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Disposable Toilet To Change the World

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the sunshine-in-a-bag dept.

Earth 413

captn ecks writes "A biodegradable and self-sterilizing bag for people of the toilet-disenfranchised world (40% of humankind) to dispose of their bodily waste and turn it into safe fertilizer has been created by a Swedish entrepreneur. It's a dead simple and brilliant solution to a vexing problem. From the article: 'Once used, the bag can be knotted and buried, and a layer of urea crystals breaks down the waste into fertilizer, killing off disease-producing pathogens found in feces. The bag, called the Peepoo, is the brainchild of Anders Wilhelmson, an architect and professor in Stockholm. “Not only is it sanitary,” said Mr. Wilhelmson, who has patented the bag, “they can reuse this to grow crops.”'"

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413 comments

When you see it (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404126)

You'll sh*t bricks!

Re:When you see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404146)

No, you'll shit in what looks like a 2L bottle. Then bury it in your field so you can grow more stuff to shit.

Great for 1st world situations too... (5, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404212)

Hell, these things would come in quite handy during Mardi Gras when you're on parts of the parade route with no porta-johns.....

Re:Great for 1st world situations too... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404308)

Um, in most places in America, the mere act of whipping out your wang to wizz in public can get you on a certain government list you can't ever get removed from...

Re:Great for 1st world situations too... (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404496)

Um, in most places in America, the mere act of whipping out your wang to wizz in public can get you on a certain government list you can't ever get removed from...

You mean the infamous No Fly [wikipedia.org] List?

Re:Great for 1st world situations too... (3, Interesting)

drcagn (715012) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404694)

That's the case here in New Orleans, too. You can suck off another dude on Bourbon St. during Mardi Gras right in front of a cop, but as soon as you start to piss in an alley, you're going down.

Re:Great for 1st world situations too... (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404752)

You can suck off another dude on Bourbon St. during Mardi Gras right in front of a cop, but as soon as you start to piss in an alley, you're going down.

Sounds to me like you're going down in either case...

Re:Great for 1st world situations too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404822)

Sounds to me like you're going down in either case...

YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH

Re:Great for 1st world situations too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404794)

You can suck off another dude on Bourbon St. during Mardi Gras right in front of a cop, but as soon as you start to piss in an alley, you're going down.

Hey CmdrTaco, we're not interested in your Mardi Gras adventures.

Re:But does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404532)

But does it run Linux?

Re:When you see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404824)

I've heard of the circle of life, but I think I'd like more than one element to be in it between me and my feces.

Vegetables -> Me -> Poop ----|
^--text--to-satisfy---spam-filter-|

PeePoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404140)

Well, Shit!

Not to be a naysayer, but can people afford this? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404178)

If you're a poor peasant living in some place where they don't even have toilets, can you really afford bags to poo in? Chances are food and fuel are more important to you.

Re:Not to be a naysayer, but can people afford thi (2, Interesting)

calibre-not-output (1736770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404200)

Maybe he'll donate a bunch of them to the Red Cross? It still needs to be continually supplied in a viable fashion.

The best solution I can imagine is making deals with local governments... not that they care about the population over there, mind you.

Re:Not to be a naysayer, but can people afford thi (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404770)

And shovels. Or are you expected to dig the hole with your hands?

Re:Not to be a naysayer, but can people afford thi (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404398)

Saying that "don't worth a crap" gives a hint of how much it should cost to think that it could change the world.

Re:Not to be a naysayer, but can people afford thi (3, Insightful)

Ractive (679038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404444)

RTFA
it's for URBAN areas where people already crap in plastic bags and throw them helicopter style, this addresses the sanitation/disease problem.

Re:Not to be a naysayer, but can people afford thi (1)

Quaz and Wally (1015357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404548)

From the article

He also found that slum dwellers there collected their excrement in a plastic bag and disposed of it by flinging it, calling it a “flyaway toilet” or a “helicopter toilet.”

...

He plans to sell it for about 2 or 3 cents — comparable to the cost of an ordinary plastic bag.

Re:Not to be a naysayer, but can people afford thi (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404642)

They may already use bags like this, but they certainly aren't buying them at the market for that purpose. These are the kinds of places where people live on half a dollar per day. No poor person is going to devote 6% of their income to crapping. They'll reuse an old bag if they can find one, but barring that, they're just going to take a dump on the ground or dig a small hole.

Re:Not to be a naysayer, but can people afford thi (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404820)

All he needs to do is to put non-branded thank-you logos on them, and market them to the close-to-the-slums grocery stores. I doubt that those "flyaway toilets" are paid for by the users. More likely they're using the bags that the food originally came in.

This only works if the bags can safely hold food products before being used for disposal at the other end of the cycle.

Re:Not to be a naysayer, but can people afford thi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404554)

Exactly. Going behind a bush is free and works just as well. This is good for environmentally conscious rich people only!!!

Re:Not to be a naysayer, but can people afford thi (4, Informative)

postglock (917809) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404592)

From the article: "He also found that slum dwellers there collected their excrement in a plastic bag and disposed of it by flinging it He plans to sell it for about 2 or 3 cents — comparable to the cost of an ordinary plastic bag."

Re:Not to be a naysayer, but can people afford thi (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404606)

This.

These "solutions" for fixing the third world all suck. It's just a bunch of Bono and Dean Kamen-style feel good bullshit that doesn't actually make a difference. What these people real need is a stable government and economic growth. We already have technology that works great for shitting, making clean water, etc. The only word that a third world advocate needs to know is "industrialize."

Shit provides both food and fuel (5, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404648)

e.g.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=methane+digester [youtube.com]

You get methane which can be burned as fuel and the digestate is high in nitrogen, phosphorus and calcium.

Alternatively, lower tech without the gas tight fittings, drop the methane capture idea and use a dry toilet. It's more a matter of education and organisation than anything else.

I'll just point out that by not doing this in the west, we are effectively extracting phosphorus, nitrogen and calcium from our fields and pumping it into rivers and oceans. We then burn a load of fuel to dig up more phosphorus and calcium elsewhere and burn natural gas to produce nitrates to put back on the fields. It's dumb.

The guy creates a brilliant solution... (5, Funny)

calibre-not-output (1736770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404180)

...and goes on to give it a name that five-year-olds everywhere can laugh at until they piss themselves. Presumably that's how he'll collect the urea crystals.

Re:The guy creates a brilliant solution... (1)

catalina (213767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404678)

Seems like he got the name backwards - I would guess that "PooPee" would be more recognizable....

Yes but... (1, Insightful)

fatherjoecode (1725040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404184)

...can you use it while driving 90mph?

Re:Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404252)

WAYYY TOO MUCH INFORMATION! But I did laugh for a good ten minutes over the name alone.
"Pee Poo, where do you want to go today?"

Re:Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404630)

Well, sure, you could, but you'll activate the flux capacitor about 2 mph before that so it is a mute point.

What does a toilet have to do with voting? (0, Troll)

spacefrog (313816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404196)

Adj. 1. disenfranchised - deprived of the rights of citizenship especially the right to vote; "labor was voiceless"; "disenfrenchised masses took to the streets"

Although commonly misused, the word doesn't have any other meanings per the dictionary.

Re:What does a toilet have to do with voting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404286)

Merriam-Webster [merriam-webster.com] says you can take your pedantry and shove it up your Peepoo:

to deprive of a franchise, of a legal right, or of some privilege or immunity; especially : to deprive of the right to vote

If you don't have a place to shit... (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404352)

If you don't have a place to shit, you probably can't vote, either.

So there ya go!

Re:What does a toilet have to do with voting? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404534)

They're making the statement that if you don't vote you probably live in poverty. Thats all.

Re:What does a toilet have to do with voting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404700)

They didn't say disenfranchiesed per se, they said toilet disenfranchised. This playing with the word a bit to create a new definition (i.e., not having something), although not all that new since the actual usage of the word itself--at least in many varieties of English--is far broader than your definition suggests.

Youtube Demo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404208)

...not posted yet!

Restocking? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404216)

And so what do the poor people in $DEVELOPING_COUNTRY do when the initial "complimentary" supply runs out?

Re:Restocking? (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404516)

They will wait for the UN/USAID/Gates Foundations of the world to send some more.

Re:Restocking? (1)

bpkiwi (1190575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404570)

They reverse-engineer it and make cheap local copies. Fortunately people in developing countries have realized that IP laws are being pushed by developed nations to retain their economic dominance - and so they ignore them.

This is quite unfortunate... (5, Funny)

vekrander (1400525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404220)

Too bad for Nintendo as I hear Peepoo was supposed to be the name of their next gen console. It actually works with their current naming scheme too. Wii (We) Peepoo (People).

Complex problem, simple solution. (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404226)

Occam's Razor at work. Much respect to Mr. Wilhelmson.

Re:Complex problem, simple solution. (5, Insightful)

metamechanical (545566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404336)

A recurring cost revenue model for using the toilet is not exactly what I would call a "simple solution." Especially not for people who can't even afford a toilet today.

Now proper fecal composting, THAT'S a simple solution... and damned near free, too. Hell, if you do it right, it's not even supposed to smell.

Re:Complex problem, simple solution. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404386)

From TFA: "He plans to sell it for about 2 or 3 cents -- comparable to the cost of an ordinary plastic bag."

While I agree that a recurring revenue model isn't necessarily the best way, his solution is the best proposed so far, and a relatively inexpensive one at that.

Re:Complex problem, simple solution. (2, Interesting)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404574)

Except you could probably just pour urea crystals into a cesspool and get largely the same effect, without the expense of the bags.

A single bag is 2-3 cents. Assuming you only use it for feces, you're going to use at least one of these a day. A village of 100 people is going to go through $3 a day in these, and on that kind of money you could feed six of them.

I'm not saying this is a bad idea, only that it appears to be an overengineered one.

Re:Complex problem, simple solution. (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404692)

Except you could probably just pour urea crystals into a cesspool and get largely the same effect, without the expense of the bags.

A single bag is 2-3 cents. Assuming you only use it for feces, you're going to use at least one of these a day. A village of 100 people is going to go through $3 a day in these, and on that kind of money you could feed six of them.

I'm not saying this is a bad idea, only that it appears to be an overengineered one.

If they are filling bags with poo, I'd be willing to guess that feeding them is not a problem.

Re:Complex problem, simple solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404746)

You're right:

If they buy these bags and can still afford food, the bags have solved the problem.

If they buy these bags and they can no longer afford to eat, the bags have solved the problem.

Brilliant!

Re:Complex problem, simple solution. (5, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404634)

You're just not looking at the problem the right way. This is a simple solution to the problem of "how to get paid every time a poor person takes a dump". It's the pinnacle of capitalist science, really.. a major achievement. It's all downhill from here, folks. This man has successfully applied the razor and blades model to human existence: free human, $0.02 per poop for the rest of his life. Let no one claim that western civilization never accomplished anything.

Re:Complex problem, simple solution. (3, Informative)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404402)

Occam's Razor does not have to do with solutions, it has to do with chosing a hypothesis.

But yeah, I salute a simple solution. And hope that it also works... :-)

Re:Complex problem, simple solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404628)

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. H.L. Mencken [wikipedia.org]

fir5T (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404230)

The CathedrAl may disturb 0ther

no thanks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404234)

I don't shit where I sleep, certainly won't shit where I eat!

Perfect for those really long WoW raids. (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404236)

and here I am using a Mountain Dew bottle like a chump.

Re:Perfect for those really long WoW raids. (3, Funny)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404486)

And what about the "burial" part of the concept? Will you bury it under your keyboard, monitor or mousepad? Just asking... because if your raid last really long, it may stink for a while...

Re:Perfect for those really long WoW raids. (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404670)

You must have very slim movements.

Don't they even own a shovel? (1)

Hitman_Frost (798840) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404238)

What stops people digging latrines?

Re:Don't they even own a shovel? (1)

SmackTheIgnorant (985978) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404332)

This

Re:Don't they even own a shovel? (1)

SmackTheIgnorant (985978) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404366)

This

Well, that was interesting - I wrote something else, previewed it, and the result was the word "This". And now I deny the world the joy which was truly witty.

Re:Don't they even own a shovel? (3, Insightful)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404362)

"What stops people digging latrines?"

I think you missed the part where it said ". . .a layer of urea crystals breaks down the waste into fertilizer, killing off disease-producing pathogens found in feces." The difference between shitting in a hole and burying this bag of shit in a hole is that the latter is not only sanitary, but it also helps crops grow.

Re:Don't they even own a shovel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404666)

Is this the same urea that's found in piss, something that people tend to do into toilets too?

Re:Don't they even own a shovel? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404720)

I think you missed the part where it said ". . .a layer of urea crystals breaks down the waste into fertilizer, killing off disease-producing pathogens found in feces." The difference between shitting in a hole and burying this bag of shit in a hole is that the latter is not only sanitary, but it also helps crops grow.

So they just need to piss on top of it?

Or get their dogs to do so, as canines produce higher concentrations of urea than humans.

Re:Don't they even own a shovel? (2, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404772)

Urea, hmm were else is that found, hmm.

Oh I know, urine. All we need to do is get them to shit and piss in the same latrine, or were you thinking they would use a seperate one for each?

Re:Don't they even own a shovel? (3, Informative)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404490)

He based the idea on an existing observed behaviour. But he's using a bio-degradeable bag instead of a polyethylene bag.

Re:Don't they even own a shovel? (5, Insightful)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404594)

I don't know why, but in many parts of India, the government needs to pay people to use a toilet. Even when the government supplies a deluxe porta-potty, the likes of which you can only find at a multi-millionaire rapper's BBQ, the people simply won't use it. I don't know if it's a cultural taboo, or that squatting on the side of the street is believed to be cleaner or easier, but the people just won't use them. I wonder if this bag would be useful in that kind of situation, or if the people just wouldn't use it either.

Remember, we live in a world where many Africans believe that having intercourse with a virgin will cure HIV. Then there are some cultures that punish women with floggings, execution, or even immolation, for having the audacity to be raped. Men are killed for wearing shorts, and lesbians are raped in an effort to cure them. Some people even believe that the moon landing was faked, and that the U.S. government caused the 2001 WTC attacks.

Even if people own a shovel, many simply won't use it because they're too lazy, or too stupid.

The Humanure Handbook (5, Informative)

niko9 (315647) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404242)

Joseph Jenkins --author of the Humanure Handbook-- has been doing this for close to thirty years. His concept also has the benefit of being patent free and simpler. Look see here:http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/humanure.html

All you need is a 5 gallon bucket, some cover material (rice hulls, sawdust, shredded newspaper, or coffee grounds), and teensy bit of brain power.

You can get the book on Amazon or download it for free from his site: http://humanurehandbook.com/downloads/Humanure_Handbook_all.pdf [humanurehandbook.com]

Re:The Humanure Handbook (1)

miltonics (520727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404624)

There are folks using humnaure principals in Haiti [permacultureguild.us] to deal with the lack of sanitation caused by the earthquake.

If your toilet stops working, where are you going to poo? We spend a lot of energy and effort to process it and even then it still ends up polluting our water.

cost (4, Informative)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404246)

The most important factor is cost. It will have to be fantastically cheap to manufacture and distribute this if you want to sell it to people who subsist on $0.10 of rice per day. People who are used to flinging poo out the windows of their shacks will probably be perplexed by the idea of paying to take a dump.

And yes, I have dodged chamber pots in India. Prepare to be depressed if you ever visit the third world :-/

Re:cost (1)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404394)

Not too impossible: Wasn't there like a $1000 car made for the Indian market just some time ago?

This seems pretty, umm, marketable. As much as toilet paper over leaves, anyway.

Re:cost (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404396)

So what happens to bags of crap they already toss out the window? At some point they have to be cleaned up by someone or you would just have massive mountains of HDPE bags filled with human feces.

Re:cost (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404422)

Fertilizer costs money too, and increased crop yields mean more money and food.

It doesn't have to be free, it just has to pay for itself.

Re:cost (3, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404430)

From TFA: "He plans to sell it for about 2 or 3 cents -- comparable to the cost of an ordinary plastic bag."

Re:cost (5, Informative)

niko9 (315647) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404434)

See my above post. I was in a hurry to write before, but now I have a few minutes to elaborate.

Using Mr. Jenkin's humanure method, one only needs a small bucket and clean cover material; all things that should be available locally. The humanure toilet can be kept indoors with no smell or chance of spreading any disease. After one year you will have a nice small compost pile that you can use on your food crops. No need to ship in bags or pay any patent royalties.

Re:cost (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404530)

This dude lives in a first world country and voluntarily shits in a bucket?
From the look of the photos on his site he could at least build an outhouse.

Something (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404250)

about this story stinks

Why don't they build themselves a sewer system (4, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404254)

ok these bags may be better than the current method but it's still pretty much a band-aid solution. It's hardly going to "save the world".

What I don't get is, why doesn't Kenya and all these other 3rd world countries build a real sewer system? It's not rocket science; the Romans did it over 2000 years ago using nothing but hand tools, rocks and some volcanic cement. Yes it was labor intensive, but AFAIK labor shortage isn't a problem in most 3rd world countries, is it? Besides they should be able to get access to some heavy diesel equipment on loan through UNICEF or World Bank or some such organization.

Re:Why don't they build themselves a sewer system (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404644)

What I don't get is, why doesn't Kenya and all these other 3rd world countries build a real sewer system?

Corruption.

Re:Why don't they build themselves a sewer system (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404664)

What I don't get is, why doesn't Kenya and all these other 3rd world countries build a real sewer system?

A couple of issues: First is often water supply. If you don't have a reasonable water supply, it's hard to build a complex sewer system which relies on water flow. If you're trying to compost things, that's a bit easier in this respect but this leads to the other major problem: Civil planning and infrastructure. It's pretty easy to make a composting toilet / latrine / whatever for low population density places. It's hard to do so for shanty towns which tend to have a high population density and very low ability to plan major projects.

You just don't build a sewer system. It takes lots of planning - remember shit flows downhill. You really, really want the downhill to be the correct one. It doesn't work if a bunch of squatters starts digging a hole to dump their waste on the next group of squatters. You need engineers, surveyors, the ability to determine property lines, etc.

Certainly this isn't rocket science and if the local warlords quit trying to rape the countryside for their own gains all of the time, you could imagine it getting done, but it just doesn't seem to happen much. Functioning civil governance is often taken for granted. It shouldn't be.

Re:Why don't they build themselves a sewer system (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404704)

Niggers.

Re:Why don't they build themselves a sewer system (4, Interesting)

md65536 (670240) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404710)

why doesn't Kenya and all these other 3rd world countries build a real sewer system?

Way to wait till someone invents a simple solution, to come up with an even simpler solution!

Also... I heard that a lot of people don't even have bread to eat. Why don't they just eat cake?

"Why don't they just" is a good solution to having the poor pull themselves up out of poverty by their bootstraps, but there are a lot of interrelated problems keeping them down, that need to be solved first (or simultaneously) in order to allow building infrastructure to pay off. It's worth trying to tackle, I think, but I also think that a few thousand dollars worth of bags that turn disease-producing waste into fertilizer would go a LOT further than the same money spent on heavy diesel equipment.

Also keep in mind that much of rural north america isn't fit with a sewer system, and if it's not feasible here it certainly isn't in rural parts of the third world. A sewer system isn't a solution for all parts of the world.

Re:Why don't they build themselves a sewer system (1)

Sir_Real (179104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404712)

Labor shortage not so much, but roving gangs of rifle armed religious fanatics, well... that's something the Roman's never had to deal with

Re:Why don't they build themselves a sewer system (1)

josteos (455905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404816)

Without religious fanatics how do you feed the lions ?

Re:Why don't they build themselves a sewer system (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404774)

That's a nice toilet you've got there. I wish *I* had a toilet. You'd better not step out of your shack, it'd be a shame if somebody were to take it from you...

Re:Why don't they build themselves a sewer system (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404800)

The issues generally depend on who is in power. Not all politicians are in it for the betterment of the country, but rather themselves. Building a sewer system and anything else were a whole lot easier when Slave Labour was around, but now a third world country has to follow the first world example and abolish slavery - meaning that you can't simply feed a man and expect him to work 18 hours of the day. The Pyramids weren't built in a day. Nor a week, nor a month nor a year. Great Pharoahs basically spent their entire lives building monuments to themselves. The Colleseum took years to complete with labour in the hundreds of thousands.

So lets suppose you can get hundreds of thousands of people on board to build a sewer system across your Third world City. How are you going to pay them? Money won't do them much good if there is no food. Where's all the food going? Well you feed the top down to the bottom. Politicians first, then their secretaries, and so on and so forth. By the time it reaches the labour pool there is hardly any remaining. This wasn't an issue thousands of years ago because all the major population centers were built around sectors of lush farmlands. Egypt was the breadbasket for many years because of the Nile. You'll notice they are still doing pretty well, all things considered. They also sent large amounts of their population abroad, in armies, to use the food of other nations. Could you imagine doing that today? Like say Ethiopia forming a military, and sending it to Egypt - what kind of disbalance that would cause?

The whole "Build a sewer system" is much more complicated than people realize. Yes - you can lay the statement that Romans had running water in times that predate the common era. I can just as easily say that European Colonies did not for over a hundred years. Wheres the Aquaducts?

Not, Bad, but... (1)

Pirate_Pettit (1531797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404258)

It's a pretty good idea, and one people have been tying to get right for a while, but dude - what's with the name? How is anyone ever going to take you seriously? Nobody wants to see "4,768 Peepoo's" on an invoice.

“they can reuse this to grow crops.”' (0, Redundant)

BigDXLT (1218924) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404272)

Fat Bastard: "I don't remember planting any corn!"

finish them! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404274)

Nuclear weapons would be a better solution

Already exists (3, Informative)

frist (1441971) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404278)

http://www.thepett.com/ [thepett.com] http://www.thepett.com/index.php?PageLayout=PRODUCTS&pageID=95 [thepett.com] Too late. These are already in use. The "poo powder" is some kind of fungus that reacts w/the heat and liquid and gives off gas that kills the bacteria, so you can toss the bag in a trash can, landfill etc.

Re:Already exists (2, Informative)

pz (113803) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404424)

http://www.thepett.com/ [thepett.com]
http://www.thepett.com/index.php?PageLayout=PRODUCTS&pageID=95 [thepett.com]

Too late. These are already in use. The "poo powder" is some kind of fungus that reacts w/the heat and liquid and gives off gas that kills the bacteria, so you can toss the bag in a trash can, landfill etc.

If you read the article (I know, I know) the Pee-Poo was designed to fit within the existing habits of some of the developing world where people already use plasic bags to dispose of their excrement, tossing it into open spaces. A standing toilet (like The Pett) would require more room and a change in behavior. The Pee-Poo just means buying special-purpose plastic bags, with the side benefit that (a) the waste is sterlized, and (b) it potentially can be reused as fertilizer if the community can organize and plan at those sorts of timescales. I'd be interested to see what sort of testing they did to ensure that these bags do, in fact, sterilize their contents. The Pee-Poo article was short on that detail.

That will go over real well. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404282)

I can just see the buzz on the street now... "they want me to pay every time I poop..."

I predict 0 adoption.

Re:That will go over real well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404654)

This is being sold to people who already buy plastic bags to poop into. They are already paying for it. And the price is supposed to be the same.

Hmmm.... (4, Funny)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404318)

This must be the famous Sack of Shit I keep hearing about.

I think it's a nice solution (2, Informative)

cyberzephyr (705742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404346)

I'm really glad to see that someone found a way to make human waste safe for crops.

That has been a big issue in general for farmers in countries where there are less than adequate water safety facilities.

It's hard to afford fertilizer in war-torn or otherwise de-stabilized countries when you have a bunch of kids to feed.

Peepoo? (1)

dcmoebius (1527443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404350)

It's a bit on the nose, isn't it?

Perhaps a buy one donate several model? (5, Interesting)

ravenscar (1662985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404416)

It would be interesting to see a corporate model that allows these items to be sold to the hiker/camper crowd in the first world with revenue for those sales being used to donate the bags to places with a need. For example, I could easily see the Seattle area yuppie hiker crowd paying $10 for three bags at REI. Let's say it costs $5 to produce, package, import, market, and retail these bags. $4 of the remaining $5 could be used to produce more bags and donate them to international aid organizations.

Re:Perhaps a buy one donate several model? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404650)

Speaking as a hiker/camper and maybe even a young urban professional, I own an entrenchment tool and I will not be crapping in a bag.

*Sniff Sniff* (1)

derekg52 (1749230) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404432)

I call bullshit.

Bonus: Captcha = excretes

Soylent Green is FECES! (1)

bodland (522967) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404462)

Oh my god I am so sorry.

Finally get those kids off jenkem (3, Funny)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404494)

Finally, we can get those kids off jenkem [wikipedia.org] !

pharmaceuticals the real cost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31404526)

Human wast composts itself if buried properly, the real threat is all the pharmaceuticals we are taking. Yes I know people in poorer countries are not taking as many crazy drugs as most first world citizens, but still what happens when all the AIDS retrovirals being consumed are now tilled into the soil and part of the next growth of crops, mixed with the watter supply, etc. Maybe nothing and maybe ....

I immediately thought... (1)

ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404610)

...of a really disgusting version of haggis.
Yes. MORE disgusting haggis!

Overkill for pee (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31404656)

From TFA: 'Once used, the bag can be knotted and buried, and a layer of urea crystals breaks down the waste into fertilizer, killing off disease-producing pathogens found in feces.

If you pee when you poo, then this is superfluous as pee already contains urea.
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