THE PROBLEM

Pit latrines receive an estimated 0.6 billion kg of feces and 2.1 billion kg of urine from 1.77 billion people around the world every day. These latrines fill quickly with rags, plastic bags, bottles, and hair. When there's no room in the pit, fecal sludge has to be removed before transport and treatment. While mechanized ways to extract fecal sludge such as vacuum trucks exist, these devices are expensive and clog from high volumes of garbage. Trash often forces people to empty pits by hand with rudimentary tools like buckets and shovels. This dangerous job exposes workers to a host of human pathogens.

 

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