NYC park to get composting toilets that turn poo into fertilizer

Guests to Brooklyn's Prospect Park will soon have a new way to donate towards its upkeep, because a new $1.8 million public latrine will use their waste to create 'humanure' that can be spread on the plants and lawns.

The new facility is being built in the old well house, a building that used to pump 750,000 gallons of water per day into Prospect Park Lake. These days, there's no water or sewer hookups anywhere near the area, so the NYC Parks Department came up with the green latrine to eliminate those needs while providing a clever (if stinky) way to generate fertilizer for the park.

The toilets will use a very small amount of water and a special foam to wash down the waste, where it will be separated into liquid and solid components. A combination of wood chips and microbes will compost the poop, putting it in a collection tank for storage. That tank will be emptied just once every five years, which makes it sound like it could have been a perfect opportunity for the now-cancelled TV show Dirty Jobs. Just where they plan to store all of the recovered humanure between the tank cleanings wasn't announced.

New York currently has a law that prohibits using human waste on plants, but Prospect Park lead landscape architect Christian Zimmerman hopes to get that changed before the facility opens in five years. Otherwise the poop will end up in a presumably very stinky landfill somewhere.

Via NY Daily News

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