From Excrement to Excellent


Between the ages of four and 11, my friend and I used to tell each other “bathroom stories.” These tales of elementary school restrooms didn’t have much narrative arc—most of them could be boiled down to one revelation, like “one time I saw the inside of the boys’ room!” or “there’s a kid in my class who goes to the bathroom, like, a hundred times a day!” What made bathroom stories so compelling was the simple fact that they were about bathrooms, which are, as a rule, in equal parts hilarious and fascinating to kids.

Much as we at Plenty would like to say that we’ve left the days of bathroom stories behind, some of our recent posts (try here, here, and here) would suggest otherwise.

So you can imagine how tickled we were to learn that the Indian village of Kunnathur is testing out… eco toilets! Composting toilets, which turn human waste into fertilizer, have been gaining popularity among greenie homeowners in the States, but as far as we know, this is the first time they’re being tested on a village-wide scale. An article on the Development Crossing blog has a nice description of how the toilets work:

The eco-toilet is built above the ground with a twin-chamber beneath the toilet pan to collect faecal matter, over which ash is strewn to help dehydrate and deodorise it.  Urine and wastewater are then diverted and let out onto to a home garden, while the faecal matter in the chamber is reduced to powdery manure that can be removed from the chamber once a year.

There you have it, folks: scatological and ecological at the same time. Now that is a bathroom story.

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Comments

We have a similar project going on in a village in Alaska. It's being done by the University of California Davis using our Envirolet composting toilets.

See: http://enviroletbuzz.com/archives/2006/12/000530.html.

We have a similar project going on in a village in Alaska. It's being done by the University of California Davis using our Envirolet composting toilets.

See: http://enviroletbuzz.com/archives/2006/12/000530.html

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