Public Urinals Help Amsterdam Harvest Pee as Fertilizer for Green Roofs
The idea of someone sprinkling urine on building rooftops sounds like a major health hazard, but that’s just what Amsterdam’s water utility, Waternet, recently proposed. Though it sounds like a cruel prank, the project is actually part of an effort to find cheap, natural alternatives to traditional fertilizer. In order to flourish, Amsterdam’s many green roof tops need lots of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, substances that some say could become scarce by 2030. Knowing that human urine contains a lot of all three of these nutrients, Waternet recently set up a demonstration project to harvest pee from public urinals. It hopes to process what it gleans into an upcycled fertilizer for public gardens and vegetated rooftops around the city.
When we were children my mother would have us all pee into a container. She used to dilute it and pour it into the ground to feed the zucchini and squash plants. She always grew large squash. She even grew a 9 foot long zucchini, so I would say that the pee worked. Hey our body eliminates all these great minerals so why not feed them to plants?
The only problem nowadays is that so much crap goes into our bodies that this traditional way of fertilizing plants may not be valid today. Who knows.