Sustainability, Sanitation and the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) are the buzz words of the hour, yet little thought has been given to creating a sustainable sanitation programme to address the mounting issues of health, cleanliness, resource depletion and waste mismanagement in India.
Two major impediments to providing toilets for all in the country are, firstly, the looming water crisis, wherein fresh water supply is becoming increasingly scarce in India and the world, and secondly, the poor waste management system which is unable to recycle or safely dispose of the waste generated in the country even at present.
Sanitation for all can thus never be a reality unless innovative solutions are devised for water conservation and better waste management.
An interesting solution aimed at improving sanitation without placing a heavy burden on our water resource is the refurbishment of traditional urinals with waterless cleansing technology. Implemented by McDonald’s India (West & South) in its restaurants in Mumbai with plans to extend to all its restaurants, the waterless urinal is capable of saving over 1,51,000 liters of water per urinal every year.
In addition to significantly contributing to the sustainable conservation of water, the initiative also helped reduce the load on sewage systems in the city. Waterless urinals have proved to be dry, clean and convenient, as well as more efficient at odor suppression. By replacing damp urinals which foster microbes, the new system reduced risk of infections and air-borne diseases.