Daily cleaning up of the sticky stench of ‘les pipis sauvage’ (translation wild peeing) costs a fortune, and the acidic urine is damaging public buildings, lamp posts and cars. And smells disgusting. Even hefty on-the-spot fines have not halted this (mostly) antisocial male habit.
The Uritrottoir uses a bed of straw or woodchips to accept the pee. There’s no water and no need to connect to the sewer and the high-carbon material also neutralises some of the smell. When it’s full (a standard Uritrottoir can hold 600 urinations), a computer sends a message for it to be collected and taken to a composting station.
Paris has ordered two Uritrottoir toilets for Gare de Lyon, one of its biggest railway stations and a major site for public urination. Although the toilets are expensive (around US$4800), with the escalating cost of cleaning buildings and footpaths everyday, they will no doubt pay for themselves soon enough.
The Uritrottoir was designed by industrial engineer Laurent Lebot. More info at Uritrottoir