Rich Earth Institute engages in research, education, and technological innovation to advance the use of human waste as a resource in order to conserve water, prevent pollution, and sustain soil fertility.
Through research, demonstration, and education projects, we strive to illustrate the positive effect of this approach in important areas including water quality, food security, energy use, soil health, economic sustainability, carbon footprint, public health, and emergency preparedness.
We seek to bring together the knowledge of many disciplines and professions in order to create workable solutions. For this reason, the various perspectives of sanitary engineers, farmers, water quality advocates, businesspeople, agricultural scientists, and regulators are all represented among our board members and collaborators.
The Institute was founded in 2011, and is developing quickly. Since 2012 we have been conducting controlled agricultural field trials using source-separated human urine as a fertilizer, and operating the nation’s first community scale urine recycling program. We are creating a regional system for recycling source-separated human waste back into agriculture, and serve as an intellectual hub for researchers, writers, professionals, and other practitioners who are exploring the intersection of agriculture and sanitation.