Millions of people around the world live in urban or extremely low-income areas without access to safe sanitation. Disease can spread more quickly in these areas, because there is no safe or reliable way to dispose of human waste. Without plumbing, sewage builds up and causes problems.
X-Runner is a social entrepreneurship that is working to solve these problems. They have partnered with Separett, a company that makes small, affordable composting toilets, and they are working on bringing these toilets to households in the slums of Peru.
The toilet is really just the first step. By using toilets that only hold sawdust (no water), families can ensure that waste material is being properly contained. On a regular basis, an X-Runner truck comes by the home and picks up the contents stored in the toilet. This is then brought to a treatment facility, where it is turned into compost, and eventually nutrient-rich soil that can then be used to grow crops.
In other words, not only do these toilets make homes safer and cleaner; they also help the environment by cutting down on water waste and by introducing nutrient-rich soil into farms and fields. Healthy soil enables farmers to cut down on the use of chemicals. In some cases, the soil can be delivered back to the family.
This is a great way to solve a persistent problem. It is not currently part of the model, but it would be very cool if they are then able to hire locals for the company, so that they’re becoming an active part of X-Runner and gaining training and skills they may not have otherwise had.