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Whatever happened to Canberra’s space-age self-cleaning toilets?

By poptop 11 January 2009 38

[First filed: January 10, 2009 @ 17:52]

I recall in the dim past the great excitement surrounding Canberra getting an array of the Exceloo

When they first arrived thay had:

    – Automatic doors
    – Electronic Basin Unit
    – No Touch Flushing
    – Electronic Toilet Tissue Dispenser
    – Movement Sensor
    – Automated Systems
    – Wash Cycle
    – Electromagnetic Locking
    – Music and Voice Messages
    – Moulded fibreglass ceilings
    – Flooring grade ceramic tiles on walls
    – Graffiti resistant walls
    – Non-slip, moisture resistant flooring.
    – Aluminium or stainless steel doors.

They were really nifty – rather like going to the toilet on the Starship Enterprise.

My kids grew and my finegrained knowledge of almost every public toilet in the ACT fell away.

Just yesterday, I wandered past the Exceloos at Kinston. It was like seeing the rotting hulk of a once fine sailing ship. All the automagic things are long gone, all the civilised refinements removed and clunky ‘make-do fixes’ have been installed.

(more photos below)

What’s Your opinion?


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38 Responses to
Whatever happened to Canberra’s space-age self-cleaning toilets?
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Gus929 9:50 am 12 Jan 09

I always imagined that the concept of these toilets were sold by schmick cunning sales people to cost-cutting bureaucrats, with promises of “it cleans itself, so you can slash your normal cleaning and maintenance budget!” and some fancy cost comparison charts and such.

Follow the inflated marketing hype with a reduced maintenance budget, years of normal public toilet abuse, and you have what looks like an under-maintained public toilet.

Danman 9:02 am 12 Jan 09

*electrostatic

Danman 9:02 am 12 Jan 09

BerraBoy68 – yep they do, a 10Kv elesctrostatic charge through the seat.

That should see things pucker up nicely so you can be on your merry way.

I also was of the opinion that these toilets were more made as a labour saving device with having the added ability of discouraging loitering, regardless of your intentions.

No need to be homophobic, heterosexual people have sex in toilets as well, drug users and vandals use toilets too.

Matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that anyone with illicit intentions can use a toilet too.

BerraBoy68 8:29 am 12 Jan 09

MWF said :

seriously realityskin, you must not have children.

Toilet testing is something most kids are programmed with. Take your kid somewhere public and the first thing they want to do is try out the toilet. My mother came up with the term “toilet tester” because my younger brother was a pro.

My kids toilet test wherever we go. It is almost the first thing they want to do in a restaurant: “Bugger the menu, lets piss in their toilet!”

Toilets are the kids greatest excuse for getting out of just about everything. When my two have been banished to their rooms for insubordination etc. at least one of them will use the “I have to go to the toilet” excuise to get out. “Clean your room… the front room, any room… take your half eaten vegimite sandwhich and give it to the dog etc.” all trigger an urgent deisre for them to vsit the smalest room in the house.

Maybe I’m wrong but didn’t these space-age crappers give you a warning (i.e. a countdown) that the door was about to open?

farnarkler 7:01 am 12 Jan 09

As a piss take, the manufacturers should have had ‘Daisy Bell’ sung by Douglas Rain. That wouldhave scared the sh*t out of people…

MWF 11:26 pm 11 Jan 09

seriously realityskin, you must not have children.

Toilet testing is something most kids are programmed with. Take your kid somewhere public and the first thing they want to do is try out the toilet. My mother came up with the term “toilet tester” because my younger brother was a pro.

My kids toilet test wherever we go. It is almost the first thing they want to do in a restaurant: “Bugger the menu, lets piss in their toilet!”

GardeningGirl 10:27 pm 11 Jan 09

Granny said :

That’s one thing that freaked me out – what if the doors opened before I finished?! Eek!

And the other was weren’t they supposed to be self-cleaning?

That worried me too so I always ascertained where the nearest alternative was. I very bravely walked around one once though :-))

I-filed 5:58 pm 11 Jan 09

Sorry for duplicating poptop, just saw your post! :0

I-filed 5:57 pm 11 Jan 09

MWF said :

They used to play music, really. It was like that weird Japanese elevator music but sort of sci-fi.

Also, the door slid open after 10 minutes regardless of whether someone was still in there! Grrrreat!

johnboy 4:35 pm 11 Jan 09

Ever since I got an ipod touch my need for bits of paper has disappeared.

That one is still coming.

Free public toilets on the other hand will always be the lowest common denominator.

poptop 4:24 pm 11 Jan 09

I suspect you’re correct iObject.

I’ll put the Star Trek toilet promise next to the paperless office promise given to me in the mid 80’s.

iObject 4:12 pm 11 Jan 09

Perhaps they still are the toilets of the future…

The future just isn’t as shiney as we first imagined – and apparently is urine-scented.

Granny 3:36 pm 11 Jan 09

Sex in the toilet … new name for a cocktail perhaps?

anon1972 1:58 pm 11 Jan 09

Hey Whatsup – I wasn’t saying that they should be used for the purpose of sex.

Fiona 1:51 pm 11 Jan 09

I never used them. I remember when they went in the Newcastle and was freaked out mby the whole self cleaning thing too Granny… eee

Granny 1:26 pm 11 Jan 09

It was the HAL doors, poptop, combined with an unhelpfully vivid imagination …. (I did try to be brave in front of the kids, though)!

poptop 1:19 pm 11 Jan 09

LOL!

I’m sorry I can’t do that, Dave.

Yep they had a wash cycle.

Can’t see why they made you claustrophobic though, they are much roomier than a standard cubicle.

Granny 1:14 pm 11 Jan 09

poptop said :

The toilets used open of their own volition, although after repeated verbal warnings, after a set period of being ‘engaged’

That’s one thing that freaked me out – what if the doors opened before I finished?! Eek!

And the other was weren’t they supposed to be self-cleaning?

I sometimes had visions of the automatic door mechanism malfunctioning before the cleaning program drowned me, ala Hal 9000.

I have used them when I had to, but they always made me feel claustrophobic.

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