Bill Gates said in a LinkedIn post on Saturday that he’s done some “weird crap” in his life.
The philanthropist recalled the times he smelled a pit latrine and stood next to a “beaker of poop.”
In 2015, he also convinced TV host Jimmy Fallon to drink water made from “fecal sludge.”
Bill Gates says he’s done some “weird crap” in his life in a LinkedIn post on Saturday to mark World Toilet Day.
Linking to a blog post from July, the Microsoft co-founder wrote: “I’ve done some weird crap over the years: I drank water from fecal sludge with Jimmy Fallon, shared the stage with a jar of human feces, and smelled pit latrine odor.”
“These antics got a few laughs, but my goal has always been to get people to care about an issue that impacts 3.6 billion people: poor sanitation,” the philanthropist added. “Thanks to scientists and engineers from around the world, we’re getting closer to new solutions that will prevent disease and illness.”
He co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a nonprofit aiming to reduce poverty, disease, and inequity around the world, which he co-founded with his ex-wife.
Gates’s LinkedIn post focused on a matter close to his heart: access to toilets and safe sanitation. “Living without a toilet is more than an inconvenience. It’s dangerous. Unsafe sanitation means contaminated water, soil, and food. It causes illness and death,” he wrote on his blog in July.
To raise awareness, Gates shared the stage with a beaker of poop during a speech at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing in 2018.
Two years earlier, he took “a giant whiff of pit latrine odor” at Firmenich, a family-owned fragrance and flavor company based in Geneva, Switzerland. He said “the stench was foul and made me wince,” and described the smell as “a combination of sewage stink, barnyard sweat, and bitter ammonia topped off with vomit (or was it parmesan cheese?).”
In 2015, he convinced TV host Jimmy Fallon to drink water from “fecal sludge” after Gates examined the Omniprocessor, a machine that turns feces into water and electricity.
“I watched the piles of feces go up the conveyer belt and drop into a large bin. They made their way through the machine, getting boiled and treated,” Gates said at the time. “A few minutes later I took a long taste of the end result: a glass of delicious drinking water.”
Watch a clip of Bill Gates and Jimmy Fallon here:
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