Innovation That Matters

Toilets collect human waste for fuel

Sport & Fitness

Sanivation is providing personal toilets in Kenyan homes, cleaning them monthly and turning feces into fuel.

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There are growing examples of systems to tackle sanitation problems in developing countries — we’ve written about a Kenyan scheme that turns waste into fuel to make public sanitation systems sustainable. Now, Sanivation are providing waste management for Kenyans’ personal home use.


Sanivation installs free blue toilets for homes in urbanizing East African communities, with residents paying a small monthly fee (USD 7) to have them serviced. Sanivation believes that this model is more sanitary, more dignified and private, and will encourage more use than public facilities. Waste is collected and processed at Sanivation’s plant, where feces are sterilized and transformed into burnable ‘briquettes’, which are used as a fuel alternative to charcoal. Having self-contained sanitation rather than a sewage system provides a sustainable fuel option — the profit from which keeps maintenance costs low — and prevents contamination of local water supplies.

Collecting waste that will be transformed into a sustainable source of fuel.

The toilets can also provide solutions to temporary settlements such as refugee camps and field hospitals. Can other profitable social enterprise solutions be implemented in developing countries?



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