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The ultimate in home recycling – a toilet made from horse poo

A loo made from horse poo could be set to change the world.

London-based industrial designer Virginia Gardiner has created a waterless toilet — made of horse dung.

The “compact, composting toilet” is 90 per cent horse manure and is designed to help the 2.6billion people globally — 40 per cent of the world’s population — who do not have access to a proper loo.

Ms Gardiner aims to “turn waste into a commodity” and hopes that the new design will cut death and waterborne illnesses around the world.

The “Loo Watt” — named to reflect its dual role as a loo and source of biofuel — is a sealed storage device for human waste.

Once the loo is full, it is sealed and taken to a bio-digester where it can be converted into biofuel, which can then be used for cooking.

Ms Gardiner chose manure as a packaging material as it is a “carbon rich, biodegradable material” that aids methane production, in order to create the biofuel.

“People are often surprised it’s made of poop — it has a pleasant softness as a material” Ms Gardiner said.

The Loo Watt has been recognised in the AIGA Aspen Design Challenge — an award for a creative design to raise awareness of the global water crisis — and was a finalist in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, a $100,000 (£61,000) prize awarded to support an idea that has the potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (30 July, ’09)

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