10 Ways Poop and Trash Can Save the Day

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Human feces, garbage, trash, all the good stuff that we try to ship off or tunnel out end up somewhere. We are getting better and better at turning that garbage into an asset, and then applying it to international development. Check out 10 innovations that are repurposing waste in the list below… no poop jokes, we promise.


1. Peepoople have developed an innovative sanitation solution that is upcycling poo into safe, incredibly rich fertilizer!

2. Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is converting human waste into compost in rural and urban communities in Haiti.

3. With Lago’s Recycling plants only accessing 13% of the total recyclable material in the city, Wecyclers are bringing that gap through an interesting social enterprise.

4. David Saiia has found a solution to both a roofing problem and the overabundance of plastic waste. Re-purposing used plastic bottles, Saiia has designed a plastic-thatch roof that keeps out the rain and heat, allows in natural light, and muffles sound.

5. India’s Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is developing a system to turn Dheli’s sewage into fuel for buses.

6. New Delhi and Bangalore have tried innovative ways to pave roads,  but here the difference is in the plastic.

7. X-runners are providing toilets to slum communities in Peru…and earning a profit, check out how they make this possible.

8. An EcoBrick is a plastic 2 liter container filled with compacted non-recyclable materials, such as food wrappers or Styrofoam. Click on the link to see how and where they are making this work.

9. Can trash fuel British Airways? Find out what the GreenSky Project has in mind if they get their way!

10. Trashy Bags, a social enterprise based in Accra, takes approximately 200,000 plastic sachets off the street each month and upcycles them into eco-friendly bags. That means millions of bags. Check it out!

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Eric Pires

Eric Pires

Eric Pires is a writer and co-founder of Innovate Development. He has worked in various sectors in Latin America and is currently working in Antigua, Guatemala.

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