This was the first year of a multi-year contract we have in place with our sanitation vendor. The big news in 2006 was the purchase of Johnny On The Spot by United Site Services. We were confident that the transition would go smoothly since the management structure of Johnny On The Spot remains intact. These are the guys with the experience, and having them stay on the job meant business as usual.
In 2005, we activated a number of additional potties and increased the size of the main toilet banks in the city. We did this again in 2006 as we didnt anticipate a drop in attendance and it was a good thing: We ended up activating an additional two banks of potties to provide coverage for the record number of participants who came to Burning Man 2006. According to the vendor, the extra banks (which we placed along the outermost street of the city) were hit just as hard as any of the existing main banks.
We are happy to report that the amount of baby wipes thrown in potties during the event was a significantly reduced this year. Baby wipes do not dissolve like toilet paper; they clog the equipment and must be removed by hand from the stream of effluent before it can be processed. We had so many problems in 2005 that we launched a major information campaign (both around the city and throughout the year) in hopes of stemming the problem.
It appears that the message was heard loud and clear, so thanks to all who participated in keeping our potties free of baby wipes and other foreign objects. That said, let’s not slack off on this but help pass the word: If it wasn’t in your body, DO NOT put it in the potty (with the exception of single-ply toilet paper).
A special thanks to the volunteers who helped spread the message in 2006; you make it better for all of us.
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Matt “HazMatt” Morgan