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Toilet Technology
News Bytes 11/7/2018 14 Comments

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates brought an unusual prop to the podium yesterday. He was making a plea for the safe disposal of human waste at the “Reinvented Toilet” Expo in China. “You might guess what’s in this beaker—and you’d be right,” the former CEO of software giant Microsoft said.

Gates wasn’t just being gross or sensational: He had a point. “This small amount of feces could contain as many as 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs,” he told the crowd. Gates went on to say that pathogens like these cause diseases that kill nearly 500,000 children under the age of five every year.

More than 20 companies and academic institutions are exhibiting new toilet technologies at this week’s three-day expo in Beijing, from self-contained toilets to a small-scale, self-powered waste treatment plant called the Omni Processor. The expo focuses on the need for toilets that work without water-fed sewers—which much of the world does not have.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent $200 million since 2011 to encourage research and development of safe sanitation technology. “The technologies you’ll see here are the most significant advances in sanitation in nearly 200 years,” Gates said.

A United Nations group estimates that 4.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to safely managed sanitation—and that 480,000 children under five die every year from diarrhea, mostly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. There’s an economic cost too. According to a study by Oxford Economics and Japanese toilet maker Lixil, poor sanitation cost the world nearly $223 billion in 2015.

We don’t often think to be thankful for toilets. What other conveniences do you enjoy that you can thank God for?

(Bill Gates, former Microsoft CEO and co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing. AP Photo)

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Most recent comments

first comment!!!!!!!!!!!!

first comment!!!!!!!!!!!!

that's so gross!?

that's so gross!?

I thank God for.....

refrigerators because without them food would spoil and stuff

Comment

Wow, I hope it works! Carson F, you beat me to it : )

500,000 Kids

thats a lot of graves stones I hope that the new toilets help

Clothes houses and warmth

Clothes houses and warmth

Me to

Me to

this is a great article considering thanksgiving is so close!

l am thankful for a lot of stuff but half of them would not fit in this comment space! First l am thankful for money because probably all of you guys our comfortable in your homes like l am (meaning you aren't poor). Also sports because a lot of family l know don't do sports because either they don't have enough money to or think they need to be focusing on other things, and we seem to kind of take them for granted. :( There is a lot of other things that l am thankful for but they (as l already said) won't all fit in the comment space! -Lucy M (Meg M's older sister) (I have wrote most of the comments) (except the baseball one, I have written all of them)

I am thankful for learning

I am thankful for learning and books which aren't available to many people around the world

I'm thankful for heating and

I'm thankful for heating and air conditioning. :-)

I am thankful for horses but

I am thankful for horses but I guess that doesn't count as a "conveniences";)

I thank God for....

computers and phones. some people don't even have any technology and wifi ! computers can help us learn alot. and there are some things that we can do on the computer( example : shopping on line, amazon)

and those are things that we

and those are things that we dont need!

I'm thankful for....

I'm thankful for all the learning that is available to Americans. I'm also thankful for books.

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