A fantasy table of contents for the fantasy first issue of BUTT, now renamed Buttology, a fantazine for the spatial study of waste.
The Rise of Public Composting Toilet
“Installation of composting toilets in public facilities is catching on. In New York City, The Bronx Zoo and Queens Botanical Garden have been operating restrooms with composting toilets, with no need for sewer lines, for the last few years. The technology in both facilities is made by Clivus Multrum and resembles a conventional toilet, except that it uses only 3-6 ounces of water, in combination with a bio-compostable foam, for flushing.”
Montreal’s Wastewater Treatment: A History of Problems
“While it’s an impressive system in terms of its scope and capacity, the treatment process itself leaves much to be desired. In fact, it’s actually one of the worst in Canada. A national ‘report card’ issued by the Sierra Club in 2004 gave the city’s treatment process a grade of F-. The only other city to receive a grade worse than Montreal was Victoria, a place which doesn’t even have a treatment process in place yet.”
Nomadic Spaces: The Afghan Sewer Kids of Rome
“Italian police have found more than 100 immigrants, including 24 Afghan children, living in the sewer system beneath railway stations in Rome.”
“Trash Track relies on the development of smart tags, which will be attached to different types of garbage in order to track in real time each piece of waste as it traverses the city's sanitation system. The goal of the project is to reveal the disposal process of our everyday objects and waste, as well as to highlight potential inefficiencies in today's recycling and sanitation systems. The project will be exhibited at the Architectural League in New York City and in Seattle starting September 2009.”
“Today, 40% of the global population lives without toilets. In most places, scarcity of water renders sewer systems impossible, while ad hoc human waste disposal spreads waterborne illnesses that prey upon millions, and cripple developing economies. It is crucial to address the global sanitation crisis with creative solutions. While many NGOs are hard at work installing composting eco-toilets for those in need, a continual challenge is to motivate communities to look after their new toilets. By turning human waste into a high-value commodity, energy, the Gardiner CH4 offers plenty of incentive to sustain itself.”
The Geopolitics of Space Toilets
“[Veteran cosmonaut Gennady Padalka] told Novaya Gazeta newspaper that officials had rejected his request to work out on the American exercise bike during their pre-training mission. Worse than that, they had also ruled that American and Russian crew members should use their own ‘national toilets’, with Russian crew banned from using the luxurious American astro-loo.” The situation may have improved since reading this.
Religious Freedom vs. Sanitation Rules
“For the last two and a half years, Mr. Crislip, a planning supervisor for the state’s Environmental Protection Department, and local sewage authorities have had more than 30 meetings in a futile effort to persuade members of the sect here in Cambria County, about 80 miles east of Pittsburgh, to upgrade outhouses next to a schoolhouse so they comply with state sanitation codes.”
Fez River Project
“The City of Fez Department of Water and Power (RADEEF) is currently implementing a new system which will channel the city’s water sewage towards two treatment plants. Thereby, the Fez river will soon stop receiving backwater and regain its potential as a public amenity. If rehabilitated, its impact will be inordinately salient to the unique urban context of Fez. Indeed, the medina’s intra-mural population not only lacks public open spaces, but is also experiencing a rapid deterioration of its environment due to over-densification and aging public infrastructure.”
“The national obsession with soft paper has driven the growth of brands like Cottonelle Ultra, Quilted Northern Ultra and Charmin Ultra — which in 2008 alone increased its sales by 40 percent in some markets, according to Information Resources, Inc., a marketing research firm. But fluffiness comes at a price: millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries, including some percentage of trees from rare old-growth forests in Canada. Although toilet tissue can be made at similar cost from recycled material, it is the fiber taken from standing trees that help give it that plush feel, and most large manufacturers rely on them.”
Poo Power to the People
“Lünen, north of Dortmund, will use cow and horse manure as well as other organic material from local farms to provide cheap and sustainable electricity for its 90,000 residents.”
Mapping Urban Drug Use
“A team of researchers has mapped patterns of illicit drug use across the state of Oregon using a method of sampling municipal wastewater before it is treated. Their findings provide a one-day snapshot of drug excretion that can be used to better understand patterns of drug use in multiple municipalities over time. Municipal water treatment facilities across Oregon volunteered for the study to help further the development of this methodology as a proactive tool for health officials.”
Tips for the next issue will be much appreciated. We're especially looking for built works, thesis projects, entries submitted to (ideas) competitions and proposals of a highly speculative nature.