Dry toilets for all, forever?

This post was developed as a submission for The Conversation. I have to rework it because “the article covers a huge amount of ground, and that there isn’t immediately a ‘golden thread’ that can be easily identified.” I like it, so it’s going to live here in its current form 🙂

When the probability of Day Zero was first announced in January 2018, the realisation that the extreme drought in Cape Town may affect the functioning of the sewer systems became apparent to everyday people. Through my work in [resource recovery from wastewaters](http://www.futurewater.uct.ac.za/FW-WWBR) and particularly how [sanitation can contribute to the circular economy](http://www.toiletboard.org/media/17-Sanitation_in_the_Circular_Economy.pdf) I have been thinking about the benefits of dry sanitation. I am intrigued by the potential of biological means to recover value from diffuse pollution. But could they ever be introduced at large scale?

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Experting in times of crisis: Ethics of care.

This piece brings together concerns that I have from observing responses to the Cape Town water crisis. It was developed as a talk (slides here) which I never got to give, so I would appreciate input to guide me to develop this further.

This talk is in 5 parts:

  1. if innovation is by poor people, does it count?
  2. experting 101: ethics of care
  3. expert #fail: how not to expert
  4. advanced experting: how to jouissance
  5. in closing

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Jouissance toilet 2.0 – the foam flush

Why? We’re in drought, so we don’t have water to flush toilets. The nutrients in shit should be re-used, and that is difficult when we dilute it with loads of water and mix it with god knows what else to be shipped off somewhere to be so-called ‘treated’. Also, flushing toilets mean we are flushing nutrients into receiving water bodies (even with excellent wastewater treatment, we’re still not doing well enough). So flushing is just a stupid idea. More about this in a presentation (pdf, 5MB) I recently gave.

If you don’t know already, I have a dry toilet. I love my dry toilet. It’s indoors, I’m affluent, privileged. This is not about toilets for poor people. This is about dry toilets for everyone.

But, many people don’t like the idea of looking at their shit, so we’re trying to get the experience of the white ceramic sparkly-clean ‘flush and forget’ ‘out of sigh(t) out of mind’ toilet, with the cost-saving benefits and environment and resource recovery goodness of dry toilets. I think currently the foam flush may be our best bet.

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(still) learning how to do D3 in wordpress…

Howdy. I’m still trying to work in my model into an interactive data driven doc (D3) in wordpress. Some thoughts on my interim blog (https://indiebio.wordpress.com/visual-data/) and once I’ve got it all down I’ll neaten it up and create it’s own page.

For today, I found a plugin! Wp-D3 which looks promising. Now I have to remember all the steps. It’s been a while. I’m going to start with duplicating some random tutorial here before venturing into making my own ancient stuff works. After that, we can really play.

(I’m putting the whole journey here, so you can see how effing frustrating it is)

So, using this tutorial: https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/beyond-pie-charts-add-mind-blowing-visualizations-to-wordpress/ and a brief detour on where to find the actual button…

… grrr.

I think the problem may be the current Wp-D3 plugin is not quite compatible with the wordpress version I currently have (but what do I know). The thing that confuses me is in that tutorial, it asks me to look for

var svg = d3.select("body").append("svg")

but my code only has

var svg = d3.select("svg")

Also, there’s commas that is not the same between the tutorial and the example code on mbostock’s page … so this may be an update thing, I think. The tutorial was from 2015, so I went looking for a more recent one:

https://getflywheel.com/layout/how-to-add-charts-to-your-wordpress-site-using-d3-js/ aka the donut tut.

It looks like these start from scratch and doesn’t use a plugin, which makes the learning curve a bit steeper, but probably is more powerful at the end of the day, so here goes.

…uh, that was confusing. But it made me go back to my files to see if I can load them in directly. And then gave up on that halfway through when I noticed that my file has that d3.select thing I was missing in the other tut. So … hangon…

Well, it didn’t work, but something worked because the preview gave a huuuge blank canvas. … Encouraging and frustrating at the same time. Which is better than just frustrating, I guess?

OK, gonna try do the donut tut and using the d3 plugin – it makes things neater, I think. Unless of course it’s the problem in the first place.

Tadaa!! Happy dance! Excellent. ‘K so we know that the plug in works. And in theory putting some thing in there gives something back. Now for the interactive stuff. It’s not alive if it doesn’t move. But this ended on a reasonable high so that’s gonna be a separate post. Cheers!

P.S. I’m going to have to resolve the commas and up to dateness of this stuff, those comma things …