How Bangladesh turns toilet waste into high-value compost – in pictures
Scientists in Bangladesh are working on ways to treat toiletwaste in rural areas and use it to develop safe, nutritious compost for food crops. Led by the school of civil engineering at Leeds University, the Value at the End of the Sanitation Value-Chain (VESV) project aims to help reduce reliance on imported inorganic fertilizers and provide potential business opportunities for waste transporters and compost producers in a country where access to sanitation is now widespread but challenges of managing waste remain.
Farmers tend their cabbage crops in Manikganj district. Bangladesh has benefited from major improvements in rural sanitation with the spread of pit toilets – holes dug in the ground.
These bypass the problem of installing sewerage infrastructure in densely populated rural areas, but the challenge is what to do with the waste when the pits are full. If treated carefully, this waste could provide a local source of organic matter and plant nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.