Lets start with an inspiring story which says: ALL DISRUPTIVE TRENDS, START WITH ONE VOICE... then some join in if it MAKES SENSE and if it FEELS RIGHT and eventually that's how change happens.
When I first saw this, I thought it was a bit silly but nevertheless, it moved me to tears every time I revisited it and it gradually took on meaning ... perhaps now we are meant to disrupt the damaging toilet technology that was made for the queen of England in the 1800s because WE CAN ... back in the 1800s, they couldn't reliably treat toilet waste on-site and so unfortunately, the flush toilet went on to become the norm for the whole world for hundreds of years.
NOW WE CAN DO SO MUCH BETTER
Long-term composting is a process for treating toilet waste where the solid fraction (feces and toiletpaper) is isolated for several decades and the urine undergoes a process that makes it safe to use.
It is the better alternative to flush toilets,
sewers and sewage 'treatment'. It uses no water, is entirely odor free,
is easy to use, looks great, and functions in perfect harmony with the
environment. Indeed its good for it!
ELTC has four essential characteristics:
1. Always odor-free: before, during and after use... because all odors
are ventilated down the toilet and not across the room as is usually
the case with flush toilets!
2. Over a long term period (many decades), the process shrinks the solid
components to near ash content 1-2% of the added organics ... yet, the
equipment takes up surprisingly little room for what it accomplishes.
It eliminates transportation of toilet wastes which is one of the primary
reasons for why we have sewers.
3. The process concomitantly renders urine odor-free and pathogen-free
and yields an organic fertilizer which is without metal contamination
and can happily be used on the garden.
4. It neither uses nor pollutes water and has a very small over-all
energy demand ... therefore it is an ideal toilet system for the new
millenium to counteract global warming, pollution and drought.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The waste that takes up space in the process tank is predominantly
the last year's addition and the roughly 30% remaining from
the year before that plus the 12-14 % from two years ago etc.
as can be seen in the diagram below. After 5-6 years the waste
volume in the processing tank only increases with 1-2 % per
We will in the coming text refer to this reduction
as an "exponential decline"
To the right is yet another way to describe the
volume resulting from 30 years of composting in a long term composting
tank. One reason why this technology hasn't "caught on"
is that nobody seems to believe that the waste pile only grows with
the 1-2% year rate after 5-6 years. The assumption is that when
the volume looks like approaching "full", it is necessary
to empty the tank ...
could very well be our deadliest enemy as we face new threats
to life on planet earth.
We can't solve problems by using the same kind
of thinking we used when we created them --- Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and
more complex. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage
to move in the opposite direction. --- Albert Einstein
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong,
gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises
at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult
subsides. Time makes more converts than reason" ---Thomas
Paine - Common sense (1776)
Facing a global environmental crises and acute shortage of
drinkingwater, we need to question the western convention of
mixing precious drinking water with infectious fecal matter
and to do it on a massive scale !
WHY SHOULD WE ABANDON
WHAT WE DO NOW ?
BECAUSE NOW OUR EXCREMENTS ARE ALREADY DANGEROUS TO SPREAD INTO THE ENVIRONMENT
FOR REASONS THAT ARE VIRTUALLY UNKNOWN :
There are many good reasons -- let us mention four here:
1. Protecting scarce resource number one: clean
There is irrefutable global warming -- droughts and floodings will increase
probably even faster than the most pessimistic official reports, and
with that, clean drinking water may soon be the true scarce resource
in the world.. It borders on insanity to use 1/3 of our drinkingwater
to deliberately pollute it with pathogens and spread it in the environment!
2. Protecting scarce resource number two: clean
Long term use of chemical fertilizers actually depletes the soil. The
balanced nutrients contained in the human waste, in the urine, can easily
be recovered in a directly usable form through long term composting.
systems. Thus human waste is put to good use, rather than replacing
it with an inferior source of chemical plantnutrients, where only a
part of the needed ingrediances gets replaced.
3. Protecting scarce resource number three: fossil
Now that global warming is accelerating and every one is experiencing
various manifestations and consequences all around us (observations
so obvious that even the US republican government cannot deny it any
longer), workable, effective strategies for reversing CO2 production
are more crucial than ever if we want our children to have a decent
life on the planet. Replacing the nutrient base in chemical fertilizers
with human and animal waste would save a huge amount of energy in all
the steps from extraction, processing and distribution of chemical fertilizers.
Phosphorous is a finate resource which requires increasing amounts of
energy to extract. This would also greatly improve the quality of our
food, which is now impoverished by the narrow replacement of chemically
produced nutrients lacking all the micronutrients.
4. Protecting scarce resource number four: money
for public works Waste transportation counts for around 90% of the total cost
of the waste industry and is accepted because there is wide spread ignorance
and prejudice against keeping the waste on-site even if it doesn't cause
problems ... Simply containing and processing the human excreta and
organic waste on-site in a long term composting system could eliminate
the transportation of said wastes.
We are many and a rapidly growing number of people all
over the world who strongly feel that agriculture should NOT be a subset
to the chemical industry. The prize we pay for seemingly perfect looking
fruits and vegetables is horrendous -- cancer, birth defects, rampant
allergies etc. cannot and should not be ignored by agriculture and if
it is there will be a great divide between chemically mass produced,
shunned food and organic, healthy food.
Many somehow think that we cannot have food production without chemicals
..., chemical fertilizer, pesticides, weed killers etc. Below is another
approach that will take time but can be and must be implemented if we
are to survive the bad reputation which chemical food production has
earned through conventional methods.
IT STARTS WITH WHAT WE REPLACE PLANT NUTRIENTS WITH IN AGRICULTURE !
Instead of using chemical fertilizers that only effectively replaces
the main building blocks of organic matter -- N,P and K -- human and
animal fertilizer replaces the whole spectrum of nutrients including
the micro-nutrients that give plants taste, good nutrition and resistance
to disease. By doing so we would also cut in half the pollution caused
by agricultural run-off and the now flushed out nutrients from sewage
systems. It may seem to be an impossible change to make but the first
step is simple. We can immediately apply a technology for dealing with
toilet waste that catches the whole nutrient base from human excretion,
without spreading disease from human pathogens.
By switching over to odor-free, hygienic toilet systems that catches
the plant nutrients without mixing them up with technical waste, we
would get these nutrients back in a directly usable form. This full
spectrum fertilizer strengthens the plants and we will not, as now,
need to kill everything that we consider a threat to the crop as they
get better at defending themselves. The food we produce will taste better,
be more nutritious and attract better prices in the markets. Small natural
blemishes is then, not a sign of bad agriculture but a sign that these
fruits and veggies are organically produced and will be good for us
and the environment.
So amazingly, healthy food starts with how we incorporate our and other
animals bodily secretions in the cycle of our food production.
ELTC can be used anywhere and can rapidly be augmented with new transport
systems that use air instead of drinkingwater. Here are some examples
of where the system is used today:
Highway project in Europe (E6 sweden):
Here are projects on beaches and highways in the USA: