When I moved to Toronto a few months ago, I was looking for a fresh start. I've spent the last decade passionately pursuing entrepreneurial ventures involving sustainable technologies, from promoting community wind in New England, to organizing environmental events in Beijing, China, to scaling rooftop solar in California. This time, I was looking for a place where I could find the people and the tools I would need to develop a new technology that could turn food waste into renewable energy and fertilizer... without ever leaving the building.
Within a few weeks of arriving in Canada, I found Site 3 Colaboratory. It's one of the oldest member-run maker spaces and fabrication workshops in Toronto. Makers come to Site 3 from all over Canada to work on interesting and unusual creations of art and technology. It was the perfect place to start working on my project.
A few weeks after becoming a member, I discovered that the novel "incinerator toilets" that I'd been introduced to when I first arrived were not just someone's science project. They were a necessity at Site 3, because the building had no connection to the city sewage and water lines. The not-for-profit had been wanting to install a flush toilet for years, but the city was making it prohibitively expensive to do so.
It was then that I realized Site 3 had an actual need for my project. The technology I wanted to build, commonly called an anaerobic digester, has the ability to sterilize and reduce human waste, while turning it into methane gas and fertilizer. We could use this device to treat toilet waste without connecting to the city's sewage lines. Furthermore, we could collect rainwater to supply the system, and recycle the grey water that would be produced by having a sink.
In other words, we could design a sustainable, onsite waste management system that would never require a connection to the city infrastructure.
In addition to helping out Site 3, this project will also serve as a “proof of concept” for the new technology we are developing at Everflux, the Flux Omnivore.
Onsite waste management is nothing new, but it's rarely found in urban areas of Canada and the United State. Furthermore, this system will be the first in North America to incorporate an anaerobic digester inside a building, which will capture methane to generate renewable energy.
I hope you will join us in embarking on this pioneering project by donating to our Indiegogo campaign. I will continue to posts updates relevant to the project here as we move into construction of Phase 1 .
~Daniel Enking, CEO, Everflux Technologies
About the Author
Daniel Enking is the founder of Everflux Technologies. He is a life-long environmentalist and practical dreamer who is obsessed with resource efficiency and imaged an "everything recycling machine" at age 10.