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13.6.04

Urinal Reform

Flash No-Flush Urinals Spark A Lav Affair

Woollahra, Waverley, Manly and Randwick councils are considering swapping the water now used in public urinals for small new-age cubes that promise to stop the smell, keep the urinals clean and save 70,000 to 100,000 litres of water for each urinal every year. Made from bacteria, the blocks are said to keep urinals cleaner and less smelly.

... Desert Ecosystems, the South Australian company that makes them, claims "a blend of naturally occurring microbes ... removes the cause of urinal odours without the use of water" and reduces stains on urinals.

... The water bill for the toilets is $6000 a year, he [Manly water cycle management officer Paul Smith] said, compared with about $400 a year for the microbe blocks. "We haven't had any negative reaction or any reaction at all, to be honest," he said.

... Cr Excell admitted it would be harder to save water in women's toilets, although it might be possible to dedicate some toilets to "number ones, and some to number twos".


Aussies are good at getting little environmental details right. They're on the verge of eliminating plastic grocery bags, and now they're working on non-flushing urinals. As for the toilets and the problem of "number twos," while I was down there I saw a state-of-the-art composting outhouse at FitzRoy Falls National Park, so perhaps that technology can be adapted for wider use.

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