Closing the nutrient loop by exploiting the co-benefits of nutrient recovery from human excreta has the potential to improve soil fertility, food security and reduce water use. Ecological sanitation (ecosan) is characterized by a ‘sanitize and recycle’ process based on preventing pollution, sanitizing urine and faeces and recovering nutrients for food production.

Human excreta can result in higher cabbage yields compared to the use of goat manure, while urine-fertilized plants produce equal amounts of tomato fruits as mineral fertilized plants. However, a key challenge is how ecosan can be cost-effectively scaled up in an increasingly urbanized and economic constrained world.

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