Upcycling Toilet Scrap

February 21, 2013

by Alex Francis
Let’s Talk About Toilets

Toilet Scrap
Photo by Britt Selvitelle | Flickr.com

No, no, not about that, exactly, but about actual, physical, shiny white toilets. The ones made of porcelain so cold to the touch in the dead of winter that iso-hold squats begin to sound appealing. Have you ever thought about how toilets are made, or what happens to them after they die? They don’t live particularly glorious lives, so it’s hard to imagine that the great beyond would have anything better in store. And typically, it doesn’t.
For the most part, the great toilet beyond is also known as a landfill. Dirty, dingy, and unceremoniously discarded, our once-glorious thrones are relegated to spending eternity amidst disposable diapers, rotting food, and various other kinds of non-biodegradable waste. Sad, right?
We think so. That’s why AGBeat’s recent story about unconventional uses for old toilets brought us such joy. Here are the highlights:
A Porcelain-Paved Sidewalk in Bellingham, Washington
Using a new concrete mixture that has been dubbed “poticrete,” the city of Bellingham, Washington paved a section of sidewalk with crushed toilet porcelain. Both innovative and resourceful, this project not only saved five tons of toilets from a long and lonesome life in a landfill, but also prevented a dump-truck load of gravel from being stolen from an unsuspecting hillside.
Bravo, Bellingham. We salute you.
Recycled Porcelain Veneers?
AGBeat columnist Genevieve Concannon claims that a friend of hers in the junk-hauling business sells old toilets to a company that recycles them for use in porcelain veneers. While initially confusing, the transformative process from potty to potty mouth would definitely be intriguing. Although before we swear off ever going to the dentist again, we sure hope that this is completely sanitary.
A Toilet-Lined Drive
Another friend of Concannon’s (we wonder where she finds them…) decided to take a stand by liberating toilets from the confines of bathrooms and giving them instead a place of honor in front of their home. She says that their entire quarter-mile Texas driveway is lined with toilets that have been repurposed as planters for cacti. “Follow the toilet-lined drive” is just as good as “follow the yellow brick road,” right?
Don’t Forget That One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure
Even if you aren’t quite quirky or crafty enough to repurpose your old scrap into something else (and let’s be honest, toilet planters aren’t for everyone), that doesn’t mean that it has to end up in a landfill. CJ Environmental specializes in recovering and refining precious metals from things that you might not even know had them. Whether it’s an old cell phone, dental scrap, or a silver spoon, we’ll gladly take it off your hands and pay you cash in return. For more information on how to recycle your unwanted electronic devices or other precious metals, visit CJEnvironmental.com.

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