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In China, Bill Gates Encourages the World to Build a Better Toilet

BEIJING — Bill Gates believes the world needs better toilets.Specifically, toilets that improve hygiene, don’t have to connect to sewage systems at all and can break down human waste into fertilizer.So on Tuesday in Beijing, Mr. Gates held the Reinvented Toilet Expo, a chance for companies to showcase their takes on the simple bathroom fixture. Companies showed toilets that could separate urine from other waste for more efficient treatment, that recycled water for hand washing and that sported solar roofs.It’s no laughing matter. About 4.5 billion people — more than half the world’s population — live without access to safe sanitation. Globally, Mr. Gates told attendees, unsafe…

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Update: Believe It or Not, Airport Bathrooms Are Getting Better (and Cleaner)

As airlines continue to shrink the size of their in-flight bathrooms, to make room for more seats in economy, making them all but unusable for tall and overweight passengers, more fliers may increasingly be seeking comfort in places they once avoided at all costs: airport restrooms.Those dingy, unappealing spaces — often with broken door latches, paper towel dispensers that have long ago run out of towels, and floors that look they like they are in dire need of cleaning — have often been the option of last resort for many frequent travelers.But, now, increasing numbers of airports seem to have recognized that clean bathrooms are an important…

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