Park Alliance VP Wants To Change NYC Laws, Use The Waste As Fertilizer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a plan to build a $1.8 million green bathroom in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

The park has seen a growing number of annual visitors in recent years, with 10 million people visiting in 2012.

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“We have not been able to keep up with adequate bathrooms,” Christian Zimmerman, Prospect Park Alliance’s Vice President of Design and Construction, told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.

The Wellhouse, located near Lookout Hill in the southern part of the park, was originally built in 1869. The small brick building is the oldest structure still standing in Prospect Park.

Zimmerman said the plan to improve the bathrooms was just calling to them.

“Why don’t we do composting toilets and take it off the grid?” Zimmerman said. “There won’t be water.”

Prospect Part Wellhouse site plan (credit: Prospect Park Alliance)

Prospect Park Wellhouse site plan (credit: Prospect Park Alliance)

The only difference for users, Zimmerman said, is that there is no need to flush anymore.

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“There will be bacteria and microbes that will totally break it down,” he said.

Instead, huge tanks below will take care of business. Zimmerman said he wants to spread it around to fertilize the park.

While using waste for fertilizer is currently not legal in New York, Zimmerman said they have time to try to change that policy.

“I think we calculated it would only need to be cleaned out every 10 years,” Zimmerman told Silverman.

In addition to the green toilets, the building will also be weather-proofed and get a new roof.

The project is expected to be completed in 2015.

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