The City of Portland has designed a public toilet that it has patented and is selling to other municipalities. The public restroom contains the following features:
- Stainless steel anti-graffiti wall panels mounted on a slim-profile steel structure, that weighs a fraction of a typical restroom, making it easier to install in high traffic locations.
- It is lit by 100 percent solar-powered LED lights equipped with motion sensors for energy conservation.
- The stainless steel panels are louvered and allow for surveillance by the community (without sacrificing privacy).
- The restroom has an exterior handwashing station that helps to deter illicit activity.
Portland has sold one of their restrooms to the British Columbia City of Victoria for $40,000.
“The Portland Loo symbolizes intelligent municipal government,” said Barry Greenfield, editor and publisher of EfficientGov. “The city created a patentable product solving a problem for all municipalities, and similarly, their sales initiative to other cities is an important innovation in government. Generating new revenue helps to alleviate taxpayer reliance. The Loo shows how government can become a profitable resource rather than a net spender.”
Portland officials have taken a very creative and entrepreneurial approach. Should municipal officials be in the business of creating and selling patented products?