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Munich signs on to 'Nice Toilet' scheme


Munich is becoming the latest German city to relieve its desperate masses by contracting with restaurants to provide public toilet access, a plan already in effect in 210 other German cities including Bremen and Regensburg.

Under the plan, the city pays restaurants a fee to make their toilets available to the public, avoiding the cost of separate public toilets, and potentially making many more avaiable. The fees received by restaurants vary from city to city, with Bremen paying €100 a month. The city considers it a bargain compared to the cost of automated toilets.

The Nette Toilet logo (above) goes in the window of participating places; there's also a website to help find the nearest when in need. Cities joining in pay a one-time fee to use the logo. The idea originated in the town of Aalen back in 2000.

Use of the plan has made a dramatic change in availability; Munich has one public toilet per 13,000 residents, and Frankfurt only one for 22,000. Nette Toilette has changed the ratio for Bremen to one per 3200, with 113 restaurants in the program.

Munich's participation is starting in the outskirts, where the need is believed highest, but has penciled in an expansion to 120 restaurants. A budget for the expansion will be discussed by the city council this month.

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