An Israeli-invented toilet that needs no water and leaves no waste caught the interest of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which awarded parent company Paulee CleanTec $110,000 “to create next generation sanitation technology to help make sanitation services truly safe and sustainable for the poor.”
“We are one of only very, very few Israeli companies that have received any grants from this foundation,” points out Oded Halperin, one of the company’s original investors
The toilet is based on the same principle as the high-tech pooper-scooper featured on ISRAEL21c last October.
Invented by renowned Hebrew University biotech innovator Prof. Oded Shoseyov based on an idea Halperin thought up, the device gathers droppings and turns them into odorless, sterile powder within seconds after the dog-walker pushes a button to release an activation capsule from the cartridge inside the unit. The resulting powder is a fertile composting material.
Earmarked for developing countries by the Gates Foundation, the toilet will go a step further.
No water or electricity needed
“For the solid waste, which also can include toilet paper, we are mixing it with our chemical formula for not more than 30 seconds and it will turn immediately into odorless, sterile fertilizer,” Halperin tells ISRAEL21c. “The fertilizer will be automatically dropped into a removable canister where it can be collected from time to time and than be used for field and/or home crops.”
The liquid waste will be sterilized separately in another reservoir, and then pumped up to flush the toilet – powered by heat energy created from the solid-waste process and stored in a battery. According to the still-secret drawings of the patent-pending device, the internally created heat would even power a light inside the stall.
“Just to back up the energy source, we will also use a small solar panel on the roof,” says Halperin. “There’s no need for any sewerage or electricity infrastructures or connections. No need for water to flush. No special maintenance — the chemicals can be put in its dispenser once a month, and the cost of one use is only a few cents.”
‘Reinvent the Toilet Challenge’
These features are a good fit for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge,” which aims to improve on the limitations of the 18th-century toilet still in use today, for 2.6 billion people lacking access to sanitation.
According to the foundation, reinventing the toilet could save millions of lives and help end poverty. About 80 percent of human waste goes into rivers and streams untreated, and 1.1 billion people don’t use a toilet.
The winning solution must be hygienic and sustainable, with an operational cost of no more than five cents per user, per day. It may not discharge pollutants and must generate energy and recover salt, water and other nutrients. It may not rely on water to flush waste or a septic system to process and store waste.
The one-year Gates grant is first-phase funding. If the foundation likes what it sees, Paulee CleanTec will then submit a second proposal for a $1 million or $1.5 million grant to complete development and build a prototype.
Meanwhile, Paulee CleanTec signed a deal with a major international player in the pet market, which will allow for the development of different kinds of devices for collecting and disposing of dog and cat droppings based on the existing patents.
In addition, the Ramat Gan-based company is considering opportunities for raising funds from private and strategic investors as it looks to widen its potential applications to hygienic solutions for trains, airplanes, boats, motor homes and other modes of transportation.
McCann Digital art director Nir Refuah told BI that “Israel is under constant cyber attacks each month, dozens of Israeli websites are being hacked by Arab hacker groups and replaced with anti-Israeli web pages.”
(Israel and the U.S. were recently suspected of a cyber attack against Iran to delay nuclear development.)
While McCann and the students didn’t have an immediate answer to end the wave of cyberattacks, they did come up with a way to solve their other hacking qualms, the “uninspired designs each time: black background, grotesque low-res images and unbearable amounts of text.”
The solution? Students found 50 hacked pages, and while they kept the content, they redesigned the pages to look more cheerful. Refuah told BI that the students sent the redesign templates to various hacker group forums with the message, “We would like to end all cyber wars, but in the meantime — if you must hack our sites, at least leave something beautiful.”
They made contact with five hackers thus far, although none of the work has appeared on a hacked site.
Zubari is a native of the Red Sea resort city of Eilat, and says it’s very peaceful. “There’s a lot of Eilat in me. I’m really peaceful in the way I windsurf, and I’m really calm. This is what makes me a better windsurfer.”
Six new Israeli films are to be screened at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, including a project of shorts by Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers.
The six films are “The Cutoff Man,” “Filling the Void,” “Water,” “Hayuta and Berl,” “The Inheritance” and “Lullaby for My Father.”
“Water,” a Tel Aviv University Film and Television School project of shorts by Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers, has been chosen to open Critics’ Week, the indie section of the festival starting on August 29.
“Water” was one of nine films selected for funding out of 120 film proposals on the subject of water and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The 120 proposals were submitted by teams of Jewish Israelis, Arab Israelis and West Bank Palestinians.
The project, headed by artistic director Yael Perlov, was funded by a consortium including the Rabinovich Foundation, the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, the American Embassy in Tel Aviv, the French Institute in Tel Aviv and the French Embassy.
“Water” was chosen for the Venice festival by a committee appointed by the Union of Italian Film Critics.
Idan Hubel’s “The Cutoff Man” tells the story of a man portrayed by Moshe Ivgy, whose job is to shut off the water of people with unpaid water bills. This film will compete in the festival’s Horizons segment.
Amir Manor’s “Hayuta and Berl,” which will take part in the festival’s Venice Days segment, depicts an elderly couple and their problems adjusting to socioeconomic change. One painful night they decide to put an end to their suffering.
Also taking part in the Venice Days segment is “The Inheritance,” produced by Arik Bernstein and David Silber. It was directed by Hiam Abbass, a Palestinian living in France. It tells the story of a Muslim family from a village in northern Israel fighting over an inheritance.
Amos Gitai’s new “Lullaby to My Father,” based on his father’s life, will be screened as a special event, alongside his 2009 film “Carmel” about his mother’s life.
Gabi cuts off the water supply to people who don’t pay their bills. There’s no choice, it’s either that or unemployment. The more he cuts, the more money he makes.Like a thief he sneaks into back yards, where the water meters are and like an executor he roams the neighborhood streets. When people see him they curse and humiliate him. they blame him for their situation. Gabi keeps cutting, he has a family to support. How long will it be before he breaks? Gabi’s son, who dreams of being a professional soccer player, is his only hope. But when one day Gabi comes to cut off the water of a sponsor on his son’s team, it looks like their dream will shatter.
Fill the Void tells the story of an Orthodox Hassidic family from Tel Aviv. Eighteen-year-old Shira is the youngest daughter of the Mendelman family. She is about to be married off to a promising young man of the same age and background. It is a dream come true, and Shira feels prepared and excited. On Purim, her twenty-eight-year-old sister, Esther, dies while giving birth to her first child, Mordechay. The pain and grief that overwhelm the family postpone Shira’s promised match.
Everything changes when a match is proposed to Yochay-Esther’s late husband-to a widow from Belgium. Yochay feels it’s too early, although he realizes that sooner or later he must seriously consider getting married again. When the girls’ mother finds out that Yochay may marry the widow and move to Belgium with her only grandchild, she proposes a match between Shira and the widower. Shira will have to choose between her heart’s wish and her family duty. She will find out that the void which she must choose exists only within her heart.
Hayuta and Berl depicts an elderly couple and the troubles they have adjusting to the social and economic changes surrounding them. One painful night, they decide to put an end to their physical and spiritual suffering
In a small Muslim village in Northern Israel, an inheritance battle between siblings goes on as their lies on his deathbed, reminiscing about his past and his bitter relationship with his late wife (their mother).
Amos Gitai tells the story of his father, Munio Weinraub, who was a student at the Bauhaus design and architecture school in the city of Dessau, before Hitler closed the school in 1933. In May 1933, Weinraub was accused of “treason against the German people” and sent to prison and later on expulsed away from Germany. The film follows Munio’s route from Poland to Germany, from Switzerland to Palestine.