Green Restrooms Of The Future

Restrooms are also equipped with both hand towels made from recycled paper and electric hand dryers. The electric dryers use less energy than conventional ones, and are sensor-activated, minimizing the touch points in a restroom that can possibly spread disease. Both systems have been installed because so many users still prefer paper to dry their hands. However, it is hoped that building occupants will soon accept the electric system, which will be more cost-effective in the long run for CCGT.

Cleaning The Restroom Of The Future

After taking all these steps–installing partitions made of egg cartons, tiles of recycled glass, and water-conserving fixtures–it would be highly counter-productive to use conventional products and systems to clean the restroom of the future. At CCGT, only environmentally preferable cleaning products are used.

One exception is the waterless urinal system, which can still be cleaned using conventional products. However, some additional maintenance is required. According to Reichardt, the cylinders placed at the bottom of the urinals need to be changed on a regular basis. “This is very easy to do; however, the cylinders in some models last longer and are more expensive than those used in other systems,” he says. “Some due diligence is required to select the no-flush system that is most cost-effective over the long run.”

It is unlikely that the restroom of the future–especially in a park or recreational setting–will be cleaned using handheld sprayers, cloths, mops and buckets, as most are today. Instead, spray-and-vac systems using environmentally preferable cleaning chemicals are more likely to be employed. Some reasons supporting the switch to spray-and-vac systems include:

· Studies indicate these systems are more effective at eliminating C. diff, MRSA and other germs and bacteria found in public restrooms, especially locker rooms.*

· These systems clean restrooms as much as two-thirds faster than conventional cleaning systems do, helping to cut costs and labor expenses.**

Ahead Of The Game

The Turner-Roberts Recreation Center is just one of many public recreational facilities that have taken the green initiative seriously, and incorporated environmentally responsible designs, practices and operations. Even with budget cuts–and in some cases quite severe budget cuts–park and recreational facilities have often played a leadership role in not only becoming more environmentally responsible themselves but showing others what can–and many believe should–be done when constructing or retrofitting buildings for the future.

For this, they should be commended. As they have greened their own facilities, in the process they have helped spread the word that becoming more environmentally responsible not only is doable and practical but can result in significant cost savings as well.

*Source: Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI) symposium held at the University of Maryland, June 2007.

**Source: 447 Cleaning Times, published by ISSA, the largest cleaning association in the world, Lincolnwood, IL.

Robert Kravitz is a former building service contractor and now a writer for the professional cleaning and building industries. He may be reached at

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  1. Cleaning Restrooms
  2. The Future Of Cleaning
  3. Get Your Restroom Cleaned
  4. Cleanliness Counts
  5. Top 10 Trends In Recreation Restrooms

One comment on “Green Restrooms Of The Future

  1. Olton Rensch on said:

    We are searching for a hand dryer that will be used at a place of worship. The different models we looked at are a bit to loud. The restrooms are in the back of the hall and when you open the door during the meeting we don’t want to distract any of the members nor the visitors. Any suggestions?

    Thank you,


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