Water-free sanitation in Peru
In a nutshell
Lima is the world’s second-driest capital city due to its desert location and the impacts of climate change. Its conventional water based seweage system cannot reach all of its population.
Most of these residents use pit latrines, which pose a number of hygienic risks. Moreover, for logistical and cost reasons, when their latrines become full, people generally close them up and build new ones rather than having them emptied. This practice uses up available space and increases the risk of ground collapse as a result of soil contamination.
A pioneer in sustainable sanitation, x-runner has developed a system that satisfies the needs of users while meeting modern standards of sanitation and waste treatment. Its portable dry toilet separates liquid from solid waste, collecting the latter in a bin lined with a compostable bag. The system includes a weekly pick-up service whereby full bags of solid waste are collected from customers’ homes and treated at a hub facility through a composting process. What sets x-runner’s solution apart from the many alternative technologies that have emerged in recent years is that it provides a “cradle-to-grave” solution, collecting as well as processing toilet waste in an ecological way.
From 2013 to 2017, we supported x-runner in testing whether its solution is scalable and sustainable in economic, ecological and social terms. In this extension of our collaboration, we are helping the company upgrade its solid waste treatment plant to meet WHO hygiene and sanitary standards. It is using the grant to improve the plant infrastructure and to engage a public health and sanitation expert to thoroughly assess the microbiological risks, develop sanitation safety measures and train x-runner’s workforce in implementing those measures.
Goals and Expected Impact
This project will help x-runner identify previously unmapped risks, improve working conditions for its staff and better protect the health and hygiene of its customers.