Developing nations like India face major challenges in their developmental efforts due to issues related to waste management and open defecation. While the urban community faces challenges related to plastic waste which has become almost all pervasive, the rural counterpart's open defecation continues to pose significant health threats. Lack of large-scale utilization of plastic from the urban population has been a challenge for civic administrators. The state is same as the rural population in terms of adequate sanitation infrastructure due to the cost of raw materials and lack of skilled workers. This paper discusses a potential solution to address these issues in concern; i.e. transforming urban plastic waste into interlocking construction blocks and then to construct low-cost, rapid build toilets. A study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of using LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene), HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) (major sources of waste) with easily procurable materials like sand, rice husk and saw dust, in different proportions to create the interlocking blocks. The study included a comparison of the mechanical and thermal properties of different proportions of raw materials to find the optimum composition. The paper also discusses the design and construction of toilet structure based on the (1) acceptance of the rural community, (2) construction with interlocking bricks method, and (3) availability of resources. The environmental and economic sustainability advantages of the proposed solution with very minimum skills, fewer construction materials, and shorter build time as compared to conventional methods have also been explored in this paper.
H. T. Mohan, L. Masson, Dr. Sreevalsa Kolathayar, Dr. Anil Kumar Sharma, Monish K, Krishnan, A. G., S. K. Thiviya, and R. Mohan, “Transforming urban waste into construction blocks for a sanitation infrastructure: A step towards addressing rural open defecation”, in 2017 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), San Jose, CA, USA, 2017, pp. 1-9.