/// Solving Bill Gates’s Potty Problem
It’s not often you hear toilet talk from Bill Gates. But, this week the Microsoft founder is focused on toilets. Heck, he even used the word “poop” in a tweet. Michael Hanson/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “4 out of 10 people don’t have a safe way to poop – that’s 2.6 billion!” Gates said in a Twitter posting on Monday . Gates and his foundation have sponsored a “Reinvent the Toilet” challenge to help create innovations in toilet technology. The effort began last year with $400,000 grants to eight universities with ideas on how to create a better bowl. The criteria set out by the Gates Foundation are pretty strict. The toilets have to be hygenic and sustainable, not discharge pollutants, generate energy, recover nutrients and only need a tiny amount of water. Oh yeah, and they also need to have a cost of operation of a nickel per person per day. This week the eight grant recipients are gathering in Seattle to compare notes. Two of the eight have working prototypes, while the other six are all making good progress.