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Swiss researchers re-invent the toilet

15 August 2012

A team of Swiss researchers and Austrian designers has won recognition in the 'Re-invent the Toilet' competition, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The diversion-toilet, developped and designed by Eawag and EOOS, on display at the sanitation fair in Seattle

The new toilet model ensures human dignity and hygiene, while also being environmentally-friendly and economically feasible. And all for less than five Cents per day per person.

Some 22 universities and research facilities submitted proposals to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2011 for the 'Re-Invent the Toilet Challenge'. Prerequisites included: the new toilet should need no sewer and no outside energy source, and should be part of a recycling and treatment system for wastes.

By the end of 2011, eight teams were still in the running, among them the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and the California Institute of Technology. They all presented their projects on Tuesday (August 14) in Seattle (USA). The team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology EAWAG and the Austrian design firm EOOS in Vienna won the Special Recognition Award for its 'Diversion' toilet - which cited an "outstanding design of a toilet user interface".


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