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Toilet Recycling

This morning I asked the wise old men I eat breakfast with on Tuesdays how they recycled their porcelain toilets. First came the blank stares. Then, why would you need to recycle a toilet? Just keep the one you have.

I explained the water saving and maintenance advantages of 1.28 gallon per flush Niagara flapperless toilet models.

If the flapper leaks, just change it, Bill said. Only takes a few minutes. I did two at my house last week. I don't flush the toilet that often, Jim added.

Yes, but suppose you owned six hundred rental units with two bathrooms each. If you swap out old toilets for 1.28 gallon/flush flapperless toilet models you could save thousands of gallons of water and hundreds of hours of maintenance a month. That's big bucks. Problem is, what happens to the twelve hundred old toilets.

Bob started to sing, where have all the toilets gone long time passing. Gone to landfills every one.

Well almost, but a few places that ran rebate programs did start recycling programs. In San Francisco and Fort Collins, Colorado, and a few other cities they collect the old ones and crush them for road base and path base.

Fort Collins here we come, Jim said.

Fort Collins will take your old toilet, if you happen to be driving by their drop-off point, and you remove everything except the porcelain. But check ahead to be sure.

Details for Fort Collins Toilet Recycling

Information on San Francisco's Recycling Program

Well, so I'm not going to California or Colorado, Bill said. Why not find somebody that needs a toilet around here and just give the old one away? Maybe Goodwill takes them. You save money, maybe even get a rebate, and somebody who can't afford a new toilet gets one.

Problem is, that old toilet is going to use more water for the next twenty years. Water conservationists would rather you send your old high flow toilet to the landfill after you crack it with a hammer. But there is one last possibility. We call it re-purposing.

What other 'purpose' is there for an old toilet?

Flower planter or even vegetables, both parts are nice and deep. Lots of room for toots, I mean roots and if you plant something that vines it can pretty much hide the toilet.

By John Kennedy