Up and coming technologies drive the new economy excrement
There is a growing movement to develop sustainable solutions to address one of the world’s gravest public health problems — poor sanitation.
According to a recent article in Nature magazine, globally 2.3 billion people (38 percent of the world’s population) have no access to sanitary sewer systems and deposit their waste in tanks and pit latrines. This number is likely to rise to five billion people by 2030, while at the same time international aid for water and sanitation is expected to be curtailed. The problem with tanks and pit latrines is the lack of proper maintenance and local government oversight that results in overflowing tanks/latrines or improper disposal of the waste.
Complicating the matter is that a reported 892 million people — particularly those in African and Asian regions — defecate in the open, which also presents public health and safety problems.
Researchers and entrepreneurs are exploring a variety of solutions — some potentially commercially viable — to dispose of waste or “sludge,” such as:
- making fertilizer or fuel;
- incorporating it into building materials, such as cement and bricks;
- extracting components for bioplastics and industrial chemicals; and
- converting it to biogas for electricity
The International Private Sewage Disposal Code (IPSDC) addresses the best practices and technologies to ensure the safety and welfare of communities, individuals and businesses that utilize their own onsite wastewater solutions. Currently adopted within 17 states and by 102 jurisdictions, the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico, as well as in Abu Dhabi, the IPSDC is quickly becoming the primary resource for communities that wish to implement safe, affordable private sewage disposal solutions.