Sanitation in 2010 was great!  Although experiences may vary, most reports are that the banks were kept consistently clean and they didn’t run out of toilet paper (immediately).  In spite of record attendance, potty banks did not suffer serious servicing backlog.  That’s not to say that there aren’t specific banks that get harder hit than others, because there are.  Burning Man scientists have been working hard to develop a servicing algorithm that takes into account projected population densities as well as that gut feeling that there’s going to be a bigger-than-usual party at such-and-such a bank.  The work is ongoing.

According to our vendor United Site Services, instead of volume spiking then dropping off like previous years, this year the pressure stayed more consistent throughout the event.  Servicing was subject to a steady, inexorable pressure much the same way that [please insert your own potty metaphor here].  Garbage thrown in the potties was a problem again this year, but then, it is ALWAYS a problem.  It was better this year than in previous years but we must remain vigilant!  Only YOU can prevent the horrors of clogged hoses and overburdened servicing.  Just remember, if you're standing there about to throw a bit of trash in the crapper, some person is going to have to fish that thing out. It doesn't just magically go away, you are making someone handle your trash and separate it from the stream of human waste.  You don’t want that karma, really you don’t.

In 2010, we increased the number of potty banks by two; these banks were located along 2:00 and 10:00.  They were placed to try and help alleviate the needs of the folks journeying out to the large dancy camps.  By most reports these banks were a great success although we may have to play with placement a bit more to optimize their use in the future.  We got a lot of feedback about the hand sanitizer this year, specifically the fact that it ran out too soon.  We’re planning on doubling our capacity next year!

As always, a special thanks goes out to the volunteers who help to raise awareness of proper potty etiquette and hang signage on the potties of Black Rock City. Also, thank you to all of the theme camps and participants who stepped up to assist our volunteers, take ownership of their local banks and to otherwise make the potty experience better for everyone.

Submitted by,
Matt Morgan