February 20, 2009

Danish automated toilets costly, unpopular

Public toilets that automatically disinfect themselves are used significantly less than their simplistic predecessors in the Danish city of Arhus, figures show.

Data regarding seven of the high-tech public toilets being used in Arhus show that the automated bathrooms are used 11 times a day on average compared with the nearly 400 daily visitors to an area bus station's public toilets, the Copenhagen Post said Friday.

In addition, the seven advanced toilets rented from the firm Afa JCDecaux have reportedly cost $3.4 million to operate since being installed in 2004.

Keld Hvalso Nedergaard, who heads up an Arhus city council technical committee, told the Post the fully automated toilets cost too much when their limited usage is added into the equation.

The official also said the advanced toilets occasionally fail to work properly or stop working altogether.

The automatic cleaning doesn't really help, if people make a mess in the toilet cubicle. They are also frequently out of operation for one reason or another, Nedergaard told the Post.