WeCo receives the special mention of the jury in the sustainable infrastructure category, giving it visibility through the Construction21 platform in France and around the world.
The Chinese Radio in France (LCF) has done us the honor to interview Cecile Dekeuwer, President of WeCo, about the purpose of our company and its innovative solution in mater of ecological sanitation.
At the initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in cooperation with the Chinese Government of President Xi who announced the toilet revolution in 2015, an exhibition was held in Beijing in November 2018.
Sciences et Avenir, a French scientific magazine, publishes an article about the technology developed in WeCo toilets, that allows recycling wastewater on site.
In just 3 years, WeCo has become THE French start-up with ambitions and an international capacity, that wants to save the planet! Le Figaro did not make a mistake about it and gave it a nice audience in this article that showcases our innovative technology to recycle all waste and faeces on site. The WeCo toilet works with water, but independently. These toilets have a system capable of recycling wastewater in a closed circuit. They can even treat urine for reuse, cleaning, watering or industrial applications. These toilets have already been tested at public events, such as the festival of Futur En Seine or the Biennale du Design in Saint-Etienne.
Our urine recycling technology is currently installed in St Etienne in the buildings of the School of Art and Design and in a recycled container located in Vitry-sur-Seine.
These demonstrators and first customers that are the Metropole of St Etienne that we thank, allow us to test and demonstrate to our customers, prospects, media, these ecological and innovative toilets, the only toilets in the world flush perfectly autonomous that recycle water and excrement on site.
WeCo has been selected from a hundred startups for the Tech for Planet show organized by Numa at Station F La Halle Freyssinet, the largest start-up incubator in the world.
This event was organized on the initiative of President Macron to celebrate technological start-ups that are innovative and work to save the planet. Thus, WeCo had the opportunity to present him our sewerless toilet technology in a 1-to-1 interview.
WeCo was able to exhibit its models of electrolysis waste recycling technology which allows the system to be self-sufficient and the absence of connection to the sewerage network.
As at every fair, WeCo has been the subject of much interest from the press and other partners, investors.
The WeCo team would like to thank the Numa incubator for this great opportunity!
On December 12, 2017, Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group and Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, decided to reject the fatalism facing the ecological emergency for our planet gathering in Paris, international leaders and committed citizens from around the world. Together, they have launched a major project to fight against climate change.
We were one of the few French start-ups selected to present its solutions and technology to an international institutional audience, including Bill Gates, a key player in the toilet revolution. Let us remember that more than 3 billion people in the world have access to toilets and that water and sanitation have been designated by the UN as the 6th objective for sustainable development. Here is WeCo’s pitch text at this global forum for the planet where 50 heads of state and government presented:
« I am living a love story. It’s magic and frightening. Magic because it is unpredictable. I am in love with toilets! Frightening because the issues are huge. In France we are wasting more than 4700 liters of clean water per second to flush the toilets.
In the world, more than 3 billion people do not have access to proper toilets. This is why, toilets are a UN sustainable development goal.
The logic for investing in toilets is simple: toilets are the world’s cheapest medicine. Sanitation was voted the greatest medical milestone of the last 150 years, higher than vaccines, antibiotics and anaesthesia, because passive protection against health hazards is often the best way to improve a population’s health. For example in 1832, the cholera killed 20000 people because of Paris’s ancient public hygiene system, where people threw sewage into gutters running down the middle of the street, allowing the disease to rip through the city at an alarming rate. Keep that in mind, cholera reflects a lack of sanitation system.
Toilets mean dignity, and in some countries, safety. In India thousands of women are raped because they do not have toilets at home and have to go during the night to the toilets in the countryside. There is successful Bollywood movie now in India which inspires my title.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the French Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, the porcelain urinal voted the most influential artwork of the 20th century. There couldn’t be a better way, and time, to spread sanitation awareness by cultural means.
Therefore in WeCo we have combined the French design and creativity to our innovative and engineering spirit to create non sewered, sustainable and design flushing toilets.
We have developed a technology transforming urine into clean water. Meaning that we do not waste water, and we even produce clean treated water from urine. All the bacteria are killed. And the faecal sludge is digested by a biological treatment, reducing the frequency of collection twice a year when a chemical toilet has to be emptied every day…
This technology already answers to most of the social and health issues in emerging countries where there is no sewer network and then, no proper sanitation.
But it also answers to more and more request from developed countries to have sustainable toilets, not being dry toilets that are not accepted socially and do kill the bacteria: diseases can spread off. You heard about sustainable cities, eco-quartiers, or renovation of old building without access to sewer connection. WeCo is the solution to all of these various hypotheses.
We decided to make sustainable but also design toilets, attractive, not to say sexy. We want the people from all over the world to be happy to use them according to their culture in terms of sanitation and hygiene.
In China President Xi wants to develop the country by developing its inland tourism. He launched the toilet revolution. We won a prize from the Chinese National Tourism Agency for our eco-design toilets to develop the tourism there.
In Africa we will be launching a project in Senegal to test and adapt our toilets to African countries where the water is lacking, where more than 4.000 children are dying each day from diarrhea, which seems unbelievable in 2017 from our French perspective. Cholera is killing people in townships like in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa where there is no toilets, where people are using plastic bags to defecate and where waste are everywhere, spreading diseases that we in France believe have disappeared long time ago.
You know we are spending more than 4 years of our life on the toilets.
For all these reasons, in WeCo we believe it is worth making nice, high tech and sustainable toilets for everyone in the world. We are making a sustainable revolution in the toilets world.”
According to Le Point (a French weekly magazine) the city of Saint-Etienne is at the cutting edge of industry of the future. WeCo is part of this action!
The French start-up Weco won the “Excellence prize” of the context organized by the Chinese ministry of tourism and by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation thanks to its innovative, ecological public toilets.
Le Parisien introduced ten projects, including WeCo, which will fight against climate change.
Green News Techno speaks about our company and our prize (page 8).
Le Journal des Entreprises du Rhône put the spotlight on WeCo in the May issue.