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Seattle Installs First Public Composting Toilet
Picardo Farm P-Patch to Celebrate Achievement April 3, 2010

March 3, 2010 (SEATTLE, WA)--Installing permanent restrooms into public areas can often be a massive hassle, especially without easy access to sewage systems. Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is pleased to introduce Seattles first public composting toilet, which was recently installed by community garden volunteers at our very own Picardo Farm P-Patch.

The Picardo Farm Garden was the first Seattle P-Patch, established in 1976 based on the idea that you give back what you put in, offered by site owner Rainie Picardo. For years, the 281 plot gardeners of Picardo Farm have pined for a permanent restroom, voting in an early 2000s planning process on a composting toilet as a solution to the tipsy Honey Bucket, leased only from April to October. The new composting toilet will serve as a convenient relief to the gardeners and visitiors.

The Clivus Multrum M54W is not only a composting system, but the building that houses the restroom. The water-tight section underneath holds lightly packed wood shavings along with a solar powered bilge-pump to convert the matter to carbon dioxide and distribute it throughout the shavings. Solar-powered fans are also built into the building to produce fresh air, and upon periodic maintenance, all matter composted can be removed and distributed elsewhere as fertilizer.

Picardo Farm gardeners have pursued this project through many hurdles. A Neighborhood Matching Fund award that provided funding was only the first step. Ultimately mulitple permits were required from county and city agencies and a professional engineer was hired to help steward the process.

At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday April, 3, the Department of Neighborhoods will host a public celebratory opening of the newest Picardo feature, located at the intersection of 25th Ave NE and NE 82nd. The 1 p.m. ribbon cutting will be followed by garden tours.


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