gates wants to reinvent the toilets

We all know that around a billion people are not eating enough and around 1.5 billion do not have access to electricity. But do you have an idea of how many of our fellow human beings are lacking access to proper toilets ?

2.5 billion people, more than a third of Mankind. This staggering amount leads to 2.5 million cases of diarrhea in children each year, and 1.5 million kids die as a result of cleaning the crude pit latrines and septic tanks.

Given those numbers, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has decided to launch a competition due to invent what could be called Toilet 2.0.

Many teams around the world started working to win the competition and its first prize of $100,000. To have a look at the winners, please read Grist hilarious article. (If, however you have no scatological sense of humour, I recommend you read Huffington Post’s equally interesting article, albeit less funny)

Given all the buzz around toilets nowadays – see my post in August about the Singapore University – I have no doubt that in twenty or thirty years from now we will be using toilets that do not waste water and that even create electricity and/or fertilize our fields…

This is the kind of science fiction I can’t be waiting to see…


Edouard is a sustainability and energy professional committed to bringing our societies to a carbon neutral future. He has been writing on related topics on this very blog since 2007.

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