Bill Gates brandishes jar of poop, talks toilet technology

Bill Gates brandishes poo to showcase reinvented toilet tech

Bill Gates brandishes jar of poop, talks toilet technology

"So when I talk about components of this toilet being made in China, others in Thailand, others in the United States - you really want to be bringing together all of that IQ so that you're getting that combination". So these toilets internalize the sewage treatment process and turn human waste into drinking water, agricultural fertilizer, or even energy-one proposed design turns human waste into hydrogen and then stores it in hydrogen fuel cells.

This stinky stunt at the showcase for new toilet technologies was sure to get people talking about sanitation, a pet cause of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Speaking at an expo in Tokyo about this new invention, Mr Gates said: "The current toilet simply sends the waste away in the water, whereas these toilets don't have the sewer".

Which might sound odd until you hear that poor sanitation kills half a million children under the age of five annually and costs the globe over $200 billion a year in healthcare costs and lost income, according to the foundation. "They take both the liquids and solids and do chemical work on it, including burning it in most cases", Gates told Reuters.

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According to Sky News, Gates compared the change from traditional toilets to waterless models as similar to developments in computing around the time he founded Microsoft in the mid-1970s.

Gates' foundation has committed roughly $200 million to the toilet project and expects to spend the same amount again before the toilets are viable for wide-scale distribution.

"For the first time we're really saying, 'can we make it more economic to avoid all of that?' And in the same way that a personal computer is sort of self-contained, not a huge thing, 'can we do this chemical processing actually at the household level?"'

"This year the volume of toilets will literally be in the 100s while people are still kicking tires (testing them)", he said.

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When Bill Gates stands on stage with a jar of human poop, you know you better listen up.

Gates, who was accompanied by a jar of human feces during his expo speech, shared that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will invest an additional $200 million to help decrease the costs of new sanitation goods for the poor and establish new market development in regions where anti-pathogen products are most needed.

The entrepreneur was helping to launch the three-day event in China - where leader Xi Jinping has made a so-called "toilet revolution" across the country a policy priority. "In nearly all cases there is a treatment plan", Gates said.

"It's not a huge part of the budget but the impact is very big", he said.

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