21. re.source: sanitation service for urban slums
2.6 billion people in the world do not have access to safe sanitation, causing diarrheal disease that is the second-leading global cause of child deaths. One billion people live in urban slums, and that number is growing. Slum residents currently have a lose-lose choice between overcrowded public toilets, open defecation, and private latrines that are expensive to build and maintain. Few squatters and renters can invest in an immobile asset like a latrine. Narrow alleys make it difficult and unhygienic to empty the latrines that do exist. This results in dangerous and undignified living conditions and significant environmental degradation.
A sanitation service that relies on an ultra-low-cost portable household toilet with removable containers to collect and transport wastes safely from dense urban communities community. Beyond being odorless, hygienic, and vector-free, this urine-diverting dry toilet is pleasant to use and appeals to the aspirations of our customers. We will collect and deliver the wastes to compost or other resource recovery sites, where the wastes will be converted to valuable end-products for sale to agricultural, energy, and other customers. Since many communities are too dense for on-site treatment, we are developing a two-step collection process. First, full containers are removed from the homes and replaced with clean ones. The containers are transported in carts or dollies from homes to collection centers, where they are then transferred to trucks for transport, processing, and cleaning at the resource recovery site. We can then sell the end-products to help finance the service.
Why it should be recognized:
Most previous efforts to resolve the global sanitation crisis have wrongly focused on the provision of toilets without concentrating on the service supply chain that ensures lasting impact. Our solution establishes a complete sanitation service built on two revenue streams: user subscription fees and sale of recovered resources. The portability of our toilet also provides financial flexibility while lowering risk for the service operator and the customer. A customer can rent a toilet or finance it through subscription fees like cellular service providers finance phones in the US, avoiding large up-front toilet purchase costs that would be a prohibitive barrier to entry. Also, our target customers often face the risk of eviction or expulsion from their homes. Because the toilet is portable, customers can transport their toilet with them or return it to the service provider if they move or are expelled. This solution provides a novel and robust mechanism for delivering sanitation in dense urban areas where previous approaches have failed.
On Apr 10, 2013 ivan.prock said: This sounds like a clever solution to a huge problem, but my one concern is how the effluent would be treated. There was a study awhile ago about the negative effects to the health of people living downwind of fields that had been treated with human waste. I would imagine that certain viruses/bacteria etc. can become airborne and infect those to the lee of application zones.
On Apr 10, 2013 arif.khan said: It looks quite impressive even for highly dense slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh
On Mar 11, 2013 laura.kwong said: From disease-causing waste to life-supporting fertilizer!
On Mar 10, 2013 julia.g said: Great project, and Rachel is cool.
On Mar 09, 2013 elise.guinee-cooper said: You guys are awesome!
On Mar 08, 2013 ashish.jhina said: This is a well designed solution centered around the needs of its consumers. Wish you the very best of luck!
On Mar 07, 2013 jeffrey.starke said: This has a lot of potential. I like the theme of including local stakeholders in the implementation. The truth is that the underpinnings of accessability to public health and sanitation solutions is more about engagement than technology.
On Mar 07, 2013 andrew.pfluger said: A brilliant project. Truly a feasible solution to one of humanity's greatest problems.
On Mar 05, 2013 mia.mattioli said: This is one of the few feasible solutions for sanitation in slums. The JMP definitions for improved sanitation are not feasible in these types of communities and are therefore often ignored when it comes to funding and resources. Innovative solutions like the ones implemented by re.source should be rewarded and encouraged for addressing such a neglected community in regards to sanitation. Their project is well thought-out and proved to be not only successful but requested by residents! Rare qualities in the field of sanitation. Bravo and good luck!
On Mar 05, 2013 bryce.holland said: Genius!
Submitted: Jan 07, 2013
Author: Sebastien Tilmans
  • Water (Resources)
  • Culture and Engagement (Human Systems)
  • Knowledge Development & Transfer (Human Systems)
  • Product/Service Design (Enterprise)
  • Stakeholders/Community/Infrastructure (Enterprise)
  • Resource/Waste Management (Regional)
  • Disease & Pest Control (Planetary System)
  • Waste Recycling (Planetary System)
URL: www.resourcesanitation.com