Winners of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge

August 14, 2012 | By Bill Gates

Today I attended the Reinvent the Toilet Fair— a fascinating learning experience and an important step in providing safe sanitation for everyone in the world.

A solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen and electricity – California Institute of Technology

A year ago, the foundation launched an initiative to tackle the problem of sanitation in the developing world. We called it the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. In this photo gallery you can learn more about each of the grantees and their sanitation solutions.

This week in Seattle, the foundation is holding a Reinvent the Toilet Fair. Today I awarded prizes to three universities who responded to our challenge a year ago to come up with solutions for capturing and processing human waste and transforming it into useful resources.

The winners included:

  • first place to California Institute of Technology in the United States for designing a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen and electricity,
  • second place to Loughborough University in the United Kingdom for a toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water, and
  • third place to University of Toronto in Canada for a toilet that sanitizes feces and urine and recovers resources and clean water.

A special recognition was awarded to Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) and EOOS for their outstanding design of a toilet user-interface.

Watch this AP video report on the Reinvent the Toilet Fair.

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4 responses to “Winners of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge

  1. Nripendra Kumar Sarma, Guwahati, Assam (India)

    Congratulation to the Winners and also thanks to the Gates Foundation for their approach for reinventing the Toilet Design.
    Now the issues remain – (a) Down to Earth option (no high tech)
    (b) User friendliness (c) affordability (d) sustainability.
    These issues are more important from rural areas points of view.
    Thanks.
    Regards.
    Nripendra Kumar Sarma

  2. Tapan Kumar Behera Consultant (Sanitation & Hyegine), WSSO Kalahandi Orissa

    many many thanks for winning challenge of reinventing the Toilet Design. let the benefits be reached to rural people of entire world and more perticulaly for India. I again thanks.

  3. Carmen da Silva Wells

    I fully agree with you Nripendra. We need down to earth options that can be applied at scale and they must take into account needs/ wishes of users, be affordable and sustainable. For sustainability, technology isn’t enough. Good governance is essential. I argue the same in my blogpost: http://www.source.irc.nl/page/73812

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