Why it matters to you
We all want our big cities to smell less like urine, so why not provide an attractive and green place to pee?
Paris is a beautiful place full of great food, great people, and great scenery. However, anyone who has actually visited Paris knows that underneath all that glamor lies a problem. More specifically, a problem with urination.
In any given day, Parisian sanitation workers wash the sidewalks of Paris in their attempt to fight the smell and damaging effects of public urination. To help combat this problem, Laurent Lebot of the French product studio Faltazi has designed a simple solution. The Uritrottoir, which roughly translates to “pavement urinal,” is essentially an eco-friendly place to pee.
The modern design of the Uritrottoir is rather simple. It essentially is made up of two boxes stacked on one another. The top box acts as a planter and comes in a variety of colors including red, green, and gray. It features a wide chute that leads to the lower metal box. Inside this box is odor-fighting dry straw. If this modern urinal is used correctly, it will also contain pee from public urinators.
Depending on what is needed, the boxes come in three different varieties. The smallest Uritrottoir is built to sit in corners. It can hold 110 liters or about 275 uses. The next size up is the small standard box. At a capacity of 110 liters, this box can hold roughly 300 uses. For heavily used areas, there is also a large option. This giant box can manage 240 liters or 600 uses.
When a box is full, a sensor alerts an attendant over the internet to swap out the lower compartment. The contents are then brought outside the city for composting. In an effort to turn our yellow waste green, the compost can then be used as fertilizer for public gardens, parks, or even just the flowers growing out the top of the urinal.
Currently, Paris is giving the Uritrottoir a try. Two have been placed outside of the Fare de Lyon train station and cost $9,730 altogether. If it’s a success, they will start popping up elsewhere around the city.