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Prospect Park Toilets Will Turn (Human) Poop Into Fertilizer

03.19.13 Andy Cush

If you can get over your gag reflex, it’s not a bad idea: a new restroom facility in Prospect Park’s historic Wellhouse building will store all human waste in a giant underground container, rather than pump it into a sewage treatment plant, and after five years or so of mixing around with wood chips and ambiguously named “eco-friendly foam” to poop and pee will be used to fertilize the park’s plants. Deep in the center of the park, the Wellhouse isn’t connected to any of the city’s sewage systems, so a traditional plumbing system isn’t option.

One major roadblock, however, is that using human waste as fertilizer is currently illegal to use as fertilizer in New York. But the tanks won’t need to be emptied for five years after construction, and Prospect Park lead landscape architect Christian Zimmerman hopes that by then, the state will see the light.

How bad will five years worth of stewing shit smell? Park officials say not at all, thanks to an “underground exhaust system.” We’ll see about that.

(Photo: Gary R. Osgood/Wikimedia Commons)