With a jar of human feces on a podium next to him, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has kicked off a “Reinvented Toilet” Expo in China.
The former CEO of software giant Microsoft said Tuesday that the technologies on display at the three-day expo in Beijing represent the most significant advances in sanitation in nearly 200 years.
More than 20 companies and academic institutions are exhibiting new toilet technologies, from self-contained toilets to a small-scale, self-powered waste treatment plant.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent more than $200 million since 2011 to stimulate research and development of safe sanitation technology.
UNICEF estimates that 480,000 children under 5 die every year from diarrhea, often caused by sewage-contaminated food or drinking water.