Project Lead(s): Isabel Medem
There are three million people in Lima, Peru, and two-and-a-half billion people worldwide without access to appropriate sanitation.
According to the Water and Sanitation Program, in Peru, 62% of people in rural areas and 18% in urban areas still lack access to improved sanitation. While many ecological innovations exist to deal with the issue, few are designed for poor urban areas.
The project ‘X-runner’ aims to provide a reliable, service-based, waterless toilet system to 500 households in the slums of Lima.
This sustainable sanitation system would replace unsafe practices, such as using bucket toilets or pit latrines.
X-runner’s sanitation system is a fee-based sanitation service.
Once a customer subscribes to the service, the company installs a waterless toilet in the home of the client.
Feces is separated into a compostable bag, collected weekly and taken to the treatment facility, where it undergoes a natural treatment and is processed into compost.
An automated payment scheme was established with the largest retail bank of Peru.
In addition, a digital service-data tracking system, using near-field communication (NFC) tags attached to the toilet containers, can assess in real time whether there are any issues with the waste or the payments.
X-runner has reached its operational goals.
As of September 2015, X-runner offered services to approximately 320 families, which represented 1,549 direct beneficiaries, and they anticipated reaching the goal of 500 families by the end of 2015.
By the end of the project, the company will have transported 81.2 tons of fecal matter and processed it into about 40.6 tons of compost.
Next steps include obtaining a compost certification from the government, in order to sell the compost to park companies.
Results from a survey showed that 92% of households believe that the toilet has improved their overall health, and 65% recommended the toilet service to friends and neighbours.
X-runner´s long-term vision is to be Peru’s first sanitation alternative that is equally appealing to its customers as is the common sewage-based sanitation system. The enterprise wants to be fully socially, environmentally and economically sustainable by 2020.
In the summer of 2015, X-runner was named the winner of the prestigious Schmidheiny Awards in Latin America for innovation in sustainability.