Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Launches Toilet Redesign Program, Pledge $42 Million

Making the rounds this week, and rightly so because it involves both a billionaire and something people can giggle like children about, is the launch of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‘s “Reinventing the Toilet Challenge,” which is exactly what is sounds like. This week, at the AfricaSan Conference in Rwanda, the Foundation announced that it would be putting $42 million toward grants for helping to rethink and redesign the traditional toilet, searching for innovations that would aid not only sanitation in developing countries, but also finding ways to safely process waste into such things as reusable energy and fertilizer. The Foundation has released a list of the first eight projects they’ve given grants to (pdf), but because lists don’t get attention as well as an animated, somewhat humorous YouTube video, they’ve put out on of those as well: