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Urine constitutes only about 1% of domestic sewage but contains 50% or more of the excreted nutrients and chemicals like hormones and pharmaceutical residues. Urine diverting toilet (UDT) systems can be considered a more sustainable alternative to wastewater management because they allow nutrient recycling, reduce water use, and allow source-separation of hormones and chemicals that can harm the environment. An online survey was conducted to determine whether UDTs are acceptable to the general public in Hawaii and if attitudes and perceptions towards it and human waste (HW) recycling vary with age, sex, level of education, religious affiliation, ethnicity, and employment status. The survey was also intended to detect possible drivers and barriers for the UDTs. Variations on variables were tested at 5% significance (p=0.05) level (Chi-squared test or ANOVA) and considered significantly different if the p-value was less than 0.05. The results were encouraging as more than 60% are willing to pay extra for the UDT, while only 22% knew that such systems existed. No statistically significant difference was found between males and females on all survey questions at the 5% level. However, females had higher willingness to pay (WTP) than males and WTP increased with age and income. The WTP of Caucasians was higher than Asians and differed significantly. Some respondents expressed concern about the legal provisions for recycling of HW. The survey results indicate that with a public education program, it is possible that most people would be willing to adopt UDTs and HW recycling with incurred societal benefits of reduced water and fertilizer use, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and collection of micropollutants at the source to prevent their entry into waterways. Because of the small sample size (N=132, 13% response rate) the survey is not representative but may be indicative of the general attitude of Hawaiian people. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Krishna M Lamichhane, Roger W Babcock. Survey of attitudes and perceptions of urine-diverting toilets and human waste recycling in Hawaii. The Science of the total environment. 2013 Jan 15;443:749-56

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PMID: 23228720

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