SOIL Talks Trash (Magic)

Daniel Tillias & Dr. Sasha Kramer with SOIL’s compost

SOIL’s Executive Director Dr. Sasha Kramer and SOIL Board Co-Chair Daniel Tillias were recently featured on the Trash Magic podcast where they discussed ecological sanitation, recycling human waste into nutrient-rich compost, and empowering local economies in urban Haiti. The podcast, hosted by chemical engineer Oakley Jennings-Fast and waste and recycling expert Sara Fuentes, aims to demystify the circular economy and encourage listeners to ‘change the world one purchase and one piece of trash at a time.’ 

On the podcast Sasha and Daniel discuss ways that sanitation remains the most important public health intervention in human history, that for hundreds of years we’ve known that we must find ways to remove and treat waste from communities in order to avoid illness and premature death, and yet, today, more than 2 billion people in the world still don’t have a toilet.

Daniel highlights the reasons that sanitation access is crucial in underserved communities like his in Haiti’s capital of Port au Prince. In extremely impoverished and densely populated neighborhoods like Citè Soleil, a lack of access to safe sanitation leads to pollution and disease and creates a sort of arrested development for the community’s youth. Daniel explains that in many of these at-risk populations, illness runs rampant and the already insufficient money and efforts a family might have needs to be put into disease treatment and mitigation instead of being used for education or other services that could lead to opportunity.  

Among several topics of discussion, Sasha describes how SOIL aligns itself with the philosophy of liberation ecology, a paradigm in which “waste” does not really exist, whether it refers to discarded materials or to people, and that the organization holds tight to the belief that within all of us there lies a potential for greatness. 

It’s a fun, entertaining, and informative conversation among four people who are passionate about trash! Follow this link to listen to the podcast in its entirety.

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