The CR & Sustainability Salary Survey 2018

4th July 2017

Parisians ‘oui’ outdoors in eco-urinal

A designer in Paris has unveiled a sustainable outdoor toilet in a bid to tackle the public urination epidemic.

The Uritroittoir is a sleek, modern loo that helps protects urban infrastructure and beautify the city of lights at the same time, in typical French style.

Unlike standard urinals, the Uritroittoir is a closed, vegetation-topped bin containing a bed of straw and wood chips, which are later used as compost. The outdoor toilets’ straw and wood chip mix helps neutralise smells, due to its high carbon content.

Computers monitor the Uritroittoirs and can detect when they need to be emptied and the contents are then removed to be turned into compost for city parks and gardens.

Laurent Lebot, who designed the outdoor loo, said: “We’re making compost, a fertiliser, so it’s a circular economy.

“We’re reusing two waste products, straw and urine, to make something that makes plants grow.”

Around 1,800 miles of pavements across Paris has to be cleaned by sanitation workers each day as a result of public urination.

Urine — and the harsh chemicals used to clean it — can damage streets, walkways, lampposts, telephone poles and other street furniture.

Interventions such as the Uritroittoirs are vital for helping cities enforce responsible public urination and cut down on costs associated with cleanup and damage.

San Francisco saw a similar project rolled out after a street lamp collapsed due to damage from urine. The city has since installed open-air urinals in parks to discourage what the French call “les pipis sauvage” or “wild peeing.”