Look carefully when you use the loos at the Lambeth Country Show.
They may be from Loowatt, a Brixton-based technology company, that has now developed a waste-to-energy toilet. The brainchild of CEO Virginia Gardiner, she developed the idea as part of her design degree at the Royal College of Art in 2009.
Her brief: “To create a waterless, urban toilet system that turns sh*t into money.” She questioned the current practice of flushing the toilet with drinking water and looked at other ways to turn excrement into a useful commodity.
Last year Loowatt provided toilets at Lambeth Country Show at the eco-zone and the Mainstage.
This year they will be returning to the eco-zone with new toilets, and featuring extra educational material about their work in Madagascar.
“We had a great time last year,” says Gardiner, “serving the picnickers and cider drinkers at the top of the hill. LCS is a uniquely cheerful and upbeat community event, and we love to serve our neighbours in Brixton.”
One customer said: “It was very clean, and there’s no smell. I would recommend it to everyone.”
When you buy a Loowatt wristband at the show this year, you’re not just spending a penny but helping the project to provide sanitation for families in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.
The Madagascar project, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is especially suited to rapidly growing urban areas with an urgent need for sanitation. Over 100 households will have the energy-generating system by the end of 2016.
Loowatt’s technology seals human waste into biodegradable polymer film for anaerobic digestion (the natural breakdown of organic materials into methane and carbon dioxide gas and fertilizer).