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Innovation Has Gone Down The Toilet

I am lucky. My work often carries me to many beautiful, vibrant places such as Paris. Paris has an abundant amount of beautiful café’s, restaurants, shops, museums, parks and places to meet up, dine and take in the pedestrian scenes of urban life. Like New York where I live, Paris also has plenty of waste, garbage and exotic smells to go around that can catch your senses off guard at times. Ugh, "P.U."

Recently while I was in Paris, I came across a very clever and innovative response to the unpleasant smell of urine that will unwittingly accost your senses while you are strolling down a given street. These smells are a calamity of urban life that deposit a foul order not to mention leaving residual waste that will damage public places and can cost millions to have repaired.

The Paris innovation to this wicked stench to urban life is called “les pipis sauvages” which translates to “wild peeing.” This innovation is a tastefully designed box that looks more like an object in your home garden or backyard for the purposes of composting waste. This French innovation called “Uritrottoir” – which translates to the “urinal of pavement” is an ingenious little box designed by Faltazi a Nantes-based industrial design firm located in Western France. It’s graffiti proof and produces compost that uses dry straw or wood chips instead of water to absorb the urine. Through a computer, these boxes are monitored and maintained by a urine attendant. For more information about clever eco-friendly designs check out Faltazi: .

While the jury may still be out on in terms of the costs and benefits, the

is a great example of aesthetics, practical function and creativity combined to solve an offensive and costly problem. So the next time you think you’ve exhausted all limits for solving an innovation challenge, don’t be discouraged because you never know where you might find inspiration lurking – it may be camouflaged as a plant box, a composter or even urban toilet.

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