Sustainable Solar Sanitation System profile

Sustainable Solar Sanitation System

Georgia Institute of Technology

This team is addressing the issue of sanitation in developing countries through the development of a dry latrine system that provides sustainable, affordable, and safe treatment of human waste using the sun’s energy. While some dry (waterless) latrines are already being marketed, a system has yet to be developed that effectively inactivates Ascaris cysts, which present a major health risk to people in communities with inadequate sanitation facilities.

The team is working to create a latrine that captures both solid and liquid wastes, provides space to store solid waste for a specified time, exposes it to concentrated sunlight in order to deactivate and kill all pathogenic organisms, and then uses the deactivated waste as fertilizer in a revenue-generating microenterprise. The team has fielded several prototypes in remote areas of Bolivia and, using lessons learned from the field, is currently working to refine the design to make it more robust, effective and profitable.

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