Project Lead(s): Ashley Muspratt, Timothy Wikoff
Funding from Grand Challenges Canada will enable Pivot Works, a social enterprise based in Kigali, Rwanda, to prepare to scale-up its sanitation services to serve 700,000 low-income residents. Pivot Works will refine its fecal sludge conversion process and extend operations of its pit latrine emptying service city-wide, reaching a capacity to empty 12,000 pits annually.
Pivot Works factories convert human waste into renewable fuel using a three-step process. First, Pivot uses mechanical dewatering to extract solids from human waste. Pivot then dries the solid content using greenhouses and thermal dryers. The final product, Pivot Fuel, is sold to industries as a replacement for coal or other biomass.
By selling the fuel to industrial customers, Pivot Works factories generate a revenue stream that significantly offsets the cost of fecal sludge treatment for cash-strapped governments and citizens. Pivot’s pit latrine emptying arm, Pit Vidura, offers Kigali’s only safe, hygienic, and legal emptying service for low-income households. Pit Vidura has developed a suite of hardware and software that to make pit emptying clean, efficient and affordable.
With earlier support from Grand Challenges Canada, Pivot Works demonstrated the feasibility of its model and improved its greenhouse technology for rapidly desiccating fecal sludge in Kenya.
Pivot’s smart partners include the City of Kigali, the Water and Sanitation Corporation, the Rwanda Ministry of Infrastructure, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.