Bill Gates kicked off a “Reinvented Toilet” Expo in China. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

With poo on a pedestal, Bill Gates talks toilet technology

BEIJING — Placing a jar of feces on a pedestal next to him, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates made a plea Tuesday for the safe disposal of human waste as he kicked off a “Reinvented Toilet” Expo in China.

“You might guess what’s in this beaker — and you’d be right. Human feces,” the former CEO of software giant Microsoft said. “This small amount of feces could contain as many as 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs.”

He went on to say that pathogens like these cause diseases that kill nearly 500,000 children under the age of 5 every year.

More than 20 companies and academic institutions are exhibiting new toilet technologies at the three-day expo in Beijing, from self-contained toilets to a small-scale, self-powered waste treatment plant called the Omni Processor.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that Gates co-founded with his wife has spent more than $200 million since 2011 to stimulate research and development of safe sanitation technology.

“The technologies you’ll see here are the most significant advances in sanitation in nearly 200 years,” he said, according to a text of his prepared remarks.

UNICEF estimates that 4.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to safely managed sanitation, and that 480,000 children under 5 die every year from diarrhea, primarily in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. There is an economic cost too: Poor sanitation cost the world nearly $223 billion in 2015, according to a study by Oxford Economics and Japanese toilet maker Lixil.

Gates left the feces on display for about 10 minutes before removing it, his point made.

By The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drugs seized from Innisfail home

Innisfail RCMP conduct search warrant

Police move to clear rail blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory

TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY, Ont. — Ontario Provincial Police moved Monday morning to… Continue reading

Company walks away from massive oilsands project

VANCOUVER — Teck Resources Ltd. has withdrawn its application for a massive… Continue reading

Skeptic of world being round dies in California rocket crash

BARSTOW, Calif. — A California man who said he wanted to fly… Continue reading

Markets tank on concern about virus impact on world economy

BANGKOK — Shares skidded, oil prices sank and the price of gold… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Raptors Uprising GC offer second chance to gamer suspended for 2019 season

TORONTO — Raptors Uprising GC, the gaming arm of the Raptors, has… Continue reading

Manitoba’s Kerri Einarson wins Canadian women’s curling championship

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — A dream team of former skips came together… Continue reading

Weinstein jury back to work with signs of split over charges

NEW YORK — Jurors at Harvey Weinstein’s New York City rape trial… Continue reading

Jane Goodall’s ‘The Book of Hope’ coming out in 2021

NEW YORK — Jane Goodall’s next book will be a tribute to… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake Wranglers comeback to nab OT win in Game 2 over Red Deer Vipers

The Sylvan Lake Wranglers have a knack for the dramatics early in… Continue reading

Wranglers win wild Game 1 double OT thriller over Red Deer Vipers

The best-of-seven series continues Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Kings and Queens basketball triumph over Ambrose, keep playoff hopes alive

Guard Sandra Garica-Bernal sets new Queens all-time steals mark

Most Read