The “Reinvent the Toilet” competition financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $3 million to researchers at eight universities to find ways of using new technology to create toilets that need not be connected to sewers, or to water and electricity lines, and that are cheap to use. A later stage of the competition will provide money for one or more of the winning prototypes to be produced commercially.
It may all sound a bit silly but even in the developed world the cost of providing sewage treatment is considerable and in many parts of the world the absence of proper sewage systems is a major threat to health.
We wish the inventors luck with their work – but we don’t think it is likely to reduce Drain Doctor’s workload in dealing with blocked drains anytime soon.
- Novelties: Their Mission: To Build a Better Toilet (nytimes.com)
- Bill Gates Looks to Reinvent the Toilet (tech.slashdot.org)
- Poo Poo Philanthropy – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Invests in Toilet Technology (TrendHunter.com) (trendhunter.com)
- Bill Gates To Reinvent The Toilet (realthinktank.com)
- Bill Gates To Reinvent The Toilet (mashable.com)