“Most people would probably agree that improving people’s lives and preserving the environment are very worthy goals. If both of these objectives can be achieved at once, it’s even better. That’s exactly the value proposition we offer in the portable toilet industry.”
Todd Hilde, Satellite Industries, 2012 (open letter to portable toilet operators –Pumper, 2012)
A recently published booklet entitled “How Portable Toilets (And You) Are Impacting The World” provides a quick overview of the many benefits associated with using portable toilets. Clearly, the positive affects reveal how important it is for undeveloped countries to adopt these services.
The good news is that there is an increase in portable toilet utilization worldwide. Over the past 5 years Satellite has provided products to operators in 30 new countries. This dramatic increase is proof that as an industry, portable sanitation is gaining important ground in the war against infectious diseases and environmental pollution.
Few people in developed countries have ever been in a situation where the lack of portable sanitation has created a life threatening environment. However, we live in a world where 40% of the population still relieve themselves on the ground because modern plumbing and portable sanitation is limited or non-existent.
The detrimental impact of untreated and uncollected human waste to our overall health, safety, and environment can be measured in human lives. Tragically, over 2 million people, mostly children, die annually due to preventable diarrheal diseases.
India presents a vivid example of suffering caused by untreated and uncollected human waste. The following video clip illustrates India’s plight and one portable toilet company’s step toward improving people’s lives.
The World Health Organization estimates that improved sanitation facilities could reduce diarrhea-related deaths in young children by more than 30%. If hygiene promotion is added, such as teaching proper hand washing, deaths could be reduced by over 60% and cut respiratory infections by as much as 25%.
It is easy to overlook the benefits of portable toilets. People living in developed nations have the advantage of indoor plumbing, sewer systems and waste treatment plants. However, natural disasters can cripple these systems and open the door to widespread contamination of water sources. Thankfully, this has not occurred due to the preparedness of portable toilet operators and local government agencies.
On a daily basis, portable toilets are making a significant contribution to protect and preserve the environment and our natural resources. Approximately 473 million liters* of fresh, drinkable water is saved each day by the portable toilet industry. On an annual basis, portable toilets eliminate the cost and energy to run 57 billion liters of water through expensive waste treatment plants. In an era when fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce this is a significant savings. The fact is operators who deploy toilets and the people who use them are part of an important water conservation activity.
The portable sanitation industry is also responsible for saving thousands of liters of fuel each day. Most people do not associate portable toilets with saving fuel. At construction sites, parks, soccer fields, outdoor stadiums, recreational facilities and other locations where portable toilets are provided, fuel is saved because it isn’t necessary to drive to a toilet facility.
Truly, a portable toilet is a green product… long before ‘green’ became fashionable. It is made of plastic and metal parts that can be recycled at the end of its life. It is also recyclable in the sense that it can be moved from site to site. For instance, it does not need to remain on a work site after the building project is complete. It can be “recycled” to a new location and provide service to a new group of individuals. This portability has eliminated the need to build permanent toilet facilities in places where they would eventually not be needed, which is another way natural resources have been saved.
These are only a few ways portable sanitation products & services have improved our health, safety, standard of living, and preservation of natural resources. Every time you see a portable toilet consider that the portable sanitation industry and YOU are helping to save lives and contributing to a healthier, safer world where natural resources are preserved and people can live in dignity.
Our goal at Satellite is to continue to provide products, education and other resources to areas of the world desperately in need of portable sanitation. Through the efforts of local portable toilet operators there is hope for a cleaner, safer world where sickness and disease are replaced with dignity and a higher quality of life.
* 473 million liters saved calculation:
In countries with indoor plumbing, an average of 7 liters of clean water is used to flush a toilet and around the world there are 2.2 million portable toilets that average between twenty and thirty uses per day. Multiplied, that equates to approx. 473 million liters.