Europe

Paris compost urinals open near Gare de Lyon station

  • 1 February 2017
  • From the section Europe
Compost urinal near Gare de Lyon station in Paris Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Men will relieve themselves in the open air into the front part of the urinal, and help plants grow

Two new environmentally-friendly compost urinals equipped with miniature gardens on top have opened in Paris near the Gare de Lyon station.

The hope is they will encourage men to relieve themselves more hygienically near the station, which is a notorious black spot for urinating in public.

If the scheme is successful, it will be expanded to other stations in France.

Men will relieve themselves in the open air into the front part of the urinal, and help plants grow.

The bright red urinals are fitted on top of bins containing straw and sawdust so that compost can be made.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption If the scheme is successful. it will be extended

"We're re-using two waste products... to make something that really will make plants grow," Uritrottoir co-designer Laurent Lebot, told the Reuters news agency.

Mr Lebot said that bigger versions of his device could absorb the urine of 600 people before they needed to be emptied.

Parts of Paris have long had a reputation for smelling strongly of urine, dating back to its emergence centuries ago from swamps adjoining the river Seine.

Supporters of the scheme quoted by The Local say that the urinals provide a more convivial environment, especially when compared to the numerous grey and overflowing street urinals that can be found all over the centre of Paris.

They say it should help to discourage men from urinating elsewhere in public.

"People urinating on the streets of France is a serious problem," co-designer Victor Massip told The Local.

"We knew there was a big demand for a solution, so we've come up with one.

"People are laughing, many of them are amazed, but most agree that it's a good idea to test out."

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