Exploiting the co-benefits of ecological sanitation

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Closing the nutrient loop by exploiting the co-benefits of nutrient recovery from human excreta has the potential to improve soil fertility, food security and reduce water use. This paper reviews the potential of using human excreta as an agricultural resource. Ecological sanitation (ecosan) is characterised by a ‘sanitise and recycle’ process based on preventing pollution, sanitising urine and faeces and recovering nutrients for food production. Human excreta can result in higher cabbage yields compared to the use of goat manure while urine-fertilised plants produce equal amounts of tomato fruits as mineral fertilised plants. However, a key challenge is how ecosan can be cost-effectively scaled-up in an increasingly urbanised and economic constrained world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431–435
JournalCurrent opinion in environmental sustainability
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

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