Flowering compost urinals adorn smelly corner of Paris


 Reuters International

PARIS (Reuters) - Two compost urinals topped with miniature gardens have been installed at a notoriously smelly site in Paris - behind the Gare de Lyon station in the east of the French capital.

The bright red installations with openings at the front are fitted on top of bins containing straw, sawdust or other vegetal matters.

Other Paris sites suffering from 'pipi sauvage' - which translates roughly as freestyle wee-ing - have also installed plastic chemical toilets and urinals to try and tackle the problem.

"But here we're making compost, a fertiliser, so it's a circular economy. We're re-using two waste products... to make something that really will make plants grow," said Laurent Lebot, designer of the Uritrottoir.

Lebot says his larger models can absorb the outpourings of more than 600 passing commuters before they need to be emptied, and a corner-shaped version is also available.

He is also installing his product in his company Faltazi's home city of Nantes, in the west of France.

Paris' reputation for smelling strongly of urine dates back centuries to its origins as a swampy medieval town based around the Ile de la Cite in the river Seine, and has been spread worldwide by the more than 20 million tourists who flock there each year.

(Reporting by John Cotton and Thierry Chiarello; Writing by Andrew Callus; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

Reuters

 Reuters International