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Realizing the Circular Economy for Sanitation: Assessing Enabling Conditions and Barriers to the Commercialization of Human Excreta Derived Fertilizer in Haiti and Kenya


  • Berta Moya

    (School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, UK)

  • Ruben Sakrabani

    (School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, UK)

  • Alison Parker

    (School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, UK)


Efficient fecal sludge management solutions are especially challenging in densely populated urban informal settlements, where space is limited and land tenure uncertain. One solution is to collect and treat human excreta to produce soil conditioners for use in agriculture, through container-based sanitation, thus realizing the circular economy for sanitation. This study focused on container-based sanitation ventures that produce and sell fertilizers from human excreta. Stakeholder interviews showed that challenges faced by these ventures were similar: unclear regulations on the use of fertilizers derived from source-separated excreta, undeveloped markets for organic fertilizers, difficulties in securing secondary sources of organic matter for composting as well as complex transport and distribution logistics. The findings of this study emphasized the need for clear policies with respect to human excreta derived fertilizer, as well as institutional involvement in order to incentivize the sale and use of human excreta derived fertilizer locally to ensure that sustainable and safely managed sanitation systems are available in urban areas.

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  • Berta Moya & Ruben Sakrabani & Alison Parker, 2019. "Realizing the Circular Economy for Sanitation: Assessing Enabling Conditions and Barriers to the Commercialization of Human Excreta Derived Fertilizer in Haiti and Kenya," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(11), pages 1-15, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:11:p:3154-:d:237237

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barrett, Christopher B., 2008. "Smallholder market participation: Concepts and evidence from eastern and southern Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 299-317, August.
    2. Kim Andersson & Sarah Dickin & Arno Rosemarin, 2016. "Towards “Sustainable” Sanitation: Challenges and Opportunities in Urban Areas," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(12), pages 1-14, December.
    3. Moya, Berta & Parker, Alison & Sakrabani, Ruben, 2019. "Challenges to the use of fertilisers derived from human excreta: The case of vegetable exports from Kenya to Europe and influence of certification systems," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 72-78.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel A. Salas & Paulina Criollo & Angel D. Ramirez, 2021. "The Role of Higher Education Institutions in the Implementation of Circular Economy in Latin America," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(17), pages 1-27, August.
    2. Pradhan, Surendra K. & Cofie, Olufunke & Nikiema, Josiane & Heinonen-Tanski, H., 2019. "Fecal sludge derived products as fertilizer for lettuce cultivation in urban agriculture," Papers published in Journals (Open Access), International Water Management Institute, pages 1-11(24):71.
    3. Surendra K Pradhan & Olufunke Cofie & Josiane Nikiema & Helvi Heinonen-Tanski, 2019. "Fecal Sludge Derived Products as Fertilizer for Lettuce Cultivation in Urban Agriculture," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(24), pages 1-15, December.
    4. Andrew Emmanuel Okem & Alfred Oduor Odindo, 2020. "Indigenous Knowledge and Acceptability of Treated Effluent in Agriculture," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(21), pages 1-12, November.
    5. Luca Adami & Marco Schiavon, 2021. "From Circular Economy to Circular Ecology: A Review on the Solution of Environmental Problems through Circular Waste Management Approaches," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(2), pages 1-20, January.

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