These aren’t your typical loos. One uses microwave energy to transform human waste into electricity. Another captures urine and uses it for flushing. And still another turns excrement into charcoal. They are part of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation competition to reinvent the toilet for the 2.6 billion people around the world who don’t have access to modern sanitation.
People are already joking it’s a good thing the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation isn’t charging admission for its new visitor center, which showcases Bill Gates’ multibillion-dollar philanthropy, not his computers. But most people don’t know what to expect from the glass-clad public space in front of the new headquarters of the world’s largest charitable foundation. It opens Saturday, February 4.