Truth be told, I can hardly even stand to think it …

P …

Pee (wince) cycling.


You did read “pee.”


Oh, merciful milk cows.

Believe it or not, this cringe-worthy concept is for real.

In fact, it may actually indicate that we, the world, are moving in the right direction.


Allow me to elaborate:

In Amsterdam (I know—those, uhm,  innovative Dutch), the public powers-that-be are already (you guessed it) collecting … uhm … pee.

But, WHY?

Amsterdam’s utility company, Waternet, launched the Green Urine initiative (yes, really) in order to fertilize public gardens and vegetated rooftops around the city.

“It turns out that urine is packed with nitrogen and phosphorus, the two main elements of fertilizer,” explains Justin Gammill of “So much so, that when wastewater is treated, the nitrogen and phosphorus are purposefully removed because it would cause insane algae growth when the treated water was added back to a standing water source, such as a lake or river.”

Waternet set up multiple urinals in the city that were designed to process the urine in such a way that “struvite” (magnesium ammonium phosphate) is extracted and dried to a powder that can be used to help plants grow.


Photo by alan_adriana via

I guess women aren’t yet … contributing … to the effort. But should I ever visit, I could use my female camper’s GO GIRL! FUD (female urinary device) that allows me to stand when, I, uhm, take aim. Along with maybe a portable privacy curtain?????? Good heavens.

Andri Antoniades of writes, “Waternet is just the latest group to jump on the pee-cycling bandwagon. In 2007, researchers in Finland actually did go door-to-door collecting urine from locals. That untreated wastewater was used to successfully fertilize small crops of vegetables such as cucumbers and cabbage—all of which the researchers reported tasting delicious.”

Mmmm … had enough?

Just one more thought—Antoniades also argues, “In addition to making agricultural methods more sustainable, urine-based fertilizer could help boost food production and heighten sanitation in developing countries, particularly in small communities where wastewater treatment simply isn’t available.”

Are you seeing the potential here? (Emphasis on the letter “p”).

Go ahead, let your thoughts flow. Me? I’m going with the flow should the occasion (or peecycling urinal with a DOOR) ever present itself. Now I could stand for that.



Leave a comment 5 Comments

  1. Ok, the real question here is , Winnie, did you see any of these? And was anyone actually using them?

  2. Oh and another thought. Back when I was an estate manager, the boss wouldn’t let the help ” pee” indoors. You had to go around the vegetable garden fence. Two fold reason:fertilizer and the deer would stay away. If he heard you going #1, indoors in the bathroom , he’d dock your pay !

    • Karlyne says:

      When we lived in the mountains, the guys peeing around the perimeter was the only way to keep the deer and elk out. I encouraged the drinking of beer, by the way. (The adults!) Now that we’re in “civilization”, it’s a bit harder, although the 3 year old valiantly does his part!

  3. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Yep!! I saw plenty of these around Amsterdam !! They put them up in abundance for the the big national celebration of King’s Day outside of the pubs because there is so much beer drinking and celebrating. But for girls??? We were told, girls have to rely on the bathrooms inside the establishments because there are no privacy curtains on the streets. I did not know there was an actual practical use for the urine other than keeping throngs of people from peeing in the street. Just a side note, the urinals came in lots of bright colors too making them easy to spot.

    This Farmgirl is leaving tomorrow . Wagons ho, Delta!!

  4. calle says:

    Great resource. My only concern would be drugs! In our area anyone who is in hospice care who passes has a mandatory visit from the Sheriff’s office, they watch you flush all narcotics down the commode. Not a good thing. In the instance of pure urine the concentration of antibiotics etc would be very high.
    I have never read a research paper on what happens to some or all of these drugs in the soil.
    It does say that they are separated into two component chemicals so maybe they can remove the drugs.
    We have recycled human waste for our flower gardens and range land.
    They could build bathrooms for this purpose and modesty still counts so far in my world.
    Thanks for this post.


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