Waste Barrel Trade

So you’ve got a situation where you’ve got little or no running water. You’ve got a no-toilet sort of place, and that place is also in a community that’s either poor or completely broke. What do you do? You look for a way to get rid that waste, but not only that, a way to turn that waste into energy. What Noa Lerner’s got here is a way to do that, by rolling a barrel full of poop down the road, trading it in for boombox time! It’s the X-Runner!

First, watch the video in this post to see what I mean by boombox time. It’s super awesome, made with stop-motion, showing the simple process the person whose pooped needs to go through in order to trade their toilet waste into energy. Very simple, very well made, very easy to understand.

A bit more in detail: Each of these toilet barrels is sealed and nano-coated in a way that allows them to be used for a week at a time without emptying or cleaning. Once it’s time to empty, the barrel is brought by an individual or a multi-barrel servce to the local Biogas Plant. Once there, waste is traded for energy in the form of cooking gas, warm water for showers, or electricity. All of these forms of energy are generated by processing the human waste at the Biogas Plant.

You know what this reminds me of? The science fiction post-apocalyptic movie “Mad Max : Beyond Thunderdome”, a movie which features a town run on methane, a gas that comes from pig waste. It’s made to seem absurd but totally possible in that movie. Welcome to the future of energy!

This project is being specifically developed for the Indian Subcontinent, where basic amenities like a toilet in a house are missing…even in urban, developed areas.

Designer: Noa Lerner

Noa at Ted Talks