Frequently Asked Questions
Where was the company founded?
x-runner was founded in Germany in 2010 and was born as an idea to combat the sanitation crisis in India. For socio-political reasons it didn’t work out there, so Jessica and Isabel re-launched x-runner in Lima in 2012, after learning that there was just as much need for a solution to lacking sanitation. Today, more than 2500 people benefit from x-runner’s service.
How did x-runner start operating in Lima?
We arrived in Lima in March 2012. We started with a pilot project to test the toilet’s design with fifty families. After successfully concluding the pilot, 93% of the families decided to stay with the toilet and continue with the service. Since the beginning of 2013 we are expanding and are rapidly approaching our goal to reach operational break-even.
What is a social enterprise?
For us a social enterprise is an organization that seeks to solve a complex social problem with an economically and environmentally sustainable model.
What are B Corps?
B Corps are a new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
How are you legally constituted?
We are registered as x-runner Venture Switzerland GmbH in Switzerland. In Peru, our legal entity is Sanisol, the name of the local NGO founded to execute x-runner’s project in Peru.
What does x-runner mean?
x-runner is what the founders originally named the idea of a portable toilet system, and we have stayed with it ever since. In Peru, our dry toilet system is known under the name Family’s, for more information of the product and service check out our facebook page.
How many people work at x-runner?
The x-runner team consists of 18 Peruvians and we are still growing.
Can I contribute with donations?
Yes you can contribute to x-runner´s mission through donations with credit card or wire transfer here!
Are you planning to replicate?
We are planning to grow within the capital first and then replicate the model in all areas of Peru that need safe and clean sanitation solutions.
Is it possible to buy the toilet for other parts of Peru?
Currently, we do not sell the toilet – the monthly fee ($13) that we charge our users includes the waste pickup service, sawdust, biodegradable bags together with the rental of the dry toilet. We are focussed on growing within the three districts we operate in Lima: San Juan de Miraflores, Villa El Salvador y Villa Maria del Triunfo. In case you live within these districts and would like our dry toilet and pickup service please contact our sales team: 922 225 137. If you do not live within our impact zone but still want our dry toilet and/or service please contact us directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is your target market?
At x-runner, we believe that the dry toilet is the future of sanitation for the entire world, where water scarcity is increasing rapidly. First, we want to reach all the families living in human settlements in the districts of Lima that don’t have access to water, clean and safe sanitation. But we are convinced that sooner or later, the dry toilet will become more common than the water-flushing toilet, throughout all sectors. Lima is the second driest capital in the world and there is a severe scarcity of water. We need to think of innovative, new and sustainable solutions (like ours) to this problem for future generations!
Does it really not smell?
It really doesn’t smell! After every use, clients pour a handful of sawdust (provided by x-runner) in the toilet. This sawdust is totally organic and dehydrates the feces, eliminating smell and flies.
Where do you dispose of the collected waste?
After the weekly collection our truck takes the waste to a treatment plant. There, the feces are turned into fertile and high-quality compost through a six-months, purely organic process. The compost can be used in parks, gardens and green areas. In fact, did you know that any organic matter can be turned into fertile compost if processed in the right way (as we do it at x-runner)?
What do you plan to do with the compost produced?
We plan to sell the compost we produced, in order to create another important source of income to help us reach our long term goal to become a sustainable enterprise.
What are the ways in which clients can pay the monthly fee?
Our clients can pay comfortably through BCP agents or in any BCP bank (Peru’s largest retail bank). Every client has their code which allows us to track their payment.
How do you reach your potential clients?
Our approach is very dynamic, we constantly innovate our sales strategies. Our most important factor is the constant presence of our Family’s sales team in the communities.