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Bjorn Lomborg

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The Toilet Revolution

2016-08-16

Politicians and philanthropists often talk about abstract, lofty ideas such as sustainability and transformation through dialogue. So Bill Gates and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be applauded for tackling a more mundane, but crucial, subject: toilets.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wants to transform toilet technology itself, so that toilets aren’t dependent on major infrastructure, such as sewage systems and water-treatment plants. In 2011, the Gates Foundation launched its Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, which provides grants for researchers “who are using innovative approaches – based on fundamental engineering processes – for the safe and sustainable management of human waste.” The hope is that twenty-first-century toilets will convert human waste into energy, fertilizer, or even drinkable water.

Published by:

Project Syndicate

Category:

Articles

Language:

English