Reinvent the toilet, save the world? Ecuador is betting on it.

(WASHINGTON POST)  November 2, 2015 — Using a dry composting toilet is less gross than you’d expect — and it could save lives.

The composting toilet is adorable; all cheery plastic curves in a bright Smurf blue. It seems to belong in a playhouse.

Outside, roosters strut and crow, pigs snort and snuffle in their cinderblock pens, and a gaggle of children race around the countryside east of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s biggest city. The late afternoon is swollen with heat, but the outhouse itself is shady and cool, miraculously free of any stink — the stench of a Honey Bucket at a construction site, of a grotty urinal at a dive bar, or even the flush toilet frequented by my four-year-old twin boys.

[How vultures evolved to live on rotting, feces-covered meat (and what we can learn from them)]

Founded in 2007, Fundacion in Terris develops dry, composting toilets designed for poor families – an alternative to unsanitary open defecation and water-wasting flush models. About 2.5 billion people around the world lack access to safe sanitation. If captured and stored improperly, human waste can contaminate drinking water and lead to disease and death. About 1.5 million children die each year of diarrheal diseases, much of which could be prevented with improved sanitation and safe drinking water. A grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has supported development, field testing and commercialization of these injection-molded plastic toilets, which costs about $300.

Source: Reinvent the toilet, save the world? Ecuador is betting on it. – The Washington Post