PHLUSH News Updates

May 10, 2010

PHLUSH has received a small grant from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. We will be able to meet requests for Restroom Location signs and postcards thanks to a City of Portland BPS grant.    We are now waiting for the check, which will be issued by the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods.   Lan Nguyen of Orchid Salon will manage the project to produce and distribute 40 window signs and 5,000 postcards, which many retailers also post as signs.

Edgewater NW has donated three high quality waterless urinals. We are grateful for the donation of three Waterless brand waterless urinals from Robert Van Creveld, owner of Edgewater NW.  His firm had received the units as samples but no longer carries the line.  Robert and his wife Barbara attended the April 27th PHLUSH event, where the three urinals were exhibited.

PHLUSH started reconsidering the use of urinals – particularly temporary ones – following discussions at the OTCTNA Livability Committee and observations that public urination is largely a weekend phenomenon involving middle class males and females.   Robert is a water and environment specialist who became aware of neighborhood efforts at a World Water Day event organized by Recode Oregon.   Now stored in the OTCTNA office, the urinals were shown at the March Livability Committee meeting.  Along with Recode Oregon and, PHLUSH continues to let the community know about them. Later this year, with a view to using the urinals appropriately and creatively, we’ll have a design competition, a design charrette or both.

Fashion Buddha creates wonderful PHLUSH PSA. Creatives from the Old Town Chinatown firm Fashion Buddha surprised PHLUSH on the day of our event with a very cool public service announcement, which is painstakingly crafted in stop motion animation.  It’s on their website and on ours.   A huge THANK YOU to these wonderful neighbors!

Portland may host the World Toilet Summit in late 2011. During April, Christopher Yarrow brought together a committee to consider hosting the World Toilet Summit in Portland.  Representatives from Travel Portland, the Portland Business Alliance and the Office of Commissioner Randy Leonard met twice to create a list of issues that Christopher is discussing with the World Toilet Organization.

While the 2007 Summit in Delhi attracted nearly 2000 delegates, recent conferences have been much smaller.   With the assistance of a professional event manager, there is still time to get financial commitments for a modest conference, which would showcase Portland’s livability while providing much needed training opportunities for Americans, particularly in the increasingly important area of ecological sanitation.

We continue to speak out on sanitation issues and toilet availability. On April 26, Carol McCreary presented “Everybody’s Gotta Go” summarizing the PHLUSH Design Principles to Sunnyside Environmental School Urban Planning students.  On April 30, Jeff Holiman spoke on composting toilets to the same audience. On April 11, Carol made a 5-minute presentation to the Research Club entitled “Bike-Transported Waterless Urinals.”   At the same event, Mathew Lippincott spoke on urine reuse and exhibited his $8 waterless urinal.   On April 14, Mathew presented his early prototype to the Livability Committee.  On May 7, Barb Lescher and Lan Nguyen represented PHLUSH at the NW District Association Block Party, which preceded the CoHo Theater performance to benefit Neighbors West-Northwest.

We have been responding to inquiries and working on selected code issues. A Corvallis public restroom advocate contacted us with a question about the number of restroom locations required in a big box store.  The International Code Council and the American Restroom Association were helpful in orienting us to the code and we in turn referred the woman to the appropriate State of Oregon plumbing code official. We continue to work with Recode Oregon as they advocate sound rules for graywater reuse and research code issues for ecological sanitation.  Finally, we are tracking potty parity issues, that is the ratio of toilets required for men and women, for the International Code Council. Congressman Ed Towns (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has just introduced HR 4869, or the “Restrooms Gender Parity in Federal Buildings Act”, which will provide more equity of access in federal buildings.

Upcoming meetings PHLUSH meets Monday, May 17 at 5:30 pm at Orchid Salon, 203 NW Second Ave.  Everyone is welcome. Contact is Lan at 503.226.9500.  Recode Oregon meets May 28 at 6:30 pm, St. Francis Church, Che Room, SE 12th Ave and SE Oak. Info on activities at

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Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH) was founded in Portland, Oregon and today collaborates with groups across North America.

PHLUSH is a member of the World Toilet Organization and a partner in the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance.

Our Mission Through education and advocacy, PHLUSH helps local governments and citizen groups to provide equitable public restroom availability and to prepare for a pipe-breaking seismic event with appropriate ecological toilet systems.

Our Vision Toilet availability is a human right and well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.

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