BEIJING, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, together with global innovators, development banks, governments and companies announced their commitment to accelerating the commercialization and adoption of disruptive sanitation technologies worldwide in the next decade at the ongoing Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing.
"This expo showcases decentralized sanitation technologies and products that are business-ready," said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "It's no longer a question of if we can reinvent the toilet and other sanitation systems. It's a question of how quickly this new category of off-grid solutions will scale."
At the expo, companies are displaying a new class of sanitation solutions that eliminate harmful pathogens and convert waste into by-products like clean water and fertilizer without effecting sewers or water lines.
"Our system can convert solid waste into water for agriculture or industry," said Mark Hassman with Crane Engineering, a company from the U.S.
"We will promote our products to Africa and South Asian countries to meet the needs of people living in areas without sewers or water lines, making sanitary toilets available to under-developed regions and people with low incomes," said Cao Jun, the president of Clear, a company based in eastern China's Jiangsu Province. The company has sold more than 10,000 units of sewage treatment equipment to over 50 countries.
Moreover, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the African Development Bank announced at the expo their commitments with the potential to unlock 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in financing for sanitation projects that provide people in all parts of a city, including the poorest neighborhoods, with safely managed sanitation services.
"Sanitation is a growing priority for the World Bank Group and many global leaders. I'm pleased to announce our new partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will help catalyze a new generation of solutions that can bring safe sanitation to everyone, everywhere on earth," said Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group president.
According to a recent Boston Consulting Group analysis, the reinvented toilet market is estimated to become an annual six-billion-U.S. dollar global business opportunity by 2030. A World Health Organization study showed that there will be an economic return of 5.50 U.S. dollars for every dollar invested in sanitation on average.
"Visionary governments that welcome these new, sewerless sanitation solutions into communities, and cities will help people live healthier and more prosperous lives," said Mansour Faye, Senegal's minister for water and sanitation.
The expo, co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China Chamber of International Commerce, is being held from Nov. 6 to 8 in Beijing and is focused on how innovations in sanitation can transform lives for the better.