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Human waste from Reading Festival will be used to power homes

A new spin on renewables… 

Festival goers at Reading will help provide power to the grid by doing little more than heeding the call of nature. 

Human waste at the event will be collected by Thames Water during the five-day festival, and turned into renewable energy. 

Working from 6AM to 10PM every day, nine tankers will collect an estimated 750,000 litres of sewage before it is transported to Reading sewage works, where it will be screened for nearly anything imaginable. Phones, tents, and even sleeping bags have been dragged out of festival loos in the past.  

The sewage is first processed before gas is extracted from a byproduct called sludge. The sludge byproduct then generates electricity for the power plant. Reading will provide enough to power two homes for a day.  

Andrew Glover of Thames Water said: “Reading Festival is one of the biggest events in our calendar, but we're raring to go. We'll be working 16 hours a day for five days, collecting and treating a total of 750,000 litres of sewage from the site's toilets.

"Festival loos are infamous for their pong, but it's amazing to see what else people flush down there each year. We've previously had to drag out tents, sleeping bags and foil blankets, along with smaller items like mobile phones, beer cans and clothes so they don't clog up our machines."

Meanwhile, Oval Space has found a less smelly way to help the environment by ridding the club of single use plastics. And earlier this year, Live Nation announced it would ban single-use plastics from all of its festivals worldwide by 2021.