Reading Festival turned human waste from portaloos into renewable energy

News 30/08/2019

We all know what a state the loos at festivals can be. You're usually pretty lucky if you can find one that isn't completely overflowing and still has loo roll, but it's just what we have to put up with unfortunately.

But what if all that mess could be used for a good cause?

Reading Festival, which went down in the UK last weekend, had the idea to put the waste from their loos to good use. Thames Water, a local utility in much of the UK, said hundreds of thousands of litres of excrement, both poos and wees, would be collected over the course of the festival. Over 750,000 litres of sewage would be collected across the festival, between nine tankers carrying 19,000 litres each working 6am to 10pm every day.

"The sewage will then be transformed into renewable energy by extracting gas from a by-product called sludge to generate electricity for the Island Road plant, enough to power two homes for a day," said Energy Live News.

Andrew Glover, from Thames Water's commercial operations team said: "Reading Festival is one of the biggest events in our calendar but we’re raring to go,"

"Festival loos are infamous for their pong but it’s amazing to see what else people flush down there each year. We’ve previously had to drag out tents, sleeping bags and foil blankets, along with smaller items like mobile phones, beer cans and clothes so they don’t clog up our machines,"

"We’re therefore urging festival-goers to only put the three Ps down the loos – pee, poo and paper – and not to flush any other objects or rubbish down there,"

Pretty solid idea - hopefully we can get this rolling out at some of our NZ festies.