Human Waste can Help Save Planet: Indian Expert

by Medindia Content Team on Oct 17 2007 6:45 PM

A cheap system to recycle human waste into biogas and fertiliser may allow 2.6 billion people in the world access to toilets and reduce global warming, an Indian environmental expert said Tuesday.

Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, said his group plans to push the system at the seventh annual World Toilet Summit, to be held in New Delhi at the end of October.

The organisation is dedicated to providing toilets to nearly 730 million people in India who lack them.

"The Millennium Development Goals set in South Africa in 2002 aim by 2015 to cut by half the 2.6 billion people worldwide who lack toilets and provide them to all by 2025," Pathak said at a briefing ahead of the summit.

He said India's contribution would be a toilet system that organically breaks down faeces into trapped biogas that can be burned to provide cooking fuel and electricity, and convert urine into fertiliser.

"Now we want others to know about this technology which was recently installed at Kabul, Afghanistan, because it can help meet the Millennium Development Goals and reduce global warming."

Founded in 2001 as a non-profit organisation, the World Toilet Organisation aims to make sanitation a key global issue and now says it has 55 member groups from 42 countries.