Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Go Green, Flow Green: A New Restroom at the Bronx Zoo Is Awash with Water-Saving Technology

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Go Green, Flow Green: A New Restroom at the Bronx Zoo Is Awash with Water-Saving Technology

Article excerpt

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Project: Eco-Restroom at the Bronx Zoo, Bronx, New York

History: Dating from the 1950s, the original restroom at the heavily trafficked Bronxdale Gate of the Bronx Zoo in New York had not only outlived its usefulness, but its septic system had failed, resulting in the pollution of the nearby Bronx River. A solution was in order. Don Mills with Clivus Multrum Inc., a company that designs composting toilet systems, came into the project at the design phase. "The real aim was to both save water and also to not create pollution, but useful end products," says Mills, explaining that the composted restroom waste will eventually be used as fertilizer.

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Solution: Working with the composting toilet company and the design firm Edelman Sultan Knox Wood, a plan for the 1,100-square-foot facility emerged. The result is a self-contained system with composting bins in the basement of the building. The toilets are the epitome of low-flow, using between three and six ounces of water per flush, compared to about two gallons for conventional toilets. If you have to use one, you may be surprised at what meets you in the stall: a waterless toilet that futuristically spits foam into its bowl. …

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