Bill Gates uses poop to show off pioneering toilet

Microsoft founder Bill Gates tried to draw attention to the lack of toilets in developing countries with a jar of human waste during a forum in Beijing on Nov 6 2018

Gates even went on to taste from the water made from faeces and said something like 'he would happily drink it every day.' He has also invested in a small-scale treatment plant which is able to process waste from pit latrines, septic tanks and sewers.

"This expo showcases, for the first time, radically new, decentralized sanitation technologies and products that are business-ready", said Gates during the opening plenary of the Reinvented Toilet Expo."It's no longer a question of if we can reinvent the toilet and other sanitation systems".

The former chief executive of software giant Microsoft said on Tuesday that the technologies on display at the three-day expo in Beijing represent the most significant advances in sanitation in almost 200 years. "And I definitely never thought that Melinda would have to tell me to stop talking about toilets and faecal sludge at the dinner table", the billionaire told a laughing audience.

There are multiple designs of the new toilet, but all work by separating liquid and solid waste. "It's a question of how quickly this new category of off-grid solutions will scale", he said.

Gates pointed out the jar in his hand could contain "as many as 200 trillion rotavirus".

The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the African Development Bank also announced at the expo commitments with the potential to unlock 2.5 billion US dollars in financing for sanitation projects that provide people in all parts of a city, including the poorest neighborhoods, with safely managed sanitation services. According to him, die each year about 500 thousand children under the age of five years.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Gates discussed the inequalities in sanitation access.

"Human waste that is properly handled can be a very economically attractive investment due to the health benefits", said Guy Hutton, a senior adviser for water, sanitation and hygiene with Unicef in NY, in an interview.

The stunt, of course, was to underline the very worthy need to deal with raw human waste.

The initial demand for the reinvented toilet will be in places like schools, apartment buildings, and community bathroom facilities.

"You're saving all the costs of the waters, the processing products, but we have to bring it down by nearly a factor of 10 from what the models are like - but that's not atypical for new product markets".

Gates' trip comes amid trade tension between China and the United States, the world's two largest economies, which have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth billions of dollars. "It's gonna take time before we get the volume to really take down to the low end of the market", Gates said.

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