Category Archives: landfill

Top 10 Ways to Put Human Waste to Use in an Environmentally-Friendly Way

Recycling of human waste, which refers to feces and urine, has many benefits. According to research, on average a human produces fifty liters of feces and five hundred liters of urine. Instead of disposing this in the landfills or treating it and releasing it in the environment, human waste can be exploited in several ways.

And as much as dealing with human waste may exposes one to diseases and unpleasant smell, efforts can be made to ensure the process is human-friendly. Besides, it cannot be as bad as some of the harmful chemical products produced by leading chemical producing companies. In other words, the process of handling the human waste can be made human-friendly and used for the betterment of the environment as outlined in this article.


1. Biogas

Methane gas which is produced by human waste can be tapped and used to produce biogas. Biogas could be used to generate electricity, cook food, and heat water for domestic or industrial use. This is through a process that involves collection of methane in an enclosed container free from oxygen. High temperatures are favorable in the decomposition of organic matter. Biogas, when burnt in the presence of oxygen, it reacts to produce energy.

Use of biogas as a renewable source is of great advantage in numerous ways as it does not pollute the environment and reduces deforestation aimed at producing energy. Biogas contributes to environmental protection by capturing methane that would have been released into the air. If methane would be released into the atmosphere, it would lead to damage if the ozone layer.

2. Fertilizer

Human waste can be utilized as a fertilizer to increase the production of food. The waste is however recommended to be treated at least once before its application on the farm. Treatment is applied to the collection of feces, urine and water from households that is digested by bacteria to reduce the number of pathogens and make the sludge less biologically active hence stinks less.

The use of sludge in agriculture threatens residents around the farm with odor and might pose health problems for those working on the farm. Urine can irrigate fields in the case where water is scarce. Where urine is involved in irrigation, there has to be keen consideration on hygiene. Even though urine poses a danger to human health, it contains nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus that are essential minerals to plants. Access to urine for irrigation is cheap bearing in mind its usefulness.

3. Fecal Transplant

Clostridium difficile is an infection of the gut characterized by inflammation, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Overabundance of bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract is the cause of this infection. A remedy to these bacteria is the use of feces from a healthy person and delivering it to the gut of the patient. Delivery of feces can be done in several ways such as using a tube through the patient’s anus and rectum or shooting of frozen fecal matter through one’s nose.

Fecal transplant is preferred because invasive surgery involves chopping, removing, or diverting of organs to get rid of bad bacteria. Moreover, fecal transplant is quick, inexpensive, and more effective than antibiotic administration. Of importance is that through this procedure there is reduced antibiotic resistance which is the ability of microbes to resist medication that previously treated them. However useful the procedure is, careful selection of the donor is important to avoid passing of bacterial and parasitic infections.

4. Hydrogen Fuel

Hydrogen fuel can be deduced from human waste through the same process as the one of passing current through water. It proves to be more efficient with less energy required in the process. Water is distilled from human waste solids then the waste is left in air-sealed tanks for microbial action to take place. This results in the formation of methane and carbon dioxide.

Methane formed in this process is cheaper as compared to relying on natural gas. Methane and carbon go through a tri-generation process that produces hydrogen fuel, heat, and electricity. With the abundance of human waste, consistent supply of hydrogen fuel can be achieved. Hydrogen fuel can be utilized in running of rockets and production of electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

5. Brick-making

Who knew that human waste could be used in the making of bricks? Incinerated sewage sludge ash is combined with vegetable oil in the making of bricks. These bricks are carbon-negative as oil used is derived from plants, which have sucked carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Also, in utilization of such bricks in construction, one protects the environment considering that traditional bricks are made using processes that emit carbon dioxide. Human waste that traditionally would be sent to a landfill is utilized to build structures of many kinds without a scent and it is pocket-friendly.

The bricks are lighter and stronger which means wide usage of such bricks would revolutionize the construction industry not mentioning improvements could be made to them to make them better over time. Making of these bricks could serve as a source of revenue for many.

6. Fuel

In developing countries, the majority of the households cook using biomass. Charcoal being the major source of energy, leads to the degradation of forests. A great solution is the use of human poop heated in the sun as fuel. This alternative fuel burns for two times longer compared to charcoal and releases lesser carbon monoxide. Packaged as briquettes, one ton of these briquettes saves around 88 trees and proves to be a cheaper source of energy.

The process of making this fuel begins with treatment of fecal waste by heating it in a waiting container so as to remove any harmful pathogens. The waste is heated by the sun to temperatures of around 60o C for three hours. Further improvements in technology would help mean that the lowest possible temperature and time can be used to sanitize waste. Upon cooling, hard and solid briquettes are formed as a result of the high fiber content present in feces.

7. Source of Metals

Human feces can be a good source of gold, vanadium, silver, and copper which carry numerous advantages. Gold present in human waste is significant to the extent if it was found in rock during exploration, it could be worth mining. It is currently estimated that 13 million dollars worth of metals can be extracted from one million Americans.

To recover the metals from the human waste, leachates could be used. Leachates are however responsible for damaging of ecosystems when they leak into the environment. Careful use of leachates in a controlled setting therefore proves vital. In our bodies, the metals play an important role in maintaining our joints and transmitting electrical signals.

The extraction of metals from fecal waste prevents the release of toxic substances therefore, protecting the environment. As an example, Japan has recorded a higher gold yield compared to Hishikari gold mine through sewage mining carried out in a sewage treatment facility.

8. Janicki Omni Processor

The Janicki Omni Processor combines solid fuel combustion, steam power generation, and water treatment in the recycling of human waste to produce energy and clean drinking water. Therefore, the process can be used to sustain millions in the world who lack access to clean water. The process begins with human waste being fed into a dryer to remove moisture thereby reducing it to dry fly ash.

Heat generated in this process is used to heat water in boiler pipes to form steam, which runs a generator to produce electricity. This electricity is enough to power the whole processor and surplus can be sold. Steam that leaves the dryer goes through a series of filters before condensation and distillation to produce clean water. The Omni Processor doesn’t let out foul smell and meets current emission standards.

9. Cosmic Radiation Shield

Life in mars is expected to pose a great risk to the health of those who will visit it since there is exposure to radiation from cosmic rays. The extent of the effects posed to human beings on exposure to galactic cosmic rays is not clearly known but it is known to increase the risk of cancer.

To protect humans, human waste together with water and food can be put in bags and used as a shield against radiation. This will be lined on the space shuttle used in interplanetary travels. From the earth the bags will initially be filled with drinking water then on reaching Mars, upon depletion of the water, they will be replace by bags with human waste.

10. Source of water

Due to the potential of producing water that is not potable from human waste, electrolysis of this water can be used to produce oxygen and hydrogen. This method of producing oxygen is used as a backup oxygen system for astronauts on long missions. Arguably, this method of extracting non-drinkable water can be utilized further to come up with water that is safe to drink by treating it.

Human waste in production of renewable energy is a milestone. Moreover, it serves as a major contribution to the environment. Through recycling of poop that would have ended up in a landfill and polluted the environment, benefits such as biogas, fertilizer, fecal transplant, hydrogen fuel, building bricks, metals and drinking water can be obtained. Therefore, human waste proves to be cheap and an environmentally-friendly alternative. No matter how unpleasant human waste is thought to be, it has great potential in changing the world.

Image credit: pexels


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

6 Positive Facts About The Global Car Recycling Industry

Advances in the waste management sector – especially in car recycling – don’t get a lot of attention in the mainstream media, which means that lots of people often don’t realize quite how quickly it’s advancing. In particular, vehicle recycling laws and practices in the US, Canada and Europe are all contributing to an ever more sustainable global economy, and we’ve come a long way in just the last few years. To demonstrate, here are six of the most positive facts about the modern car recycling industry!


The annual amount of hazardous fluids and oils safely reclaimed from recycled vehicles is equal to 8 Exxon Valdez disasters

The Exxon Valdez incident occurred in 1989, when an Exxon-owned oil tanker ran aground in Alaska and spilled over 10 million gallons of crude oil into the water. At the time, that sort of pollution was unheard of, making it one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters in history.

These days there’s a flipside – thanks to advances in the car recycling sector, at least eight times that amount of hazardous liquid is saved from going to landfill every single year. When you consider the scale involved, that’s quite an achievement!

Every year, 27 million cars are recycled across the globe

With those sorts of numbers, it’s easy to see why cars are officially the most recycled product in the world. Most first-world nations are forever evolving their car recycling infrastructure and capabilities, and in the last few months more and more developing nations are working on the issue, too.

This time last year, India announced its intention to remove millions of old cars from its streets, which are collectively responsible for intensive pollution. Many of these cars are only barely in working condition, and virtually none of them meet the environmental standards required of modern cars. India’s plan is to make the original manufacturers responsible for recycling them, which the government hopes will have the extra bonus of allowing for greater regulation and oversight within the country’s car recycling industry.

Millions of tonnes of material is saved by recycling cars every year – and dizzying amounts of energy, too!

When it comes to materials rescued from ELV (end-of-life) vehicles, metal is obviously always going to be the biggest group. Even knowing that, the numbers might surprise you. 14 million tonnes of steel is recycled annually from ELV cars. To put that into perspective, that’s enough to make roughly 2000 Eiffel Towers!

Zinc is another metal that’s heavily used in the construction of cars, mainly for plating protecting the bonnet, the fuel systems or the chassis. It’s chief advantage is that it’s highly resistant to corrosive materials like salt, which means it comes in useful every time salt is sprayed on roads to combat slippery surfaces in freezing conditions. Every year, 2.9 million tonnes of zinc is recovered from scrap vehicles, and 1.5 million of that becomes new scrap or residues.

And the bonuses don’t stop there – there are also massive energy savings, too. Annually, the steel industry is estimated to save enough energy to power about 18 million households for a year. Meanwhile, production for recycled zinc uses 76% less energy than processing virgin material. All in all, that means everyone on the planet gets to collectively enjoy the benefits just recycled material, while the energy savings take off just a bit of environmental pressure, too.

In Europe, 95% of each car is recycled by weight

Here’s something you may not have known: it’s not just the zinc plating, or the steel of the body – almost your entire car is recyclable. In fact, many new cars being manufactured today are estimated to contain around 25% scrap metal! In addition to the metal, windshields, batteries, upholstery and tyres are all other types of car parts that can be easily recycled.

This is largely thanks to the European Union, which is always looking for new ways to help its member nations establish and maintain circular economies. In recent years, its latest legislation has set continuously more ambitious recycling targets for its members to achieve. And speaking of which…

Britain has just exceeded its end-of-life vehicle recycling target from the European Union

Each set of statistics takes about two years to be compiled by the EU, and according to a recently published report, the UK’s 2015 performance in the car recycling sector rose from 90.7% to a record-breaking 96.9% – higher than figures recorded by Germany, France, Norway and Sweden.

This brings the UK well in line with the EU target of 95% we mentioned above, and the country has had two more years since then to build on that improvement. It sets an encouraging precedent for other nations – so let’s see what the stats say in 2020!

Car recycling creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, helping the global economy

These days, solid waste management uses a considerable amount of automated systems to process waste. Recycling, on the other hand, is more labor intensive, as it often requires keen eyes and human judgement (for example, by hand-picking potentially useful waste from a conveyor belt to sort it for re-use).  A report line from the Green Alliance examined the potential for the recycling sector to create 200,000 jobs in the next few years in Britain alone.

Some companies are already leading the way in this regard, most notably a top UK charity called Recycling Lives, based in the North West of England. Alongside its very own residential charity, Recycling Lives also owns and manages several commercial waste management schemes, including Scrap Car Network. The residential charity is closely supported and sustained by these commercial schemes, as they provide valuable work placements, training and often eventual employment for vulnerable people looking to put their lives together.

At the current rate of progress, the future of the car recycling industry still looks impressively optimistic, especially with more countries than ever looking to improve their rate of vehicle recycling. With any luck, we can hope for more of the same from other sectors of the overall recycling industry in years to come!

Image credit: Michael


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

20+ Simple and Easy Ways to go Zero Waste at Home

Zero waste entails a set objective set by an individual(s) or organization(s) to ensure the absence of materials which can become waste or that lead to resource wastage. It follows that for this to be possible, there is need to remodel the waste by using them as useful resources. That is, reverting back to the original source of materials to tackle the waste from the very beginning by managing the resource and all the processes therein that lead to production to ensure no wastage is realized.

One major concern is that the growth of population in the world is faced with a predicament of not having a subsequent growth in resources in the environment. For this reason, the conversion of waste to be reused is a plus. In a bid to accomplish this initiative, it should start at home where resources can be managed with ease. This article seeks to enlighten on 20+ simple and easy ways to go zero waste at home.


1. Use of bamboo toothbrushes. It is common health know how that a toothbrush ought to be used once every 3 months. In as much as this is a boost to personal hygiene, it also means that in every 3 months, a toothbrush is disposed of which leads to an increase in pollution in the landfill. To avoid this and still promote personal hygiene, it is easier to opt for bamboo toothbrushes which are very compostable.

2. Use of fabric cleaning rags. This is a cost effective initiative that ensures less use of synthetic material for washing i.e washing brushes. Instead, old cloths can make good rags which last longer and can be recycled. This ensures that cloths that are no longer needed can be reused.

3. Ensure you have a cotton or synthetic fiber bag for groceries. Groceries obtained from supermarkets cannot escape packaging using plastics, nylon papers or meshes. Therefore, it is essential to have your own bag that is not a hazard to the environment and that which can be used every other time when heading out for groceries.

4. Acquire baking soda as it has multiple uses. Baking soda is a multipurpose component that can ensure less purchase of items in the house. It is mainly used for hygiene purposes at home. It can be used as toothpaste, detergent for laundry as well as kitchen utensils and top it all off, it is a body deodorant. This goes a long way towards reducing the budget for the said items as well as having one universal item for multiple purposes.

5. Ensure that you own a mason jar. Mason jars are multipurpose. They can be used for storing wastes as well as foodstuff. Instead of packaging food in the fridge using plastic containers, the Mason jar may be used. It is advantageous as it can be washed thoroughly for future storage of food. Moreover, in case of making trips where snacks and drinks are essential, the Mason jar can come in handy.

6. Ensure that you are in possession of a handkerchief. A handkerchief is very useful since it can be used in place of tissues when feeding, drying tears or mucus and just needs a rewash instead of disposal. Tissues and disposable wipes cannot be used for very long and once disposed, pose a threat to the landfill. It is worth noting that handkerchiefs are easy to carry as they take up less space which means they can be carried everywhere, either at home or outdoors.

7. Obtain groceries from a fresh farm market. Produce from the farm market is fresh and healthy since the market is strictly a farm market. Moreover, the packaging used in the farm markets is one that is environment friendly thus avoiding the use of non-recyclable packaging materials and the use of tags are discouraged.

8. Ensure you have a reusable water bottle. The landfill is full of plastic water bottles which are disposed due to the tendency to lack storage for drinking water and lack of water for drinking. This has led to the overly popular trend of purchase of plastic water bottles.

Individuals should ensure they have a water bottle which is insulated and stainless. In addition to this, water should be obtained from home, that is, from tap water to ensure one has water when they go out to dissuade the purchase of plastic water bottles.

9. Obtain glass or stainless containers for food storage. Storage of food is a critical issue since it entails hygiene. The use of plastics to store food can lead to sweating of the plastics which is cancerous and harmful to one’s health. One should thus opt for glass or stainless containers which just need thorough washing and can be reused for storage. Besides, there is less contamination of food when stored in these containers.

10. Obtain reusable napkins. There are many uses for such napkins. One can use them to dry dishes at home to avoid use of some dish towels which are unrecyclable. Furthermore, cleaning and dusting home antiquities becomes easier using napkins.

Wrapping of food also becomes easy now that the reusable napkins can be used. This dissuades use of plastic bags in carrying snacks. Woven cotton napkins are very efficient for cleaning as well as packaging.

11. Getting rid of unnecessary things at home. It is common tendency of people to take up space in order to have a lot even when they are not in need of these things. The so called ‘feel of property’ encourages pollution since there is no need for the items in the house and as such, they should be disposed of, donated or sold at auctions in order to have free house space and better aeration present.

12. Use of cotton towels. Cotton towels are easy to use and easy to wash. They are a plus compared to the use of paper towels which end up filling the landfill. Cotton is a microfiber material which is very suitable for long lasting towel life. These cotton towels can either be purchased from cloth stores or can be sown to one’s preference and potential use.


13. Maintaining proper indoor compost bins. Every home should have a small bin inside the house where they deposit all the materials they decide to dispose. When the bin is full, there are two options. The small bin can be disposed into an outdoor bin or through municipal composting.

14. Return of plastic containers and bags for deposit. Some stores encourage the return of plastic bags once issued as well as containers for a deposit. This is a good initiative as it provides incentive towards the shoppers to ensure they bring back the plastics for the stores to reuse as well as recycle for the production of more bags and containers. In addition, the shopper is encouraged to always have with him/her the plastics he bought so as to return thus maintaining the cleanliness of the environment.

15. Repair broken appliances and electronics. In most instances when electronics and other appliances break or fail to work, the occupy space in the house or in the garage before finally being thrown in the pit which increases the waste on the landfill. It is essential that such broken appliances are repaired for reuse instead of sending them to the landfill.

16. Buy items in bulk. Buying food products at small quantities leads to too many wastes for all the wrappings, plastic bags and containers present in the small items. Additionally, it leads to an increase in the spending on food. Instead, buying food in bulk and then sub-dividing the contents into small reusable mason jars aids to minimize the wastes in the environment.

17. Efficient drug disposal. Just like the stores, most pharmacies encourage taking back of drugs that have either expired or that have not been taken for a long time. This is to discourage the improper disposal of medicine either on land fill or through flushing in toilets which leads to pollution to water sources.

18. Ladies should ensure that they own a menstrual cup. It is a safer option since it maintains hygiene as well as reduces the chances of disposables on the environs. It is easy to manage as it entails thorough cleaning and proper storage. Not only are they manageable, they are cheaper than regular purchase of tampons on a monthly basis.

19. Minimize wastage of food. Food wastage is not only a health hazard to the environment but also a case of poor use of resources. Food resources should be well conserved in the house. This can be done by shopping only for what is needed to avoid excesses which lead to food wastes. Alternatively, the food leftovers can be redesigned as paste for sauces and other food items.

20. Make your own cosmetics. It is not only cheap to do so but also economical. Homemade cosmetics can range from cleaning items, shampoos, to facial cosmetics. It also ensures less usage of harmful items packaged from the industries. In consequence of this, there is less purchase from the shops which translates to fewer plastics in the house.

21. Opt for downloading and streaming videos rather than purchase of CD’s and DVDs. This aids the house to have zero waste when it comes to entertainment. CD’s once viewed after a couple of times, may need to be disposed. Thus, streaming channels such as Neflix are the way to go.


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Garbage is Beautiful [Infographic] – Conserve Energy Future

Many Americans are uneducated about the nuts and bolts of recycling. In fact, in 2017 only 40% of people said that they cared about the environment and our planet’s future. This is an alarming number to consider when in 2014 alone Americans produced 258 million tons of trash and 53% of that ended up in landfills. On average a single person can generate over 4 pounds of waste per day and unless more people start taking action to recycle properly, the majority of that waste will end up as trash in landfills.

There are a lot of excuses to be made as to why we throw away so much waste instead of recycling. For some it is the idea that recycling alone doesn’t make much of a difference or impact on our planet. Others may see recycling as an inconvenience or perhaps unreasonable because the service is not readily available in their community or if it is there may be a cost tied to it. Additionally there are also many who may be an interested in recycling but because they are unaware of the proper way to recycle past the basics tossing something becomes the easier option.

Educating people on what can be recycled and how to recycle some of the trickier items such as light bulbs and batteries as well as where to go to recycle these items can make a huge difference on helping reduce and reuse our waste. When one person begins to recycle it can lead a whole community to do the same so that instead of just one person decreasing waste by over 1500 pounds per year that number can grow exponentially.  Regardless of the exact reason why Americans aren’t recycling there’s no time like the present to start encouraging and educating each other on how to recycle easily and properly so that together we can make a change to a greener planet. For more information on how to recycle and think outside that recycling bin check out this infographic.


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Ways to Reduce Your Holiday Carbon Footprint [Infographic]

The holiday season is a time for eating delicious food, visiting with loved ones, and exchanging gifts. It is also a time of excess that can take a toll on the health of our planet.

One night’s feast turns into the next day’s trash. Decorations that bring joy for a month can end up decomposing in a landfill for years. According to the EPA, household waste in the United States increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, totaling about 1 million extra tons of waste. The holiday season is also responsible for much of the 28 billion pounds of edible food discarded every year. In fact, Americans waste 33 percent more food during the winter holidays than any other part of the year.

This waste creates a number of problems for human and environmental health, including air and water pollution. Landfills produce harmful gases, including methane, that contribute to the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere. As the world’s population grows, so does the amount of discarded goods.

Though climate change can seem like an overwhelming problem to address, the actions of individuals make an impact. Adopting healthier habits is hard enough during your regular schedule. So how do you practice sustainability amidst the additional travel, events, shopping and food?

[email protected], the online MPH program offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, recently published a graphic with “11 Ways to Reduce your Holiday Carbon Footprint.” Some of these suggestions, including eating less red meat, reducing food waste, and shopping locally are strategies that can be used year round. This list is just a starting point. Be creative with your sustainable choices and choose the ones that work for you.

Environmental guilt doesn’t have to be the cause for you to miss out on seasonal celebrations. There are a number of ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle, even while you’re caught up in the holiday hubbub.



Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)