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Introducing the UTS Funny Dunny Trial Cynthia Mitchell Professor of Sustainability THINK. CHANGE. DO.

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Presentation on theme: "Introducing the UTS Funny Dunny Trial Cynthia Mitchell Professor of Sustainability THINK. CHANGE. DO."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introducing the UTS Funny Dunny Trial Cynthia Mitchell Professor of Sustainability THINK. CHANGE. DO

2  ISF, UTS 2 Take home messages 1.To meet our basic food needs, we have to begin the shift to phosphorus recovery and reuse 2.Urine diverting toilets (UDTs) are one of several feasible paths 3.To get it right, we have much work to do and UTS is making a pretty bold start. 4.The scope for UDTs is global, so there’s plenty of early mover benefits

3  ISF, UTS 3 Introducing the Institute for Sustainable Futures Economy Ecology Society

4  ISF, UTS 4 A better representation of ISF’s values? It’s all about lining up short term actions with preferred long term outcomes in ways that enable transitions for people and organisations

5  ISF, UTS + location of environment al burden Relative cost and impact per household Unmanaged Centralised infrastructure Current approaches Generations local regional global Restorative material intensity increasing The water industry is on the verge of a new path The new path requires new technologies, and it starts with plumbing products

6  ISF, UTS Peak phosphorus (P): a looming crisis >Phosphorus is vital for all life on earth – no substitute! >Growing population, changing diets >Peak phosphorus production very soon >Political / ethical concerns may make it even sooner 6 Phosphorus production MT P/yr 2033 year Cordell, Drangert & White (2009) The story of phosphorus and food for thought Global Environmental Change, doi: /j.gloenvcha Guess what is full of P(ee)?

7  ISF, UTS Cordell, D., White, S., Drangert, J.-O. & Neset, T. S. S. (2009), Preferred future phosphorus scenarios: A framework for meeting long-term phosphorus needs for global food demand, International Conference on Nutrient Recovery from Wastewater Streams Vancouver, 2009., (Ed) D Mavinic, K Ashley and F Koch. ISBN: IWA Publishing Supply sources and quantities are strictly limited, so demand measures are critical and large

8  ISF, UTS 3 broad categories for phosphorus recovery from sewage are in development and use now >Direct reuse [1] –Thermodynamically best –Requires biggest system shifts >Chemical precipitation –Can be done at treatment plant –Concentrates heavy metals, costly >Ash thru sludge incineration –Netherlands: 1.4 million people [2] 8 1.See 2.See Life cycle thinking needs to guide decision making

9  ISF, UTS Who’s doing UDTs internationally? Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, USA, China, etc Gothenburg, Sweden Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Sciences & Technology, Switzerland Cascadia Center for Sustainable Design & Construction, Seattle CBD, USA

10  ISF, UTS UDTs in Australia are full of ‘firsts’ and are at the start of a steep learning curve >1 st high profile installation: Currumbin Ecovillage, Qld –20 households; –Personal commitment = accept deficiencies >1 st authority led, residential installation: Kinglake, Vic –38 households, post bushfire reconstruction, peri-urban fringe >1 st public institution installation: downtown Sydney!! 10

11  ISF, UTS This project will touch on elements of all the very real, very tricky issues with UDTs 11 Technology: the toilets themselves, pipework, storage, transport, impacts on sewer and treatment, … Behaviours: men sit down, women’s paper, other things that end up in toilets, cleaners, … Institutions and regulations: P ownership, operation (water authority or other), public health, … There is also no end of opportunities for toilet humour: [aka Funny Dunnies, Taking the Piss, etc, etc]

12  ISF, UTS 12 We put a lot of effort into setting up the collaboration to bring everybody inside the tent Industry and Government: >Water authority >Toilet manufacturer >Local government >Health department >Nursery and Garden Industry Association Specialist Researchers: >University of Technology Sydney: ISF, Engineering, Design, Visual Communication, Project Management >University of New South Wales: Law >University of Western Sydney: Agriculture, Visual Communication UTS Operations: >Vice President, Resources >Facilities Management Unit >Research Office

13  ISF, UTS 13 This project will roll out in 3 stages over 2 years We expect many spin-off projects along the way

14  ISF, UTS We will install and test the latest Australian and international models of UDTs and waterless urinals Dubbletten Wostman Roediger UridanKeramag Caroma Dorf

15  ISF, UTS We will also trial and create new resources for stakeholder engagement….

16  ISF, UTS Level indicator for urine Docking station for urine tankers We need to investigate storage and transport

17  ISF, UTS By the end of this project, we hope to have ‘started something’ in many domains >Improved public awareness about phosphorus recovery >BEGUN ‘YELLOW PLUMBER’ TRAINING >ENCOURAGED DESIGNERS TO CREATE SECOND GENERATION TECHNOLOGIES AND COMPONENTS >IDENTIFIED NEW REGULATORY/CODE ETC NEEDS >Raised water industry awareness about its opportunities and responsibilities >Created better stakeholder engagement tools >Allayed concerns about public health issues >Demonstrated to industry the efficacy of urine as a fertiliser >…

18  ISF, UTS 18 Take home messages 1.To meet our basic food needs, we have to begin the shift to phosphorus recovery and reuse 2.Urine diverting toilets (UDTs) are one of several feasible paths 3.To get it right, we have much work to do, and UTS is making a bold start 4.The scope for UDTs is global, so there’s plenty of first mover benefits It ain’t rocket science, but it is different… And, we could be sitting on a gold mine

19  ISF, UTS Acknowledgements and Contact Details >ISF colleagues: Dena Fam, Kumi Abeysuriya, Dana Cordell >UTS, UWS, and UNSW colleagues >Our many project partners Cynthia Mitchell Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS P: E: W:


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