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Potty promises dumped for now

August 31, 2009
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NEW YORK — Since they were installed in 2006 by Cemusa North America, New York City''s two automated public toilets — located in Corona, Queens and Madison Square Park in Manhattan — have received much business, according to the Gothamist.

Though Cemusa has a contract to install 20 of the $300,000-$500,000 self-cleaning public toilets citywide, some residents are not receptive of the idea and are happy to see that more have not been installed, the story stated.

According to the story, the city promised that four more auto toilets would be installed and functional by the end of 2008, a promise that appears will be broken.

A Cemusa spokesman said: "We have to figure out: Is there a sewer at the site? Is there access to water? There needs to be accessibility to the facility for people with disabilities. It’s just more challenging than people think."

For a charge of 25 cents, users are given 15 minutes of privacy, are dispensed toilet paper, and when patrons finish their business, the automatic toilet cleans itself with a disinfectant spray, the story noted.

Engineering concerns are the reason more toilets have not sprung up; they need to be located near a sewage line and need access to telephone lines so the units can alert Cemusa to problems or emergencies, the story added.

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