Re-Locate is partnered with the Climate Foundation and Theresa Theuretzbacher from BOKU University in Vienna, Austria to develop a concept design for a new waste management system in Kivalina. Technologically, this system is built around urine diversion dry toilets and biochar reactors that convert human solid waste into charcoal and fertilizer substrate.
The technologies we are proposing are readily transported by shipping containers to future village relocation sites being planned in response to the impacts of climate change on Kivalina. We plan to engineer, analyze, and adapt technology developed for sub-Saharan Africa to Arctic conditions to process waste into energy, biochar, and useful raw materials. The project will be co-designed with leaders and residents in Kivalina, government agencies, and expert consultants from across the State of Alaska and around the world.
Local relationships, roles, and responsibilities are critical to understand, visualize, and integrate into the design of any new waste management plan. Biochar systems and dry toilets play an important role, but the success of the technology depends on its effective integration with and support of the autonomously functioning practices that are operating in the village already.