Paris, the city of light and fashion, has been having a smelly problem in many areas of the city. People are urinating on the pavements in the railway stations. Many parts of Paris have had a bad reputation for smelling strongly of urine.
Wanting to solve this problem, two designers thought of an innovative way to solve the problem. They designed the “Uri Trottoir”, an eco-friendly was to pee. Uritrottoir is derived from the combination of verb ‘Uriner’ and the French word ‘Pavement’.
These urinals have a basin for peeing. A miniature garden is built on a top of a closed bin which contains dry straws, sawdust and wood chips. When the water passes, this material absorbs all of it. Later it is collected and converted into compost.
The material is organic and has a high carbon content which reduces the smell dramatically.
As an experiment, they installed these colourful they have installed two urinals in the Gara de Lyon train station. If the experiment is a success, they plan to install them in train stations around the city and the country.
“We are making a compost fertiliser. Two waste products- urine and straws are being used to help plants grow.” says one of the designers of Uri Trottoir, Laurent Lebot and Victor Massip, as reported by The Guardian.
These basins are of two types. The designers of the Uri Trottoir estimated that based on an average, 450 ml per pee, the smaller model would absorb the output of 300 users and the larger model would absorb that of 600 users.
It has been coated with a bright red and graffiti resistant paint which cost around 3000 Euros. These are fitted with an electronic monitoring system that sends a signal when the composite needs collecting.
“It is a terrible problem for the French National Railway Company as people going home from a night out, and they have to relieve themselves before they get on a train. This smells bad, it costs a lot to clean, and the neighbours complain,” says Lebot.
There are other three more pavement urinoirs which are on trial in Western France.
Paris had also installed some 400 self-cleaning, unisex public toilets known as Sanisettes which are free to use since 2006. They have also employed street sanitation workers who disinfect and deodorise the pavements every month. But despite their efforts, the urine seeps into the stones and smells bad.
Lebot conceded that the Uri Trottoir is not a complete answer, but this has so far solved the problem for men. They are trying to figure out other ways for women.
The Logical Indian appreciates how citizens of Paris took the initiative to solve a problem. We hope that the people in our country India also take such initiatives to address the problems.