Today’s Solutions: December 10, 2023

The waste from your own body that you flush down the toilet goes through an extensive journey long after you’ve left the bathroom. From the toilet it descends through a series of pipes before it winds up at a waste water treatment center where it’s extracted from the water and decontaminated, leaving behind something called biosolids. You probably don’t like to think about these biosolids, but fortunately, you don’t have to. Engineers out of Australia have discovered that the nutrient-rich organic content found in biosolids is fantastic for making bricks. As it turns out, bricks made from biosolids “look the same, smell the same and have similar physical and mechanical properties as normal fired clay bricks.” The engineers believe that, as long as it’s done locally, recycling biosolids into bricks could save land and energy while reducing carbon emissions. It’s a good solution to the problem of biosolids, especially since the old solution was to dump them into the sea or a landfill.

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