Some may think that engineers are often not incredibly creative, except for finding some bizarre, convoluted way to “solve” a problem. Some may wonder if engineers are really that interested in saving the environment. Some may think engineers are not all that fun. Well, if you are any one of those, it’s time to rethink your view of the engineer.

To combat all these views of engineers, we turn to Bellingham, WA, where the Public Works Department has written a new specification for the use of recycled material in non-structural concrete, thus the green nature of engineers. The creative side comes out since they are using a new material that is being recycled. The fun aspect of engineers is what that material is. The material now allowed to be recycled as part of the aggregate in non-structural concrete in Bellingham is: toilets.

But beyond mere theory, according to a recent edition of the publication Equipment World, a sister publication to Better Roads and Aggregates Manager (I kid you not), Bellingham recently included 400 used toilet seats in one of their sidewalk and path projects. Most will enjoy the name for this new type of concrete: Poticrete.  The project manager stated, “We did it because it was the right thing – and it was fun.” I’ve said this before – engineers know how to have fun!

He also said, and here I will confess that I am not sure if this comment was meant to come out this way, but he said, “We are not only using toilets, but looking into capturing a bigger waste stream.”

This may well change some of the non-engineers view of the engineer as they consider Poticrete. The engineer is green. The engineer can be creative. But most of all, the engineer is FUN!

For those that think I have possibly made all this up, please visit: The Story on Poticrete (The photo of the toilet seat that is bragging about Poticrete is worth the price of admission there.)