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Paris residents peeved at very public eco-friendly urinals
A new set of eco-friendly but completely exposed urinals deployed on the streets of Paris are provoking uproar from locals. One of the bright red "urinoirs" installed on the Ile Saint-Louis, not far from Notre Dame cathedral and overlooking tourist boats passing on the Seine, has caused particular indignation. Locals have written to the town hall to demand its removal and are planning a petition. "This model is not attractive at all and where it has been set up is not appropriate at all," 50-year-old Paris resident Moubi said. The urinal is on a pavement a few metres from the door of a well-known townhouse the Hotel de Lauzun where 19th-century French poet Charles Baudelaire lived. Neighbours also fear that the urinal, around 20 meters (22 yards) from a primary school, could become a target for exhibitonists. The designer of the "Uritrottoir" -- a combination of the French words for urinal and pavement -- said it offered an "eco solution to public peeing". The device is essentially a box with an opening in the front and a floral display on top, containing straw which transforms into compost for use in parks and gardens. But Ile Saint-Louis locals said the receptacle, with no stall around it of any kind, could blight their ultra-chic neighbourhood. "Seeing people urinating right in front of your door is not the nicest thing," 28-year-old Paris resident Mounia said. Local mayor Ariel Weil insisted the devices were necessary, however. Paris authorities have rolled out four of the stand-up loos in spots where public peeing has been a problem, and a fifth is planned.