Not Subtle, But It Works: Peepoo Bag Converts Human Waste Into Fertilizer

By Amos Zeeberg (Discover Web Editor) | April 15, 2009 3:53 pm

peepoo1.jpgTaking recycling to a whole new level, the Peepoo bag allows you to, well, pee and poo in a bag, which can then be planted to help your garden grow. For slums in the developing world where human waste is an unregulated nightmare and flying toilets are common practice, the bag provides a means of waterless sewage disposal and organic fertilizer all in one easy, biodegradable step.

The bag is lined with Urea, a common fertilizer that breaks down urine and feces into ammonia and carbonate. Pathogens in the waste, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, are killed within anywhere from a matter of hours to several weeks.

The pH value increases as the material is broken down, and plants eat up the ammonia byproduct as the bag degrades in the soil. At the moment, the Peepoo bag is made from 45 percent renewable materials, but the developers are striving to get to 100 percent. And boy, did they do their homework: They even calculated the expected nutrients from the average person in sub-Saharan Africa, and converted that into estimates of how much fertilizer can be produced. Now, all that’s left to do is keep peeing (and pooping), and start planting!

Related Content:
Discoblog: Agriculture of Hard Knocks: Ex-Cons Start Organic Farm in Kenyan Slum
Discoblog: Celebrities Sell Cars, Beer, Clothes…and Toilet Use?
DISCOVER: Sludge: The New Fertilizer

Image: Peepoople

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