IDEX: General Dynamics Enters the Toilet Business

By Stew Magnuson

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Among the displays for machine guns, high-resolution cameras and military vehicles, General Dynamics is featuring a portable toilet at one of its displays here at the IDEX show.
It's not a typical product for one of the United States' top defense contractors, a General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products salesman at the company booth acknowledged. He said the company regularly looks for potentially successful products developed by businesses that come up with good ideas, but don't have much experience marketing them to governments.
The Green Public Restroom, or GPR, requires no water or electricity and can support a population of 100 to 200 people by composting the human waste. Five composting pods — one is pictured here — are placed in one standard sized shipping container. The five toilets are in a separate container stacked on top, said a fact sheet being distributed at the show. 
"The GPR uses mature composting technology to control and optimize the decomposition process with no unpleasant odor," product literature said.
The waste is reduced by 90 percent and transformed into a non-hazardous "mulch-like product."
It features natural cooling and a forced air ventilation system as well as waterless hand sanitizers. The containers are designed to be transportable on trains, C-130 aircraft, semitrailers, or cargo ships for emergency response situations.
Neither the fact sheet nor the GD representatives on hand named the company or organization that invented the system.
Keep watching National Defense Magazine’s blog for daily reports from the 2011 IDEX and NAVDEX exhibitions at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 21-24.
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Topics: International

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