2013 was a challenging year for sanitation. Two days of rain during the pre-event buildup and an early population spike meant that our vendor was scrambling even as the gates were opening. This led to some banks being overtaxed and underserviced and the sanitizer running out more often. We are definitely aware of these issues and we are working with the vendor to better prepare for the possibility of rain in the early stages of the event cycle.
In 2013 we added 100 potties to bolster the existing banks throughout Black Rock City. We also added two brand new banks in the deep playa. These new banks were intended to alleviate a problem that has been rearing its ugly head in the past few years. That is, participants heading out to the remote playa with one of the party buses and then taking a break from dancing to defecate on the playa. Someone has to clean that stuff up. Think on that for a bit. These new banks didn’t work as well as we had hoped in combating this problem but 2013 was a pilot year for the initiative and we will continue to work with the community to address the issue going forward.
Speaking of bad behavior, there was a rise in vandalism and trash dumping this year. Trashing the potties results in servicing slowdowns that result in nasty potties. If you see someone leaving trash, please say something! Many units had their doors ripped off and the handicapped units consistently had their locks cut off. Those locks are there to keep the units relatively clean for folks with mobility challenges.
All that said, the vast majority of Black Rock City’s citizens continue to do their part to keep the potties as clean for the next person. This year many folks stepped up to monitor segments of Black Rock City and reach out to the local communities near potty banks. As always, many many thanks go out to the tireless volunteers who do the good work of spreading Proper Potty Etiquette!
Matt Morgan aka HazMatt