I thought automated public pay toilets were a sure thing. I mean, auto-cleaning, high-tech robo toilets that allow the occupant to remain inside for as long as they want, and then clean up all the evidence after the fact... what could go wrong?! Oh right, hookers and drugs, that's what. Which is exactly why the five automated toilets in Seattle were recently sold off for a multi-million dollar loss. How big a loss? Well, when they were installed four years ago the toilets cost US$5 million. This week, after an online auction, they sold for just $12,549.
The lucky buyer who took a load off for Seattle was Butch Behn, owner of Racecar Supply in Rochester, Wash. He plans to use two of the units at the South Sound Speedway. The other three will be resold or reused later. "It'd probably be good to have a couple around for spares. We get pretty busy at the track sometimes," he said (double entendre, anyone?).
The article over at the USA Today mentions nothing about whether or not the fine city of Seattle refurbished these things before sending them along. From the sounds of things that might be OK, as they were used for anything but nature's call. [USA Today]