Together with Indian partner, RDO Trust, WASTE demonstrates how a circular economy in sanitation can aid climate-sensitive regions, like Tamil Nadu, India. While bringing better sanitation and nourishing crop yield at the same time. WASTE often sees a lack of faecal sludge treatment services, resulting in private collectors that dispose faecal sludge into open environments. This, at an extraordinary cost to both public and environmental health.
Presented at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), The Hague
WASTE worked on a circular model helping communities in Tamil Nadu to complete the recycling circle of faecal matter. By combining it with organic solid waste, this matter can be turned into usable nutrient enhanced fertilizer. This is part of the “Turning Poop into Prosperity” project, which will be presented during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in The Hague on June 3-5. “GES is a perfect context to network with potential partners and investors to replicate and scale up the circular projects in agriculture. And to learn from other innovators”, says Priska Prasetya, Business Developer for circular economy in sanitation at WASTE.
Priska and her on-site collaborator, Mr. Rajkumar Sampath, the Project Manager at RDO Trust, were ‘handpicked’ to be among the 1,200 entrepreneurs (from 120 different countries) who attended the 9th annual GES, sponsored by the US State Department and the Dutch government. They, like other innovators and entrepreneurs chosen, competed for the attention of some 300 investors who hope to mine the GES for the next ground-breaking ideas to which to offer support.
In this regard, it could be called a beauty pageant for entrepreneurs.
An Innovative and Holistic Approach
The approach of the project deals with the sourcing of waste and production of agricultural input by women in cooperatives. Besides, the team is establishing a market-linkage for farmers who purchase the co-compost to avoid middle-men, and also a financial mechanism to support the sustainability of the model.
Priska notes: “Too often, the lack of faecal sludge treatment services often results in private faecal sludge collectors to dispose faecal sludge into the open environment (e.g., water bodies, land, jungle) at an extraordinary cost to public and environmental health”. The circular model helps the area to complete the circle of recycling faecal matter in combination with organic solid waste into usable nutrient enhanced fertilizer. Additionally, the project is also separately innovating with greywater recycling, in which the treated greywater is used for irrigating crops
The local need for the project is high, because agriculture in Tamil Nadu was suffering, due to over-application of chemical fertilizers and limited water availability, due to climate change.
“Our circular economy model in sanitation for agriculture the Nilgiris has a holistic approach that deals with the sourcing of waste, production of agricultural input by women in cooperatives and we work closely with the Indian government.” Additionally, the team is establishing a market-linkage for farmers who purchase the co-compost to avoid middle-men, and also a financial mechanism to support the sustainability of the model.
Faecal sludge treatment and reuse can offer immense and scalable opportunities for business development and employment creation. It transforms waste into low-carbon assets (co-compost) for soil application in agriculture. The ‘Turning Poop into Prosperity’ project will be one of the 20 innovations invited to the GES summit at the start of June.
For more information on ‘Turning Poop into Prosperity’, contact Priska Prasetya
More information on GES Summit: https://www.ges2019.org