A new type of waterless toilet, which automatically and tidily packages waste for collection, is expected to be widely used in Chinese cities, according the Outlook Weekly.
The magazine says that the lavatory with running water, or W.C., purportedly invented in Britain, was once a hallmark of civilization. But before long, the new-fashioned version will replace traditional flush toilets in China’s public restrooms.
The water-free toilet has been highly recommended for its water-saving potential, as some 300 Chinese cities currently are battling a severe water shortage. Official statistics from the worst-hit cities indicate an annual shortage of 6 billion tons of water.
China has been working for the past two decades to improve its public toilet facilities, but the waterless toilets have come into use only recently as a viable solution to the country’s lack of water.
China has 108,800 public toilets, 44,700 of them use running water, consuming a total of 3.15 billion tons a year, accounting for 7.37 percent of the nation’s annual water supply.
The water-free toilets, which use an automatic system to pack the waste in double-layer wrappings, offer convenience for the collection, transportation and processing of the waste and also reduce the possibility of pollution by waste leakage.
Compared to the traditional WCs, the waterless toilets may be used in a wide range of areas, cutting the operational cost in half.
Waterless toilets have been used in the country on some official occasions, such as the grand celebration of the 50th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic last year, when tens of thousands of people gathered in Tian’anmen Square in the heart of Beijing.
(People’s Daily 10/09/2000)