In Bellingham, Washington, there's a sidewalk paved with bits and pieces of — not gold, but — old, recycled toilet bowls. While the sidewalk was under construction, project engineer Freeman Anthony was struck by a brilliant idea. A local nonprofit organization had just replaced 400 toilets, and he thought it would be beneficial if he used them as concrete fodder instead of letting five tons of porcelain be sent to a landfill.
Freeman had the toilet bowls crushed into very small pieces, and then blended with recycled concrete in a mixture the project officials dubbed "poticrete." A total area of 250 square yards were made with the unusual concrete mix, 20% of which was comprised of toilet shards. The poticrete sidewalk was recently named the World's First Greenroad by the Greenroads Foundation for having a sustainable roadway design. The city of Bellingham now plans to crush even more old toilets to make poticrete for other ongoing and future construction projects.
[Image credit: Elvert Barnes]
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