The City of Bellingham strives for
sustainable practices. One creative project involved recycling 400 toilets
for use as aggregate in sidewalk cement.
In collaboration with the Bellingham Housing Authority, Dawson Construction, and Cowden Sand and Gravel, the toilets were diverted from the landfill and crushed, then tested as an alternative to virgin aggregate. Test results demonstrated the 'poticrete' met City requirements for flatwork concrete. In late August, 2011, the City will be placing 250 square yards of 'poticrete' on Ellis Street as part of the Meador/Kansas/Ellis final link in the Whatcom Creek Trail.
The final mix contains about 20% crushed toilets by volume and represents about 5 tons of material diverted from a landfill and into a sidewalk. S&S Concrete will install the poticrete. Crushing the toilets costs about the same as using virgin aggregate from regional gravel pits.
Upon successful completion of this project, the City revised the concrete specification to allow the use of similar materials, including crushed concrete, for flatwork concrete aggregate in City projects.
More porcelain is needed to produce more Poticrete. Toilets, sinks and other porcelain products are collected for recycling at Sanitary Service Company or Recycling Disposal Services.
Freeman Anthony, P.E. Project Manager
Phone: (360) 778-7900
Email Public Works