THE PUBLIC TOILET MANAGEMENT MAGAZINE ISSUE 1 2007
In search of the toilets
and the management
Industry forum Installation in outback QLD New product news
2 ISSUE 1 2007
03 Message from the MD
04 Feature: Restroom advertising
Can the revenue supplement maintenance costs?
03 06 European Odyssey
How Australia’s public toilets and mangement
strategies weigh up
New product and industry news
06 09 Industry Forum
Your chance to right on ‘da toilet wall’
10 Project diary
A toilet installation in remote central Queensland.
Road trains, Qantas and endless road.
12 Latest Projects
This issues focus is the new facilities at Warwick
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Message from the MD
Welcome to the first edition of The Toilet Paper. We
have initiated this publication to inform our industry
contacts about developments in public toilet hardware and
management. We aim to report to you valuable information
we gather from our product development research and
from our in house product development activities.
Within our industry, we have a vast range of toilet
environments ranging from remote un-serviced sites to
urban high use locations. Solving problems with compli-
ance with public access and health regulations, confronting
anti-social users while still providing civilized and pleasant
to use facilities, public liability, terrorism and stretched
budgets are just some of the challenges we in the industry
must work with every day.
Public facilities create long lasting impressions to
visitors about our communities and society. We should all
have a common interest in delivering public toilet facilities
that are clean and functional. Hence, I would like to extend
an invitation for your feedback or input about innovative
management techniques or hardware development that
you may have developed or seen. Eventually we hope that
this publication can become a good information sharing
source which will also helps us as a designer and manufac-
turer to continually develop better products. Sure, there will
be commercial and professional barriers that might impact
on free exchange of information. But look at the automotive
and tourism industries. They all have behind the scenes
interaction, conferences and publications. Why not us?
Finally, I cannot close without mentioning the
movie ‘Kenny’. I am sure there will be nobody reading this
that cannot relate to something that Kenny has said or
done. Some people ask me weather he has lifted the
industry image? Perhaps yes. More than anything I think
he has enabled us ‘sh*thouse engineers’ to get a bit of
respect we have been deserving for years. I think I might
even invest in a pair of stretch back overalls!
4 ISSUE 1 2007
How significant can the revenue be?
Everyone is noticing the growing amount of rubbish We all can remember decrepit condom vending machines and
television programs being broadcast into our living rooms. It is a smelly urinals. Jim Prior, managing partner at UK creative
major growing trend that people are switching off their TV’s agency The Partners, counters this when he says that “at the
and looking for other forms of entertainment. TV is a double end of the day, it’s just a piece of advertising and people have
sided sword. Less people watching means less advertising an opportunity to read it. People have taken newspapers which
revenue. This leads to less budget for quality programming, and are full of advertising to the toilet for centuries. It would be far
then you get less people watching. worse to have an ad that people thought was lame and boring”.
Advertisers are looking elsewhere for ways to reach This interpretation has merit. If the toilet facility is clean and
consumers. One of these which is undergoing considerable well managed, the situation will not reflect on branding and
growth is outdoor media such as that in public toilets. image. Maybe the moral is “clean toilets attract advertisers.
The space we once found ourselves reading messages Advertisers bring revenue that cleans toilets”.
promising ‘good times’ and a phone number to fill time in the There are a growing number of outdoor media firms all
toilet, is now proving to be a very successful location for out to sign up as many establishments as they can in order to
mini-billboard advertising. The beauty of it for advertisers is offer their advertisers the best value. These companies have a
that it offers isolated gender targeting and a captive audience. network of maintenance officers who rotate campaign posters
On average men will spend 55 seconds dwelling at a urinal, and clean and maintain the signs.
while women will be in a cubicle for 105 seconds. The one-on- An optimal situation is found in Paris with the ‘Sanis-
one nature of the communication is leading to high product ette’ toilets. There are 420 units throughout the city which were
recall and awareness rates from viewers. ‘People are standing or originally developed by advertising giant JC Decaux. Today,
sitting there for a period of time, and they don't have the ability Semup, a JC Decaux subsidiary is contracted to clean and
to change the channel or turn the page’, says Advantage Indoor maintain the units. This has allowed the consolidation of the
GM, Rebecca O’Keefe. We can all admit to visiting a public advertising and cleaning networks. The strategy uses the
toilet and reading the advertisement, and chances are we advertising revenue to complement the annual ¤6 million cost of
probably still remember a few. the facilities. (see more about Paris public toilets in the article
Originally, it was thought that there may have been ‘European toilet management strategies’)
invasion of privacy issues with users. These haven’t really So what is the potential revenue from typical urban
arisen. Clever witty copy is often getting people smiling. Girls restroom, and how can this revenue be collected economically?
have even been known to be in cubicles and read them out loud A signage point is valued by the industry on its degree of
to one another. exposure, or put simply for restroom applications, user numbers.
It could be said, however, that the toilet environment Door counters would quantify user numbers. Substantiated user
may not reflect well on the image of the brand being promoted. numbers assure a potential advertiser or his agent of the
effectiveness or exposure. This is a marketable item.
The quandary for public restroom owners, typically
councils, is how to sell his sites to an agency, and what to
charge. This is not a task for the operations facility managers. It
is a job for senior council officers to seek out this potential
revenue. And it is there for the taking. Plus, on the industry side,
we should be pursuing agencies promoting this opportunity.
Maybe a push from both sides will deliver a good result.
Sponsored bus shelters have worked well for councils. But the
capital outlay for a bus shelter is minimal when compared to an
All in all, there is potential revenue out there.
If you are interested in getting more information about utilizing
your local facilities for advertising, please express your interest
in an email to josh.w firstname.lastname@example.org
Conads’ iVision, with screen and rolling banners activated
Case study when button is pressed. Usage numbers and times are logged.
In 2003 a major drink brand implemented an WHICH CAR WON WHEELS CAR OF THE YEAR? WHICH CAR WON WHEELS CAR OF THE YEAR?
advertising campaign in motorway fuel station
restrooms. The campaign included 456 basic sign
panels placed above urinals and on the back of
$16 990 $28 990 $16 990 $28 990
cubicle doors. The campaign resulted in 78%
increase in sales during the campaign.
Heat Activated Urinal Banner; before (left), after (right)
6 ISSUE 1 2007
On a recent trip overseas, Jos
analyzes the management str
toilets in western Europe.
Paris’ advertising funded ‘Sanisette’ toilet.
For those who have never had the opportunity to travel
overseas, it is quite an experience and ‘cultural insight’ to use
toilets in foreign countries. My three week journey running from
Paris through most of the western European countries enabled
me to experience many varied and strange toilet systems.
It is quite common to find yourself in conversation
with fellow travelers about weird and wonderful toilet encoun-
ters. Some of which I found worthy of a mention. For instance
in Norway, finding a heating radiator located right beside a
urinal is not considered a bit unusual. The north Queenslander
who told this story could only manage a conclusion that the
radiator is installed there to make sure it all gets into the urinal
bowl before it freezes. He has also vowed never to return to
Norway again in winter. I think the weather got to him.
I have also heard reports from those who venture into
the eastern areas of Europe that in some cases the plumbing is
too frail to handle toilet paper. So it must be placed in a rubbish
bin beside the toilet. Australia really is the luck country.
Anyway, onto the more serious issues. The most
noticeable aspect of Europe is that you cannot drive more than
15 minutes anywhere before coming across another village or
town. This makes it difficult to find any sought of comparison to
our remote area toilets here in Australia.
Stand alone public ablution facilities occur mainly in
centralized urban areas and the facilities are usually quite
substantial featuring at least four male and female cubicles (or
urinals). The operation of which always provides a shock to any
rookie western world traveler. First of all, you have to pay. It is
usually equivalent to one Australian dollar for a visit. In
retrospect it is interesting to look at how western culture
believes that using such an essential service should not be a
rategies of public
financial burden. Secondly, the fee is collected by an all-hours pay is making councils rethink about charging for use.
attendant who, even when they are female, is completely In Paris, the city famous for its original sewer design of
comfortable with mopping around your feet as you stand at a open troughs running down the centre of it’s cobblestone roads,
urinal doing your business. is now facing problems with public urination. There is currently
Even though the charge rate only partially covers the 420 ‘double phone booth’ sized units scattered along the city’s
operational costs of the toilet with a permanent employee, it sidewalks. The ‘Sanisette’ buildings were originally developed
does propose some advantages well worth considering. The by advertising firm JC Decaux. After inserting 50 eurocent, the
toilets are kept almost spotless and the attendant is able to door opens and a seat folds down from the wall. You then have
ensure no soap or toilet paper is used inappropriately or runs 5 minutes to do your business before the door opens and the
out. inside of the unit goes through a cleaning cycle.
I have witnessed a men’s football team bus turn up It is all very nice except people don’t want to have to
congesting the male toilet. The attendant then directed like a pay to use them. With 75 million visitors each year, maintaining
traffic controller those waiting into the female area when it was the cities image is high on the council agenda. Authorities are in
empty. Seems common sense. the process of eliminating the charge fee and sourcing funds
But I found that the greatest aspect was that by from increased advertising. Semup, a subsidiary of JC Decaux
charging people to be there and having an authoritative has just signed a new maintenance contract with the Parisian
presence, it eliminated all of the negative social implications authorities. The company is able to combine its restroom
associated with public toilet spaces. There is no loitering and it cleaning and maintenance operations in the same network.
becomes a safer public area. I realized this most when visiting a A similar problem is occurring in London. Public toilets
little Italian town on the outskirts of Venice. The central park are few and far between as city councils are shutting down the
toilets were manned 24 hours a day, and from what I could majority of facilities due to rising maintenance costs. The iconic
estimate over the time I was there, would have been lucky to Victorian restrooms have become part of major urban regenera-
have an average of a dozen visitors an hour. At fifty eurocents a tion with many being converted into pubs, cafes and retail
visit, would not have even covered the cost of the attendant, let spaces.
alone the toilet consumerables. But it resulted in a good, safe Only 93 out of the 273 tube train stations have
public facility. operating toilets. Although the decision to close these facilities
You might be saying to yourself that these types of was also contributed to by current security threats.
toilets are purposely put in places where tourists are, and it’s Now the adverse affects of not having available toilets
just another way to extract the tourist dollar. This is true and it is becoming severely apparent, most notably when pub goers
works. But there is a large proportion of locals who rely on the find their way home late at night. It has been reported that
facilities as well. And their apparent disapproval of having to people waiting for night buses in Trafalgar square have begun to
8 ISSUE 1 2007
Swedish designed pop-up toilets
installed in London
German rotating toilet Temporary night urinals in London
erode the walls of the national gallery. To combat the problem, worth the delightful experience. However, you can get the fifty
councils have begun to implement portable urinals placed after cents refunded when you buy something at the adjoining shop
dark and have even installed a few innovate Swedish systems and present it at the checkout.
that rise out of the pavement. This solution is by no means a ‘be all end all’. But at
present it probably ticks the most boxes. The rotating German
German excellence toilets have even created a fair bit of publicity for themselves as
The best solutions I came across are found in a tourist attraction. A video of it’s operation can be found on
Germany’s Autogrill’s. These are service stations on the famous YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcIOqWpZlXI
autobahn’s which have restaurants stretching over the road, so It was a valuable experience to see how others are
diners can be entertained by the vehicles screaming underneath approaching public toilet provisioning, from both a strategic
them at unrestricted speed limits. The toilet systems are very point of view down to construction details. I do believe that the
typically German. The systems are part of the fuel/service standards in Australia rate fairly highly. Although my research
station, but the toilet operations are outsourced to ‘Sanifair’. since returning has found that the Asian countries are consid-
The company installs all their own hardware and systems and ered to be at the forefront of public toilets. All of which is
employ the attendant. planned to be reported in future editions. Seems like a good
On entry you are greeted with a ‘Guten Tag’ and are opportunity to try the boss for funds for a ‘research’ trip. Wish
prompted to insert 50 eurocent into a turnstile which spits out a me luck!
ticket and grants you entry. From here on in everything is
hands-free. The urinals have infrared sensors which sense when
you have finished and walked away and then flush. The hand-
basins consist of a wall mounted unit with a cavity sink. When
you place your hands into the sink a stream of soap falls down
upon them. This is followed by a gentle shower of warm water
and then finished off with a stream of warm air to dry off, all
while your hands are still in the same position. But wait there is
more. On entry to the cubicles, an infrared sensor engages the
toilet seat into action. A cleaning head extends out and the seat
is rotated through 360 degrees for a complete surface clean.
The same sensor then sensors when you have left the booth and
flushes for you.
I thought after leaving the toilet that the fifty cents was Hands-free handbasins
FYI: Waterless hand washing
This is an interesting product we have come across. It is an alcohol based hand
sanitizer that doesn’t require any water, soap or towels. Developed by Purell, it kills 99.99%
of common germs and is suitable for post-toilet-use hands washing. The formula is rubbed
into the hands for 5 seconds until it has evaporated. Although being alcohol based users
must be careful using it near open flames, but the product could have good application in
remote area toilets especially with the ongoing effects of the drought. If you would like more
information about this product, or know of a product that is worthy of us featuring please
send an email to email@example.com
FYI: Pumpers convention
The Pumper and Cleaner exhibition conference made famous in Australia by the hit
comedy film ‘Kenny’ does really exist and is the world’s largest annual trade show for
environmental service professionals. The show attracts 12 000 attendees and over 500
exhibitors displaying latest developments and running seminars on: septic system installation
and service contractors, drain and sewer cleaning and repairs, portable restroom operators,
industrial maintenance and cleaning, and, municipal water and sewer system maintenance.
The show runs from the 27th to 29th of February 2008 in Louisville, USA. More information
about the show can be seen at www.pumpershow.com
Your chance to write on the toilet wall about
strategies you have used or new projects completed
that would like to give your team a wrap for. Send
your letters to:
Keep an eye out for the launch of the online forum.
Graffiti: Ipswich City Council Experience
Our council recently initiated a program to upgrade toilet facilities that are old,
difficult to clean and non compliant with AS1428. One of which was Bennett’s Park, a small
park with some footy fields, in suburbia, surrounded by houses.
The new building was a single booth facility with core construction being concrete
tilt-up wall panels, sheeted internally with stainless steel cast integrally with the wall. The
outside surface is power troweled when cast to a very fine finish. After painting it is then
covered with two coats of a clear anti-graffiti treatment.
Within two days of installation, the building was tagged, inside and out. Council staff
quickly removed the so called art work from the interior and exterior. No reports were made
to authorities or the press.
Within a week, it was tagged again. Council staff moved quickly and cleaned it up.
Again no fanfare. The so called artist lost interest after that.
The lesson we learnt here is to remove graffiti quickly and silently without offering
any publicity to the offenders. The offender’s credibility and bragging rights amongst their
peer group will be diminished. The building design incorporating rapid graffiti removal
qualities contributed to the good outcome of this issue.
Doug Robson, Ipswich City Council
10 ISSUE 1 2007
remote toilets Pureablue MD John Willoughby and
Moodie Outdoor Products’ Steve
Cohen recently played hooky from
everyday activities and travelled to
The primary task was to install two new toilet facilities are a problem. North of Goondiwindi and west of Roma they
funded by Qld Government in the Barcoo Shire on the Diaman- are rough, and the triple road trains click in west of Mitchell.
tina and Thompson Development Roads. One site was 100K You have to give the truckies respect. The trailers tend to
west of Windorah on the way to Birdsville, the other site near wander down the crown of the road. It’s best to let them have
Stonehenge, 100 K south of Longreach. The secondary task was the centre and take to the dirt. But everyone waves.
to see Central Australia, meet our clients, and do touristy things West of Quilpie its single lane bitumen. Lots of grids. A
after the work was done. fair few of them Rocla (we manufacture these jointly with
The project presented challenges. The two semi trailer Rocla). And they cop a hammering. Trucks show them no mercy.
loads of buildings and system, site works, excavations and Cruising speed straight over.
craneage involved in the project were all orchestrated 1500km
away at our home base.
Excavations were undertaken by Brian Egan, a
dogsbody contractor for Barcoo Shire. Brian undertakes all the
fiddly tasks for the Shire while the shire boys do the heavy
lifting...grading, road construction, and bridge maintenance.
Would you believe the shire has seven triple road train combos,
all with side tipping trailers. We saw one on the way to a job.
The first trailer was a drop deck with a loader that would do a
coal mine proud, followed by two side tippers on dollies. The
shire is big and so is the equipment. The council depot was Before/After?
220km from our site at the Birdsville Bedourie intersection and
that was not council boundary. No ducking back to the depot for We over-nighted at Windorah. An oasis. It is on a red
a shovel out here! ridge away from the flooding Cooper. This really is the Channel
Craneage was organised from Longreach...only about Country. And the Western Star Hotel is most welcoming. Plenty
400km away. PJ from Rayner Cranes doodled down at 70 KPH. of water, plenty of green grass, and plenty of Grey Nomads.
No hurry and no stressing is the way things are done out there. We camped at the first site at Birdsville Bedourie intersection.
I travelled from Armidale, complete with necessary equipment Dead flat, and flies. Weather was reasonable, breezes all day
for the installation, plus camping gear, food, shower, bush toilet and the nights not too cool. The night sky with no light pollution
as we planned to camp at the site for three nights. It took two was magnificent. It was a bit un-nerving in the middle of the
days to get to Windorah, via Goondiwindi, Roma and Charlev- night when cattle road trains rolled in to rest area to park, while
ille. Steve flew in to Charleville. Roads on the black soil plains the cattle did the stomp on steel floors dance all night.
Our first truck arrived as scheduled after a two day Good on them.
trip and the installation went to plan. Each site has a Country This site complete, we headed for Stonhenge, about
Style CS2 two booth toilet building with a CWT collection well, 260km away. The second semi load was due the next morning.
plus a caravan septic waste dump point. We call these CWT Stonehenge pub was interesting. Geoff and Judy Baldry run a
Dump & Pump. This is another initative from the QLD govern- hotel, a concrete and engineering business, plus have grader
ment to entice travellers to stop and rest. crews out for weeks on remote sites. We were well looked after
Close by there was an unmanned natural gas pipe line with monstrous meals, and the drinking opportunities attrac-
facility. A way station to compress the gas and help it on its way. tive.
We had to have a look, and drove around the boundary. But you Second site went well. All done in two days. Then in to
Longreach. The Qantas Founders museum and the mothballed
747 is a must for those of you with a mechanical bent. To sit at a
747 controls, check out the mix of low tech and high tech that
Boeing is famous for, and walk the wing was an experience to
remember. Then to read of the Qantas founding directors who
took a business from three employees and two biplanes to an
international carrier was pretty amazing. The Stockmans Hall of
Fame is worth a look too. The early settlers and graziers
certainly did it tough.
The lasting impression of the trip are the huge
distances travelled. Queensland is big. The logistics of remote
installations are difficult, but not insurmountable. The Pureablue
could not help feeling that you were being observed at some building strategy of build in factory…ship to site....crane in,
distant security facility via remote controlled camera. We found offers huge advantages. This is the way the donga market works
out later that these pipe lines are of national significance and as well. A donga is a generic term for a box like building with
controlled by the Department of Transport. light weight floors primarily used in the mining industry. They
Also down the road, about 50 K was a small oil field, are normally configured as stand alone bedrooms, meal rooms,
operated privately. They extract the oil, refine it on site to diesel ablution blocks etc. They have limited primary life, and gener-
and other products, and sell it in south west QLD. You can even ally have an after life on agricultural properties. Our products
pull in and buy some diesel. This is indicative of the future. All are differentiated by having concrete floors, all steel construc-
the economic little fields that the majors thought unviable, are tion and a much longer life. The Pureablue way. Built to last.
now viable under small company operations and current pricing.
Location: Rotary Park,Warwick
Organisation: Warwick Shire Council
Completion date: March 2007
Building: Pureablue - Conablue
The project brief was for a five booth building, with
all booths opening on to a public space. Vandal resistance
and ease of cleaning were also design imperatives. High
visibility in both day and night of the circulation space
reducing anti-social behaviour.
Services room access through vandal resistant doors. Raised door Broad sunny access area, north facing, with sinks in full sun for UV
hob for extra door strength and trapping any sewer surcharge. cleaning. and enhanced disabled access.
Booths lined with stainless steel, stainless steel pedestals and Services room access through vandal resistant doors. Raised door
handrails. Graffiti cleaning no problem. hob for extra door strength and trapping any sewer surcharge.
complete ablution solutions.
In the next issue
Behavioural responses to the building environment
thetoiletpaper Telephone 02 6772 3810 Onsite treatment Vs municipal plant treatment
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Armidale NSW 2350 DataDot: Theft deterent
Editor: Josh Willoughby
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