Tuesday, July 20, 2010

City of Toronto Spends Over $400,000 on Crap

It took just two months for Canada’s largest city to flush CDN$400, 000.00 down the drain. That’s the amount it cost to put a fully self-cleaning pay toilet in downtown Toronto. Two months and about 3,500 flushes later, it is now out of order.

Apparently, the automatic device that pulls the seat into the wall after each use for cleaning has malfunctioned, so the city’s first high-tech pay toilet is now broken.

What a waste of taxpayer dollars – granted having your own private air conditioned room to do your business sounds pleasant. And sometimes you can’t always find a clean public washroom when you need one.

However, it would have cost a lot less to hire a handful of cleaners to improve the city’s public toilets already available throughout the city, or even to simply slap on a new coat of paint to the older washrooms.

Granted, there is a certain “wow” factor associated with new high tech toys – and I suppose a high tech self-cleaning toilet is no exception.

And the city is hoping to recoup some of its costs through advertising in and on these things – they’ve partnered with Astral Media (which owns the Movie Network and other media holdings) to install 20 automated toilets across the city.

However, at a mere quarter-a-use, the unit has only made about CD$875.00, and is now going to cost some more coins to repair.

Maybe the city’s first automated public toilet is just a lemon, and this first repair is only a fluke. Or, maybe it is a sign of the poor quality of the product, and just the first of many costly repairs – to an already costly publicly-funded venture?

Either way, Canada’s largest city is in the hole.

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