The city of Victoria is tackling its public urination problem by introducing portable toilets it calls “peeosks.”
The containers, which look like a skinny plastic garbage can with three wheels and a toilet seat lid, can be found in the streets outside of restaurants and bars — locations identified as high traffic peeing areas.
There are a total of six peeosks in the city so far. They have existed since 2013 when the city announced a plan to deal with complaints from business owners who said their doorways consistently smelt like urine after a Friday or Saturday night.
Victoria City Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe told the Vancouver Sun that some businesses had so much pee seep into their stores that they had to replace their carpets.
City data shared with the Sun indicates that 4,000 litres of urine was collected from the peeosks in three months during 2018. That’s 16,000 litres of urine in a year.
“They are being used and that means one less use in an alleyway or in a doorway,” Thornton-Joe said.
The city also said that there have been fewer complaints from businesses about public urination.
Each pee bucket costs $250 and is sponsored by downtown bar and restaurants.
A local organization, Our Place Society, that helps the homeless and drug addicted, has also partnered with the city to deliver the peeosks to select locations on Friday and Saturday evenings.
While the city acknowledges that the devices have been successful, Thornton-Joe said they are just a temporary measure until more substantial facilities can be implemented.