These were the truthful, if blunt, words from one of the panelists, Ned Breslin, at an event my work co-hosted today called “The Business of Sanitation”.
Yes, I spent the day listening to people talk about the human “end product”. It made me realize that we need (really really need) to start talking about it more. Talking about it so we can do something to improve the current [global] system. There are water and sewer pipes buried beneath DC that have been there since the Civil War. That was between 1861-5 (yes I did just have to google the dates). No wonder they’ve been rupturing all over the place! That’s just in our own country, the problem is insanely dire in other areas. In the world, almost 3 billion people don’t have access to adequate sanitation. I’m sorry, WHAT?!
I could go into immense detail about the problem (which cannot be overstated) but I would be neglecting the really neat part about today’s discussion. Someone out there put on their good-ol’-Capitalist-American hat and thought, let’s make money off this shit. Literally. I listened to Ashley Murray today and she talked about starting a company that will take human waste, process it, and either turn it into fertilizer or into fuel. Smart moves.
There are cool things happening here; don’t write off the shit sector so quickly.
Good night from D.C.!