Business models for circular sanitation: lessons from India

Mallory, Adrian, Akrofi, Daniel, Dizon, Jenica, Mohanty, Sourav, Parker, Alison, Ray, Dolores, Prasad, CS Sharada, Welivita, Indunee, Brewer, Tim, Mekala, Snehalatha, Bundhoo, Dilshaad ORCID: 0000-0003-0262-9868, Lynch, Kenneth ORCID: 0000-0002-5296-2864, Mishra, Prajna, Willcock, Simon and Hutchings, Paul (2020) Business models for circular sanitation: lessons from India. In: Dresden Nexus Conference 2020; Circular Economy in a Sustainable Society, 3-5th June 2020, Online (Dresden). (In Press)

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Providing safe sanitation in the developing world is still a major hurdle to achieving Sustainable Development Goal number six, with 61% of the global population lacking safely managed sanitation services. Circular economy in the context of sanitation focuses on the whole sanitation chain which includes the provision of toilets, the collection of waste, treatment and transformation into sanitation-derived products including fertiliser, fuel and clean water. As well as potentially reducing the cost of toilet provision, a circular economy approach also has the potential to enable positive environmental and health impacts, unlike other systems where waste may be discharged untreated into the environment. The implementation of a system level transformation is not simple, considering operator capacity, lack of funding, slowly growing acceptance by local communities, and a policy landscape which can be inconsistent in its support for the circular economy. As India invests in long-term infrastructure to improve citizens’ quality of life (e.g., Swachh Bharat Mission), it could incorporate circular economy principles into the design of infrastructure, creating effective urban nutrient and material cycles, enhancing economic development and welfare. This represents a significant opportunity for government and businesses in India to develop circular sanitation infrastructure to recover and valorise biological nutrients. After collecting information from five case studies across India, covering different treatment technologies, waste-derived products, markets and contexts; this research identifies the main barriers and enablers for circular sanitation business models to succeed. Whilst there were many different institutional and technological arrangements, common issues of managing and enforcing incoming waste and competing with chemical fertilisers were found.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rurality; Urban; Sanitation; Circular Economy; India
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Kenny Lynch
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2020 15:03
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:58

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