The Challenge of Poo ...
The American Economy is downsizing America, and its citizens without a clear contingency plan to deal with the ultimate aftermath. Homelessness.
by Tracy Mapes
October 10, 2018
SACRAMENTO,Ca--The American Economy is downsizing America, and its citizens without a clear contingency plan to deal with the ultimate aftermath. Homelessness.
There maybe such a disaster in your town? Your City's Katrina Superdome, only the storm was economic and man created, but a disaster none the less, as the community faces the Human carnage of dealing with municipal sanitation and fecal waste matter. Poo.
The disaster in my town is called Ahearn Street. A short 3 block stretch in the industrial area North of Mid-Town/Downtown between North 'A' and 'C; Streets.. You may very well have a place in Oregon that looks similar, but the city here, in Sacramento, is not accustomed to the idea or culpable responsibility to the citizens. So our disaster has no leaders or aggressive path to meet the challenges of a non-mitigated sewage spill on the city's streets.
My first inclination was to see if it would be feasible to rent portable toilets from a local vendor, and have them placed for the homeless to use free of charge. When I stopped by to talk with the local homeless, the response was, "That's Exactly What We Need!" So, I told them that I would see what I could do to make it happen, along with some encouraged weekly garbage by the City. After the discussion, I immediately felt as though, this is a project I can do, and felt a like I had an unwritten contract to not disappoint these People of Ahearn Street, if only to maintain some sense of integrity of my word to them.
After my first city council meeting, I quickly became aware that this was only a crisis for the homeless, not city leaders. The tent encampment had ballooned in the 20 day period between September 10th, and September 30th of 2018, and was reaching an estimated population of between 80 and 150 People. It didn't take long to assess that this was a scaleable Humanitarian and Sanitary disaster with no means of addressing the bio-hazards and contamination that looked to be on the order of a third world problem with similar ecological and environmental impacts.
After checking into the portable toilets, I found no feasible way of negotiating with the City's Developmental Engineering Dept for an applicable revocable Permit to answer easement positions on a Public Roadway, and that further the City may have requirements for half a million dollars of insurance to bond the venture. So, they, Ken Voight, of Sacramento City encouraged me to approach the City Council for assistance and direction.
I went to the next City Council meeting, and was sadly disappointed at the response from City Leaders, after they told me of their efforts to combat the situation over the last 20 years. By the end of my 2 minutes of time the only true information that I could impart was that this was a City problem, and that I wanted 10 garbage cans, and 4 portable toilet facilities to be delivered to the area by tomorrow. I left the meeting with full expectation that the City should respond to a situation in which they were clearly to be responsible for sanitation and sewage mitigation.
But like most government interactions, the urgency to act is often predicated, not by need, but by authority.
Disappointed the next day as no toilet had been dispersed to the area, I formulated a plan to keep my word to the People of Ahearn Street I walked through the isles of a local Walmart Store. From one isle to the next, I began finding the parts to solve an unsolvable dilemma of providing toilets without Permit process, that would also answer the questions of availability, sanitary containment, and safety of all parties involved that may come in contact with what became an emergency makeshift portable toilet that could be Gifted to the Homeless as a Personal Possession.
So, the answer became the affordable option. After seeing that the City of Sacramento spent $213,000 to fund a 3 position portable toilet trailer for 6 months, I knew my solution had to shock their consciousness as to the small investment that may have far more social and safety payoffs for a lot less City effort.
The answer became a portable toilet made from ordinary items at the local Walmart. (*Cringe *Cringe as you might at the store Brand) They do offer the Public a good avenue to quality products that have been keeping America moving in economic times that would have left the Country with far more homeless than there are.
The project is made from 1 - 48.qt Igloo Brand Ice Cooler for $15.88, 1 - Mainstays Brand Wood Toilet Seat for $5.44, and 1 - Mainstays Brand Paper Towel Holder for $5.97. Plastic Garbage Can Liners, between 42 to 45 Gallons are utilized at about 50 Cents Ea. Other items are comprised of 99 Cent Store Items such as $1 Bleach, $3 for 6 Rolls of Paper Towel, $1 for 8.oz Hand Sanitizer, and 1 24 Count Wet Hand Wipes. This adds up to $36.29 plus+ $2.81 in California Sales Tax, for a Total of $39.10 per unit with no Labor. Labor to assemble is approximately 15-20 construction time each.
Tools for assembly are the following: 1 Drill (Cordless Optional), 3/8" Drill Bit, 3/16" Drill Bit, 1 Jigsaw/Sabersaw, Utility Knife, Flat Blade Screwdriver, Small Phillips Screwdriver, Rivit Gun for 3/16" Rivets, 4 - 1/4" Length 3?16" Rivets, Pencil, 7/8" Wood (Paddle) Bit, 1 Piece #80 Grit Sandpaper, (Optional) White E-6000 Glue for holding Toilet Seat Assembly Caps closed.
Each Portable Emergency Toilet comes with 1 96-128.oz Bottle of Bleach, 6 Rolls of Paper Towel, 6 42-45 Gallon Garbage Can Liners, 1 8.oz Hand Sanitizer, 1 24 Count Wet Hand Wipes. In the future the Toilets may be model on the use of Clumping Cat Litter, and/or a Mulching Toilet System. Suggestions or Recommendations for Solid and Liquid Waste treatment options would be welcomed, as I have little personal knowledge on what would be the most cost effective and efficient manner of achieving a positive outcome in that regard.
Here is an Instructional Video on Emergency Toilet Assembly.
Other Pictures can be Found about the Ahearn Street Site in Sacramento, here:
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