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Flush with green pride! New York City to recycle its old toilets

NEW YORK -- As it steps up its program to replace its toilets with water-conserving models, New York City has begun to seek bids from companies to recycle nearly a million old toilet fixtures over the next six years.      

The city’s Department of Environmental Protection told the New York Post that it's counterintuitive to have a program to conserve water that increases trash at landfills.

Old toilets, which use about five gallons per flush compared with 1.28 gallons for newer fixtures, could be crushed for reuse in building foundations.     

The DEP also said it would give apartment building residents a $125 rebate to replace old fixtures.

The toilet-replacement program will drop the city’s daily water use by 30 million gallons a day, DEP spokesman Farrell Sklerov told the Post. City residents now use 1 billion gallons of water, so that’s a 3 percent reduction, he said.

Garbage problem
A similar replacement in the 1990s replaced 1.3 million toilets, the paper reported. But those units were not recycled, and ended up taking space in garbage dumps.

“We want to see if there are companies that will take toilets off our hands and provide value for the public,” Skelrov told the Post. “We’ll see what the response is.”

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