Only in Boulder would a $12,000 toilet for four people be billed as a solution to help sanitation for poor people. According to CNBC, a new toilet developed by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a toilet that turns human waste into fertilizer, solid fuel, and heat. Where the poor people come in is that it operates entirely off the grid, and, thus, countries wouldn’t have to create costly sanitation systems. Of course, the people in developing countries still need running water to drink, for cooking, and to bathe, so it’s not entirely a cure-all.
The inventor of this mighty throne, Karl Linden, told CNBC that the toilet is meant to “address the issue of management of fecal sludge.” Linden explained the by product:
“From four to six people it’s actually not that much that comes out – it might be one hundred grams, a few hundred grams, that come out of that, but as you collect it over time you can create value.”
No word on whether that value would ever add up to the purchase price of $12,000, but forecasts are cloudy. The way the toilet works is that there is a collection dish that harnesses solar power to turn the toxic mess into some kind of energy.
As Colorado, a sunny state itself is well aware, solar power is not always a reliable solution and the toilet could only be used in North Africa, the Middle East, parts of India, and maybe some parts of the Arctic where sunlight is abundant. While this is an amazing solution for green investors looking for their next subsidized project, let’s hope that this doesn’t inspire Colorado’s liberal legislators into mandating the use of such a green bathroom apparatus. We joke, but they’ve done it before and the results for some Coloradans were similar to fecal sludge.