Bill Gates Focuses on ‘Reinventing the Toilet’

Credit: Microsoft Press Tools - Executive Photos

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – He’s already conquered the computer world, helped work to eradicate diseases globally, and now the man known as Bill Gates has his sights set on a more unusual challenge: Poop.

Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Microsoft Chairman is focusing on how to cut down on unsanitary restroom usage worldwide, especially in third world countries.

“4 out of 10 people don’t have a safe way to poop – that’s 2.6 billion!” Gates tweeted on Monday. “It’s time to reinvent the #toilet so that we can meet the needs of the 2.5 billion who don’t have access to one,” another Tweet read.

A video made available via gatesfoundation.org highlights how going to the bathroom in an unsanitary fashion can lead to the spread of infectious diseases, the main reason behind developing new ideas.

So how can reinventing the toilet help? New toilets with a focus on waste recycling can help benefit the production of fertilizer, clean burning fuel and fresh water, the video emphasizes.

According to a report from All Things D, the Gate’s foundation has granted funds accounting for $400 thousand to eight different universities developing new and more efficient toilet ideas. The grant recipients will soon meet in Seattle, Washington to discuss how things are going. Just some of the schools participating in the initiative include the University of Toronto, Delft University of Technology and Cal Tech.

Gates stepped down from full time activity at Microsoft in 2008 to focus more on work with his foundation.

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