The Royal Albatross Centre's problems with human waste
disposal could be solved by an innovative system involving
The Star has reported in previous editions that the
albatross centre was finding it expensive to get rid of its
toilet waste, which had to be transported off site.
The cost of sewage disposal was largely the reason the centre
introduced a $5 door charge in 2012.
The proposed system would use evaporation to dispose of the
centre's liquid waste, leaving only the solid waste to
Otago Peninsula Trust Taiaroa Head operations manager Hoani
Langsbury said he had been thinking about getting rid of the
liquid waste through evaporation for several years. He had
approached the Otago Polytechnic to come up with a way to put
his idea into action.
It was not possible to dispose of waste into the sea or on
the land both for customary reasons and because doing so
would damage the environment, he said.
Mr Langsbury believed the technology to evaporate the waste
was already used in other industries but the proposed
waste-disposal system would be a New Zealand first.
Mr Langsbury believed it would be a struggle to create a
passive system (a system that did not require outside energy
to dispose of the waste) due to lack of space, so it was
unlikely the process would be cost neutral.
However, the waste-disposal system was likely to cost less
money than the present method and would minimise
Future by Design Ltd director Maggie Lawton said prototyping
and trials could proceed when funding was secured.
Liquid made up 90% of the centre's waste and it was possible
the remaining solid waste could be used for compost, she
The liquid could be evaporated either by boiling with heating
elements, using wind flows, or using materials such as
ceramics, black plastic, timber, natural or synthetic fibres
to maximise heat transfer into the water.
Evaporation through plant ''evapotranspiration'' was another
The Otago Peninsula Trust and the Otago Polytechnic have
jointly applied to the Community Environment Fund for
More than $100,000 is needed to fund the research. A decision
on funding is expected this month.