These new toilets could solve a global problem

More than half the world’s population lacks safe sanitation. Toilets that operate without running water might help.

A toilet is like a “super vaccine,” says Doulaye Kone of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “It kills disease where it is produced.” Traditional sanitation systems are costly to build and maintain, so the foundation’s Reinvented Toilet initiative is helping to develop alternatives such as the toilets seen here. Safe and inexpensive to operate, these commodes can function without running water and, in some cases, electricity. They’re also sustainable, eliminating pathogens while recovering nutrients and energy.

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