Community Connections

Black Waste Disposal: Replacement of the Toilet in Waterless Environments

Name: David Carney
Phone Number: (508) 233 - 5831
Address: Kansas St. Natick, MA 01760
Organization: Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center
Submission Type: CBO/Other
Project Type(s): DifferenceMaker Idea - For a project being proposed to students (and/or faculty) as a social entrepreneurial idea.
Group Size: 2-3
Time Frame: Fall Semester
Description: The US Army is deployed to remote locations throughout the world. In many of these locations, there is typically no access to conventional toilet facilities for the Soldier. Supplying water to remote outposts, and the subsequent backhauling of the black waste, is not only a logistical burden, but puts Soldiers in harm’s way while moving the water and waste in truck convoys. If a system could be devised that did not used water, and eliminated the need to backhaul the waste, the Army would save money, fuel, and lives. This problem is not unique to the Army (with the obvious exception of putting Soldiers in harm’s way). Many areas of the world have problems with water scarcity, and water pollution due to leeching or direct dumping of black waste into waterways. Overpopulated areas or areas hit by natural disasters that have limited water sources compound the situation. Regularly, the problems dealing with black waste have led to disease outbreaks (e.g. Cholera). These issues have also attracted the attention of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who is also searching for a solution to this messy, unpopular, but vitally important problem.
Majors: Bilogical Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Mechanical Engineering
Focus Areas: Engineering, Product Design