DUEBENDORF, Switzerland, March 15 (UPI) -- Swiss scientists are urging wider support for a new type of eco-friendly toilet that could substantially reduce pollution and conserve water.
Researchers Judit Lienert and Tove Larsen of the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology said people in seven European countries have expressed positive attitudes toward a new eco-friendly toilet that collects urine separately from human solid waste instead of mixing them together as do conventional toilets.
The researchers, noting urine contains 80 percent of the nitrogen and 50 percent of the phosphorus arriving at wastewater treatment plants, said separating the wastes in advance would provide several advantages, including a reduction in algae blooms and pharmaceutical wastes that pose a threat to fish. Separating urine, they said, also allows its use as an agricultural fertilizer.
The scientists reviewed surveys on acceptance and use of NoMix toilets involving 2,700 people in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. The researchers found the technology is well-accepted, with about 80 percent of users expressing support of the idea. The scientists said 75 percent to 85 percent said they found the design, hygiene, smell and seating comfort of the NoMix toilets equal to that of conventional toilets.
"No Mix-technology deserves more support by authorities and mainstream research," Lienert and Larsen said in their study, which appears in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.