Timon Singh

Scottish Wildlife Trust Building $80,000 Eco-Friendly Toilet on Handa Island

by , 03/14/12

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When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go – even if you’re on the tiny island of Handa, located off Scotland’s north west coast, which is uninhabited for six months of the year. That’s precisely why the Scottish Wildlife Trust is building a super-strong eco-friendly public toilet on the island in order to cater to the 6,000 bird watchers and enthusiasts that visit over the spring and summer. The ambitious new toilet will be storm-proof and cost a hefty $80,000 (£50,000) to make.

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Due to its location, the isle of Handa is often battered by gale force winds, so the construction of the public toilet will be super-sturdy in order to prevent it from being blown into the sea. Also the island’s current toilet just can’t cope with the tourists on top of the volunteer SWT staff, especially during nesting season. However as the isle is a nature reserve and home to 100,000 seabirds, special environmental measures are needed to make sure the project has no lasting impact.

Firstly due to the lack of running water, people who use the toilet will have to sprinkle sawdust after a visit. It will then be cleared out every two years. However in order to make sure that the toilet’s contents aren’t blown all over the island by gales, the unit’s steel foundations will be set at a depth of two metres. A team of five men will build the public toilet on a hill overlooking the beach and should finish construction within the week.

With no water or electricity on the island, the toilet will have an eco-friendly composting feature. Sawdust will be sprinkled after every use instead of flushing, so it will only need to be cleared out every two years.

“There will be no pollution from this toilet, only compost,” said Phil Knott, a ranger on the island.  “It is an eco facility, with a turf roof and eco-friendly cleaning products. And from the door you can see lots of iconic mountains like Suilven, Foinaven and Ben Mor Coigach as well as seals and otters on the beach.”

So there you go. If you’re visiting Handa to see the isle’s 250 pairs of puffins, know that if you need to go you’ll be going in a concrete re-inforced environmentally friendly toilet with a great view! You will also be using one of the world’s most expensive toilets!

+ Scottish Wildlife Trust

via BBC News

Image: Saskia Heijltjes and jack_spellingbacon

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