Technology has moved forward by leaps and bounds in many areas, but there’s one device that really hasn’t changed all that much: the toilet. And in many areas of the world, even the standard toilet found in American bathrooms in the year 1900 would be a huge leap forward.
Proper waste disposal is crucial if the human hopes to deal with disease and health areas in underdeveloped areas that don’t have toilets and sewage systems and water treatment plants and other waste-related infrastructure that Americans take for granted. So I applaud Bill Gates for taking the lead in trying to spur new approaches to toilet design and sludge disposal, with the goal being to break waste down into its constituent entities, conserve water in areas where potable water is scarce, and deal with the bacteria, microbes, and other disease carrying entities that are associated with human waste. You can read about some of the new approaches, and the efforts made by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in this area, here.
The linked article suggests that advancing toilet technology could save the world more than $200 billion every year. I’ll let others do the math, but I think the key is to use technology for more than just room-sweeping robots and better selfie quality. I’m glad to see that people are trying to tackle a basic problem that could produce immeasurable benefits in the quality of life of people who live in underdeveloped parts of the world.