This was also meant to help local quality of life. Even in large cities people sometimes had trouble finding places to go when they needed to. NPR reports the revolution involved spending $3 billion to build or renovate 68,000 public toilets in three years, with 70,000 more planned. Some cities went a bit overboard and built luxurious public bathrooms with marble, sound systems, Wi-Fi, ATMs, newsstands, and electric-vehicle charging stations. In order to stop people stealing toilet paper, some bathrooms use facial recognition before giving you two feet of TP. It got so over the top the government had to warn certain local governments to stop wasting money.
But the toilet revolution continues, especially in rural areas. Xinhua Net says one region of China has a goal to rebuild toilets for 150,000 rural houses in 2019, as well as many new public bathrooms.
Mexico City has a serious poo problem
When you visit Mexico City for the first time, someone might warn you not to drink the tap water. But according to one expert, you also don’t want to eat the food or breathe the air or get caught in the rain, because it is all mixed with poo.
It might sound horribly xenophobic at first, but Mexico City does have a serious waste problem. First, unlike most places in the U.S. and Europe, the sixth-largest city in the world does not have a sanitary code dictating how to construct and install toilet, urinals, and sinks. This means “public bathrooms are often constructed by people who are neither architects nor professional plumbers.” You can see how that might lead to issues.