Tag Archives: toilets

You too can become a poo!

Miraikan-Toilet-Exhibition-logo

You can dress up as a poo and get flushed down a gigantic toilet in Tokyo’s Miraikan science museum. The toilet is the centre piece of an exhibition on human excrement and the search for the ideal loo. At the end of the exhibition, visitors are thanked by a choir of toilets.

Children climbing into giant toilet

Photo: Japan Times

The exhibition, sponsored by the LIXIL Corporation, runs from 2 July until 5 October 2014 and costs 1200 yen (around US$ 11 ).

Web site: Miraikan - Special Exhibition “Toilet!? – Human Waste & Earth’s Future” English | Japanese

 

WEDC – A Collection of Contemporary Toilet Designs

EOOS-WEDC-Toilet-Book

A Collection of Contemporary Toilet Designs, 2014.

Author: Rod Shaw, ed. WEDC-RGB-adapted4

This collection is the result of the findings of EOOS research which was supported by Sandec, the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). It covers a wide range of contemporary toilet designs along with a valuable list of website links where additional information about each design can be sought.

This volume is a synthesis of the initial research log, designed and produced by The Water Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) at Loughborough University. As conventional toilet designs are not included, it does not claim to be fully comprehensive but it nevertheless provides a useful overview of current research and development for fieldworkers and practitioners as well as engineers and researchers.

Thai researcher reinvents toilets for urban poor

Thai researcher reinvents toilets for urban poor | Source: Ishani Bose, dna – Aug 18, 2013 |

Dr Koottatep aims to create a toilet that converts waste water into power, biogas. 

Studies show that while 900 million people in India have access to mobile phones, about 600 million people have no access to proper toilets. This interesting fact set the tone for our conversation with Dr Thammarat Koottatep, who has about 18 years of experience in environmental engineering, waste water treatment and decentralised sanitation technologies and planning.

A researcher in the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand, Koottatep was in the city on Saturday with regards to his ongoing research on the subject of reinventing the toilets in the countries which received $5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr Thammarat Koottatep

Dr Thammarat Koottatep

Before coming up with this project, we conducted a study and we realised that there are two fundamental sanitation challenges. First is to expand and improve sanitation without central sewers, because this is by far the most common type of sanitation services used by the poor and the other is to make sanitation services safe and sustainable by addressing the failure to effectively transport, treat and reuse waste captured in on site facilities,” said Koottatep.

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Caltech’s prize-winning solar-powered toilet – video

A video demonstrates the working of the prototype of the solar-powered toilet that won the first prize of US$ 100,000 in the Reinventing the Toilet Challenge issued by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Solar-Powered Self-contained Human Waste Water Treatment System was developed by Prof. Michael Hoffmann‘s research group at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

In 2011 the Caltech team was awarded a US$ 400,000 grant to create a toilet that can safely dispose of human waste and reuse water for just five US dollar cents per user per day.

Solar energy powers an electrochemical reactor, which converts human waste into fertiliser and hydrogen, which is stored in hydrogen fuel cells as energy. The treated water can be reused to flush the toilet or for irrigation.

The toilet, which could cost US$ 1,000 or more per unit according to the Seattle Times, is still a prototype and would need to be adapted before it can be launched commercially.

Source: Marcus Woo, Caltech, 15 Aug 2012 ; Theodoric Meyer, Seattle Times, 14 Aug 2012

‘T is for Toilet’ wins ‘ABCs of Death’ film contest

Lee Hardcastle‘s clamation ‘T is for Toilet’ is the winner of a contest to find the “next great horror filmmaker” launched by Drafthouse Films, Magnet Pictures and Timpson Films.

Inspired by children’s educational books, the ‘ABCs of Death‘ is an anthology film by 26 leading horror directors who each were assigned a letter of the alphabet.

“T is for Toilet” tells the nightmarish tale of a frightened young boy and his first attempt using the bathroom all by himself. Not recommended for toilet training.

Source: MrDisgusting, BloodyDisgusting.com, 15 Nov 2011

South Africa: Harvesting Nutrients That Are Flushed Away

Durban — It might seem unusual for a waste utility to be concerned with the goal of ending world hunger, but that’s part of the mission of the Water and Sanitation department in South Africa’s second largest city of Durban. AllAfrica’s Julie Frederikse spoke with Neil MacLeod, who heads this department for the municipality known by its Zulu name, eThekwini.

“Intensive agriculture requires fertilizers, whose main component is phosphorus, yet where does our phosphorus go after it goes into crops and is digested?” said eThekwini Municipality Water and Sanitation director Neil MacLeod. “Into a toilet. And then it goes into a treatment works, then into a river, and it gets washed into the sea.”

With an estimated 30 percent of household water used to flush Durban’s toilets – water which the city has paid to pump and purify – MacLeod sees flushing toilets as unsustainable technology. Like much of Africa, South Africa is water-scarce, with water restrictions expected soon for this city of 3.7 million, whose population is swelling by some 150,000 people per year.

MacLeod sees salvation in an alternative toilet that uses no water at all. Called the Urine Diverting (UD) toilet, it separates urine from faeces so that nutrients can be recovered and returned to the earth. Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus – aka NPK 5:3:1 – is an excellent fertilizer for growing vegetables.

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Global Toilet Design Guideline Ready for Public Comment

ICC, WTO Draft of Global Toilet Design Guideline Ready for Public Comment

(PRWEB) June 16, 2011

Alarming statistical facts such as 2.6 billion people do not have access to proper sanitation, a child dies of a waterborne illness every 15 seconds, and safe drinking water is not available to 1.1 billion people likely generate compassion. But it does much more than that for global sanitation leaders and professionals in the water- and plumbing-related fields who can drive change and help save lives.

One major initiative intended to facilitate easier, less costly construction of restrooms is the “Global Guideline for Practical Toilet Design.” Developed by the International Code Council (ICC) and the World Toilet Organization (WTO), with assistance from committee members representing sanitation-related organizations around the globe, the document is in the final stages of development, scheduled for late summer release.

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Green toilet for India’s Slum Dwellers

April 22, 2011 – While other industrial designers merely tweak the appearance of the latest electronic gadget to make minor improvements to trivial point-of-sale appeal, Israel’s Noa Lerner, a Berlin-based industrial engineer, is developing a much more crucial necessity: a mobile public toilet for third world urban slum dwellers, with applications anywhere slum dwellers are threatened by untreated wastes.

Lerner was struck by the existence of the problem on a trip to India, finding that even the centers of large cities had no public toilets. It is even worse in slums, where no sewage system exists. 

The design that she created at her company x runner-venture, involves a top that resembles the familiar toilet bowl, placed over a removable container covered with a plastic layer with odor-repellant and anti-bacterial substances. A very small amount of water is used to rinse the top bowl.

These nearly waterless green toilets could be emptied like chamber pots, but with a difference. About once a week, these could be rolled (securely closed of course!) to a neighborhood collection facility.

Each of these toilet barrels is sealed and nano-coated in a way that allows them to be used for a week at a time without emptying or cleaning.

Once it’s time to empty, the barrel is brought by an individual or a multi-barrel servce to the local Biogas Plant. Once there, waste is traded for energy in the form of cooking gas, warm water for showers, or electricity. All of these forms of energy are generated by processing the human waste at the Biogas Plant.

Once the contents collected at a neighborhood facility, where the secretions could be farmed to create methane gas through composting, which can then be used as an energy source or fertilizer.

Working with the Indian non-profit: Sulabh, which is already operating various ways of serving the needs of slum dwellers in India, Lerner will create a pilot project to be launched in India’s capital.

Related website: x-runner venture

ILLUME MAG

When are communal or public toilets an appropriate option?

When are communal or public toilets an appropriate option?We would all prefer to have our own household toilet rather than just access to a communal or public toilet but in some low-income urban communities, provision of individual household toilets is problematic. A recently published Topic Brief from WSUP (Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor) argues that, despite numerous challenges, communal or public toilets can be the most appropriate medium-term solution in some specific situations: notably in high-density slums with a high proportion of tenants and/or frequent flooding and water-logging. In such situations, what can be done to ensure that communal or public toilets provide a high-quality service of genuine benefit to all members of the community including women and the very poor? This Topic Brief offers an overview of these questions for sanitation professionals and planners.

Financing communal toilets
The financial sustainability and ongoing maintenance of communal and public toilets is a particular concern. The WSUP Practice Note “Financing communal toilets: the Tchemulane Project in Maputo” takes a look at issues around the financing of communal toilets in Maputo (Mozambique), including citywide scale-up costs.
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These publications form part of a newly initiated series of Practice Notes and Topic Briefs, through which WSUP aims to share experience and stimulate debate about water and sanitation service provision for the urban poor.

To keep up to date with this growing publication series, go to http://www.wsup.com/sharing/index.htm or join our mailing list at http://www.wsup.com/news/index.htm.

Lennon’s toilet sells for £9,500 in Beatles auction

An unnamed overseas collector has paid £9,500 (US$ 14,750) for John Lennon’s toilet at an auction in Liverpool on 28 August 2010. This was much more than the £750 to £1,000 it was expected to fetch.

The toilet was originally part of a bathroom in John’s Tittenhurst Park homes which Lennon purchased in 1969. Lennon gave the ornately decorated toilet to a builder to take home during a refurbishment with the message “put some flowers in it.”

Read more in an earlier blog post.

Source: BBC, 28 Aug 2010