Sanitation, wastewater management and sustainability: from waste disposal to resource recovery

The second edition of Sanitation, Wastewater Management and Sustainability: From Waste Disposal to Resource Recovery aims to bring about change by showing how improved sanitation and wastewater management can benefit both humans and the environment. Wastewater and excreta are commonly seen as useless and potentially dangerous waste products. However, they are indeed valuable resources, which if utilized correctly, can serve to improve ecosystem health and human wellbeing. The rich organic matter contained in our excreta and wastewater can be used to improve soils or produce clean-turning, low-carbon biogas – and if properly treated, wastewater can be used for agricultural irrigation or even clean drinking water. Putting these resources to productive use is important, but for this to happen, a shift in public perception is needed – from seeing these products as an inferior waste product to seeing them as a valuable commodity, as part of a circular economy.

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