Focus: Energy and Waste
Location: Kigali, Rwanda
Did you know that 2.4 billion people worldwide do not have access to basic sanitation? And yet, according to the UN, sanitation is a basic human right. Even so, every day 85% of the human waste produced on the planet goes into the environment untreated due to underdeveloped sanitation systems. Correct treatment of this waste is important, because if left untreated, it can cause severe water and land pollution,as well as spread diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid. To tackle this problem, Pivot Works has created a sanitation solution that converts human waste into sustainable fuel.
Pivot Works was founded by Ashley Muspratt. It is a renewable energy company that provides sanitation as a byproduct. Most Kigali residents use pit latrines, which must be manually emptied and whose content is usually dumped in a pit or nearby stream. Pivot is working directly with manual emptiers to develop and test mechanisms for getting waste from communities. They use the gulper, a suction pump used for emptying pit latrines (developed by Water for the People) as well as 50 gallon drums to transport the sludge in trucks to their factory. Then, the waste collected is turned into a renewable energy resource called ‘Pivot Fuel’ that has an average of 20% more energy and 10% lower moisture content than other biomass fuels. Most notably, it meets the strictest international hygiene standards. Finally, this fuel is sold to industrial customers like cement factories, and the revenue is invested into the sanitation sector to extend services to poor communities. Pivot Works also contributes to keeping groundwater clean by preventing waste from seeping into drainage areas.
Pivot aims to end the sanitation predicament and its environmental and public health consequences. So far, it has created an ecological as well as an economic impact by providing 25 local jobs and creating demand in the sanitation value chain. It is currently working to commercialize GreenHeat, a waste-to-energy business that converts human waste into solid fuel for industrial kilns. Pivot has also received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Pivot, indeed, works!
Environmental impact: Reducing ground water contamination due to open defecation, reducing disease causing bacteria, reducing consumption of fossil fuels
Measurement: Pivot Works
Looking to discover more impact ventures? Join us at www.groundupproject.net