The urinal was presented last Friday in the presence of the Alderman for Prevention Stefaan Deleus and Richard de Vries of Urban Senses, the company which developed it (see photo below). It is situated in the Minderbroedersgang, a place notorious for its bad odour due to members of the public urinating in public against the wall in this hidden corner in the city centre, close to the cultural centre.
The Green Pee has to be empties every two or three weeks to refill the hemp reservoir
Mechelen hopes that this new kind of urinal can solve the problem. Actually, from now on it would be a good thing if someone would stop by for a pee, as this triggers an ecological process, explains Richard de Vries: "Inside is a heap of hemp fibres. Urine contains phosphates which are nutritious for plants: in combination with the hemp, a kind of compost is created to be used as a fertiliser."
The Green Pee needs to be emptied every two or three weeks. After the summer, Mechelen will see whether it has had an impact on public urinating. The city now applies nuisance fines of up to 350 euros for public urinating. The concept has been launched in Paris as well; in Belgium other cities are said to be interested but the price tag is about 3,500 euros.