Building Sustainable Sidewalks with Recycled Toilets

Use of “poticrete” helped Bellingham, Wash., earn a green credential for sustainable walkways.
by | April 2, 2012 AT 6:30 PM

A stretch of sidewalk in downtown Bellingham, Wash., has become the first to win certification from the Greenroads Foundation, a non-profit corporation that has pioneered a new environmental rating system for road projects, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. Originating as a research project at the University of Washington in 2007, the rating system evaluates construction best practices for roads, addressing issues such as access, community impact, environment, water, and materials used. The sidewalk in Bellingham won its credential partially due to an unlikely building material: toilets. The project incorporated porcelain from 400 toilets, diverting them away from the landfill. The construction also involved porous pavement which helps in managing stormwater runoff and LED lighting. According to the foundation's website, sixteen other projects in Colorado, California, Nevada, Texas and Washington are currently pursuing the certification.