It's completely true. The environmental impact of this product needs to be taken into account, especially due to the huge production rate.
Vanessa and I tried to make an as environmental-friendly as possible product, by for example calculating the eco-costs of the product, using the LCA Data of Idemat, and by looking for different end-of-life situations. But firstly we need to watch out, to not forget the original purpose of this product: diminishing the chance of ebola contamination. In other words, the first purpose of this product is medical; the danger of contamination needs to be taken seriously. On top of that, don't forget that in the specific area where the product should be/will be implemented, most of the waste is burned and managed in a similar way.
In this particular EBOLA- case, in order to act rapidly and due to the contamination problem, a more sustainable version, including for example composting, is in our opinion not possible.
Hi Ariel, It's completely true what you are telling. It's nice to hear that so many people are trying to find more efficient solutions for our waste management!
The original project, on which this product is based, had the same purpose you are explaining. Fluid and solid waste were on top of that divided so that they could be treated in two different ways: (1) electrolyze of urine to create electricity and (2) composting the solid waste to generate biogas and created fertiliser. An other option is also to dry out the fertiliser completely and to get bricks or bio-coals, which could be used for cooking or could be burned afterwards in a generator (electricity). Those techniques do unfortunately require technological knowledge and equipment which is extremely expensive (especially in the case of the electrolyze). The area touched by Ebola is most of the times not equipped to be able to execute this process in an efficient and most important safe way.
First we need to design solutions to tackle a disease. Afterwards the focus can be changed towards design for environment/ecology. Therefore we focused first on the creation of a cheap, safe and rapidly implementable product; giving a fast response on this global threat.
Thanks for your comment. It's great to have some discussions, it's really helpful.