Would You Use a Sidewalk Urinal?

“Eco-friendly” open-air urinals cause uproar in Paris

CNN – An attempt by officials in Paris to tackle public urination by installing open-air urinals, or “uritrottoirs,” [sidewalk urinal] has outraged some residents of the French capital.

The new urinals, housed in flower boxes, aren’t subtle — they’re fully exposed on street corners, are painted bright red and have nearby signs advertising their presence.

One in particular, located near the Notre-Dame cathedral, has drawn attention for its view of the River Seine.

“Intelligent urinals” – or a piss-poor idea? 

The “intelligent urinals,” which have a straw layer that eliminates odor, were installed in areas where public urination is a problem, according to a statement from city officials.

Officials say the urinals are eco-friendly — they will harness nutrients in waste to produce compost for parks and gardens.

According to the statement, one year of a person’s urine holds enough nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to fertilize 400 square meters of wheat.

However, these features have done little to calm the ire of local residents, who have written to the town hall in protest.

“I think installing a urinal in the streets of Paris for those who don’t respect their surroundings is a good idea, but in my opinion, this model is not attractive at all, and where it’s been set up is not appropriate at all,” one man told reporters.

Ariel Weil, mayor of the fourth district of Paris, tweeted in defense of the urinals on Monday, calling them “an invention of genius.” Four have been installed so far.

Paris isn’t the first European city to install outdoor urinals. Amsterdam has had them for years … Read the full story at CNN. 


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