Paris Installed Open-Air 'Eco-Friendly' Public Urinals...and Citizens Are MAD

Caleb Tolin | August 15, 2018
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Paris has apparently installed eco-friendly public urinals on sidewalks along the streets throughout the city -- and local residents are pissed. Pun intended.

According to Reuters, the urinals are boxes with flora on top. A passerby can stop, urinate in the box that is filled with straw, and everything on the inside of the box turns to compost which is then used for public parks and gardens.

Parisians reportedly hate the new concept, calling it "immodest and ugly." And it's the “uritrottoirs” Ile Saint-Louis, overlooking tourist boats passing on the Seine, that have caused the most uproar.

Composting is incredibly good for the environment and reduces a lot of human waste, but the locals have a few concerns with the new devices.

“There’s no need to put something so immodest and ugly in such an historic spot,” said Paola Pellizzari, 68, owner of a Venetian art store. She is also worried that the installation of these new urinals “incites exhibitionism”

Gwendoline Coipeault, a member of the feminist group Femmes Solidaires, thinks that the urinals are sexist.

“They have been installed on a sexist proposition: men cannot control themselves [from the bladder point of view] and so all of society has to adapt,” she said. “It’s absurd, no one needs to urinate in the street.”

"I think installing a urinal in the streets of Paris for those who don't respect their surroundings is a good idea, but in my opinion, this model is not attractive at all, and where it's been set up is not appropriate at all," one unidentified man said.

Apparently public urination has been a big issue in parts of Paris. Local mayor Ariel Weil said the devices were necessary especially in the four areas where the urinals have been installed. A fifth location is currently being planned.

"The interest of this new urban fixture lies in its mobility, ease of installation and use, as well as its ecological dimension," said city authorities in an official statement.

"People may laugh at our solution, but it could just work," device designer Laurent Lebot added.