Bill Gates Showcases Reinvented Toilet

  • Bill Gates Showcases Reinvented Toilet

Bill Gates Showcases Reinvented Toilet

The expo, co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China Chamber of International Commerce, is being held from November 6 to 8 in Beijing and is focusing on how innovations in sanitation can transform lives for the better.

"I have to say, a decade ago I never imagined that I'd know so much about poop". They all work by separating liquid and solid.

Holding a beaker of human excreta that, Gates said, contained as many as 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder explained to a 400-strong crowd that new approaches for sterilizing human waste may help end nearly 500,000 infant deaths and save $233 billion annually in costs linked to diarrhea, cholera and other diseases caused by poor water, sanitation and hygiene.

Gates was at the three-day event to support Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his "toilet revolution", which has become a priority across the country.

"It's no longer a question of if we can reinvent the toilet and other sanitation systems", Gates told the BBC.

Gates went on to explain that the aforementioned pathogens cause diseases that kill almost 500,000 children under the age of 5 every year.

During his keynote, Gate held up a jar with human feces in it, noting that the amount of human waste in that jar alone contains 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs.

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

"Getting rid of that waste is key to human health", he said, adding that in the West "it all gets cleared up and we take that for granted". "As we have all these newer cities with lots of less wealthy people in them, those sewers have not been built and in fact, it's not likely they will ever be, so the question is, could you do it?"

That 500,000 figure is the number of children who die annually because of water contaminated with human waste that hasn't been processed properly.

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

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.

"The problem will get worse if we don't do something about it", said Mr Gates.