The bathroom consumes a lot of water. The average public urinal washes a gallon of water down with each flush, and on average, uses over 10,000 gallons of water a year. A small invention called the EcoBlue Cube is said to eliminate 99% of the need to flush a urinal. A two inch square, the cube is made up of “beneficial bacteria” that digest waste and eliminate odor. One cube lasts for about 1,400 uses or one to three weeks. Two flushes at the end of the day are all that is needed to replace the urinal with fresh water.
Founder and CEO of EcoBlue, Damian Cox said, “Rather than create expensive technologies to generate new water, the best approach is to conserve the assets we already have. That way the money is better spent and it creates incredible opportunities for entrepreneurs and inventors.”
Cox is an Australian native who moved EcoBlue to San Francisco in 2006, but after 16 months he decided to relocate again to Arizona. The EcoBlue cubes are mainly distributed in the U.S., and Cox plans to develop a client base of distributors throughout North and South America. “[It's] great to be able to introduce a product and get people excited,” said Cox.”
Carly Langman, communications manager at EcoBlue, said, “In the U.S. we have some clients saving literally thousands of dollars every few months while other clients are not saving any money, but choose to use our product for the water-savings or the odor-elimination benefits.”
Andy Brindisi, owner of a New York restaurant, said of the Cube, “It’s easy to utilize; it’s cost effective…I’ve gotten myself on the ground floor of something that will be the norm in five years.”
The facilities manager at The Rim Golf Club in Payson, Arizona appreciated the fact that the Cube eliminates odor. He said, “I have received numerous compliments from the housekeeping staff in terms of ease of cleaning and lack of odor, along with positive feedback from members. In fact one member told me, ‘The men’s room finally smells good.’”
EcoBlue’s website listed examples of annual savings from businesses and organizations that use the Cube:
- A California university building—$25,000 & 2.925 million gallons (used in 103 urinals)
- A San Francisco supermarket—$1,141 & 107,000 gallons (used in one urinal)
- A New York restaurant—$600 & 30,000 gallons (used in one urinal)
- A Rhode Island school—$3,000 & 130,000 gallons (used in 25 urinals)
- A restaurant in Arizona—$600 (used in one urinal)
- A school in Arizona—$1,300 & 165,000 gallons (used in 10 urinals)
Since public urinals can be set to flush at prescribed times, the EcoBlue cube requires nothing to be installed and can work with the vast majority existing bathroom fixtures. That translates into fast financial savings for restaurants, public buildings, and other places.
The company isn’t entirely clear on what the costs per cube are, but a scan of their website suggests that a business could save about $500 and 30,000 gallons of water per urinal per year.