Networked Sanitation

The difficulties of retaining, scheduling, pumping, and moving excrement led cities like Paris, New York, Balti- more, and others to switch to sewers. Dry sanitation, ecological sanitation, is a logistics problem. Luckily the modern world is great at logistics.

By applying networked management, electronic sensors, and containerization to the problem of our excrement, we can make dry sanitation far more sanitary, painless, and reasonable than sewer systems. If we can drive down the cost of monitoring both collection containers and compost, mistakes can be minimized and tracked, and expertise can be applied remotely. These lessons have already been applied to manufacturing, where the steady pace of the assembly line has been virtualized into a just-in-time network of disparate suppliers. An analogous system of sensors, transporters, and performance benchmarks can coordinate the sanitization and cycling of our organic matter.

Climate differences, human density, social mores, and endemic diseases all change the composting system design calculus.While composting systems may be superficially divergent, the biota they use are part of the same continuum and the compost they produce shares key characteristics. No specific composting system is best, and through monitoring we can study and recognize the points of unity between systems and hold ourselves account- able to performance-based standards. Decomposition is an ecological activity central to our health, and we must learn to work with it and trust it.

 A Sensible System based on science