SUCH A WASTE:City Hall to change mindset of public intimidated by automatic toilets
AUTOMATIC Street Toilets (ATS), which are set up in populous areas, are under-used because they're considered too high-tech by city folk and tourists alike.
City Hall director-general Datuk Salleh Yusup said the council will intensify the promotion of the toilets to get more people to use these facilities.
"The one in Bukit Bintang, for example, which is a high density area, has a low usage rate.
"It is frustrating to learn that people are not using the toilets because one can use it for 15 minutes for only 20 sen. "I think people are afraid of the high-tech features of the toilet.
"We intend to change their thinking so that more will use the toilets," he said.
Salleh said this after launching a one-day Cleanliness and Toilet Safety seminar at Menara DBKL 1 in Jalan Raja Laut recently.
"Cleanliness not only mirrors a person's attitude, but also that of the society. We are always working towards achieving better cleanliness in public areas, including our public toilets.
"Clean toilets in shopping complexes, restaurants, hotels and petrol stations will definitely draw people back to these places."
"We want local and foreign tourists to not only take home fond memories of our tourist attractions such as the Petronas Twin Towers, but also sing praises of our clean toilets," said Salleh.
There are 20 units of ATS, which are disabled-friendly, in various parts of the city such as Jalan Conlay, Jalan Medan Pasar, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, Jalan Pudu and Bangsar.
In an ATS, there are two cubicles with one squatting toilet and the other a modern water closet.
State-of-the-art sensors automatically trigger water, soap and the hand-dryer upon use.
The sensors also activate flushing after use, while the toilet seats are automatically cleaned as well.
A buzzer will ring a minute before the 15 minutes are up, and the user is required to slot in another 20 sen if he or she wants to continue using the toilet.
In the seminar, participants were told that a toilet monitoring committee will be formed by City Hall to help owners and managers of premises learn how to keep their toilets clean.
The committee, to be led by the council's Health and Environment Department, will also be made up of officers from various other departments such as Landscape and Recreation, Building Maintenance, Building Management and Urban Design.
City Hall Health and Environment Department director Dr Hayati Abdullah said in its pilot exercise, the committee will monitor the level of cleanliness and suggest ways to upgrade the toilets at three high density areas.
"The areas are Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Bukit Bintang and Bangsar Baru. We will look into the toilets in a holistic manner, from its design and safety to its fixtures.
"Through this, we hope to reduce complaints about unsatisfactory conditions of toilets and thus improve our image," she said, adding that the number of areas to be monitored will be expanded after the pilot exercise.
The committee will come into effect before October when City Hall's annual Clean Toilets Competition is organised.
The seminar was attended by 400 participants comprising representatives from restaurants and hawker centres, Alam Flora, the Federal Territories Restaurant and Hawkers Association, and the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation.
Among the topics discussed were universal designs for disabled-friendly toilets, and the role of non-governmental organisations in clean toilet campaigns.
Also present at the launch of the seminar was City Hall deputy director-general (socio-economy development) Datuk Amin Nordin Abd Aziz.