No potty talk here: Old toilets get new life underfoot

An engineer in Bellinham, Washington, used crushed porcelain from recycled toilets in a sidewalk project.

Now that’s what we call a “can”-do attitude.

The Meador Kansas Ellis Trail project was recognized by the University of Washington for this innovation and a number of others, including the installation of low-energy LED streetlights and the use of porous concrete to manage storm water.

According to a press release from the University of Washington, the project saved more than 400 toilets from the landfill. The toilets were smashed, then used in what project engineers are calling “poticrete.”

The press release states that approximately 5 tons of toilets of toilets were used, and the project used about 80 tons of recycled concrete to build sidewalks, curbs and gutters. Dare we say the project’s engineers should be feeling “flush” with success?

On a local level, there are a number of cement companies in the region that can use recycled concrete in their products (a simple Internet search using the terms “Lehigh Valley” and “concrete recycling” will find many of them). If you have a project coming up, check to see if a recycled product is a feasible option. Mother Nature will thank you!