Smart toilet system smells like a winner

Top News | Erin Chan 19 Nov 2020

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department is developing a smart public toilet system to collect statistics, including usage rates, smell, temperature and humidity through a real-time monitoring system.

A prototype, which will also collect users' views on public toilet services through a visitor feedback mechanism, will be trialed at two public toilets - the Southern Center in Wan Chai and the Tsim Sha Tsui East Public Transport Interchange in the second quarter of next year, the department said yesterday.

Following years of complaints about public toilets being dirty and smelly, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced in the 2018 policy address that comprehensive refurbishment works will be carried out for public toilets with high utilization rates or those located at tourist hotspots. Facelifts for 22 out of 23 target toilets will be complete by the end of the year.

Last year's budget also allocated HK$600 million to upgrade around 240 public toilets across the city. Refurbishments for 91 toilets have commenced in the first two financial years and 17 are complete and have reopened

New facilities, such as sensor-type flushing devices, sensor-type taps and soap dispensers will be installed.

"While a one-stop provision of hand-wash basin, soap dispenser and hand dryer in the form of a 'cabinet hand-wash basin system' has been put on trial in some public toilets," a department spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Toilets Association selected the public toilet at Tsuen Wan Multi-Story Car Park as the best public toilet this year.

The Tsuen Wan toilet, which has been thoroughly upgraded over the course of a year, has an air-quality surveying device in addition to automatic appliances combining hand-wash basins, soap dispensers and hand dryers together.

The association inspected around 300 public toilets across the city and found at least five to be below standard.

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