The fields at Washington-Liberty High School have new temporary toilets for baseball players, softball players and spectators.
These are not run-of-the-mill port-a-johns, either. The facilities, developed by D.C.-area startup Throne, give users the royal treatment with running water for flushing and hand-washing. Users simply text a phone number to gain entry and provide a cleanliness rating via text after they use it.
Kevin Healy, the assistant director of student activities at Washington-Liberty, credited a parent for making the partnership possible and Throne for loaning them for free through the end of May.
“We were just lucky we had parents looking into it who found the set-up for us,” he said. “The company was very cool about it.”
Healy says having a toilet near the baseball and softball fields is a big improvement for players, coaches and spectators.
“Typically, we’ll get one port-a-john during the season. Outside that, we have to go to the library to use any kind of facility,” he said. “We do have a port-a-john that the county put in place, but if you have a well-attended game [and] if you’re in the middle of a game… you don’t want to miss time jogging over in a ‘crisis situation’ to go in the building.”
Softball players often wind up having to go all the way to the W-L pool to find a bathroom, he said.
Located in Brentwood, Md., Throne aims to solve a handful of problems with bathroom access in the U.S.: quantity, cost, cleanliness and accessibility.
“Our co-founding team is passionate about expanding access to bathrooms,” co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Jess Heinzelman told ARLnow.
It can be expensive for municipalities to connect to water and sewer for brick-and-mortar bathrooms, which is why there can be access issues at school fields and parks, Heinzelman said. Cleaning them can be a headache, she added, because “a few bad apples ruin publicly accessible bathrooms for everybody.”
Throne considers the easiest alternative, port-a-johns, a “last resort” because they can be hard to find, locked and unpleasant.
“We set out with goal to drastically reduce costs while also using new technologies available to help introduce accountability to bathroom use without being creepy,” she said.
It takes a few hours to install a Throne, which uses solar power and rainwater catchment to provide running water for flushing and hand-washing. Smart sensors monitor use rates and maintenance needs and the company’s technology makes it possible to restrict access for people who vandalize the units or degrade their cleanliness.
Throne has built and tested out its toilets across the D.C. area over the last 2.5 years and has developed a step-up model, as well as one accessible for people with disabilities. The startup is readying for a commercial launch this spring, meaning people will see more installed in the District, the City of Fairfax and elsewhere.
Heinzelman said it was an easy decision to let W-L use the facilities. Its accessible units are in high-demand and the company had two unused step-up units that needed a home.
“We’re really excited to have them getting used,” Heinzelman said. “The student athletes seem to be liking them.”
Some may recognize the free-standing facility from the REEF Kitchen trailers near the Whole Foods in Clarendon. This was the startup’s first-ever pilot potty, serving the staff of the ghost kitchens, who cook food for delivery-only on platforms like Grubhub, as well as delivery drivers.
“Gig drivers are one of the major groups that has trouble finding restrooms because they’re working from their car and they’re not allowed to use the bathrooms of restaurants or places that they’re picking up from,” Heinzelman said.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
There’s no official word on its website, but it looks like Bar Ivy in Clarendon may have closed permanently.
There’s persistence, and then there is Audrey Clement and her decade-plus effort to get elected to local office in Arlington. Clement talked with ARLnow editor Scott Brodbeck to talk about…
Makers Union, an upscale gastropub, is set to open its doors in Pentagon City next week, says Alex Brown, the restaurant’s director of operations. This opening marks the third Makers Union location in the D.C. Metropolitan area, following the debut of its Reston location three years ago and a recent opening at the Wharf in early October.
Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.
Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.
Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.
Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!
The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 77th annual Christmas tree sale!
This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 24th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to 10 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garland, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.
100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.
For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at https://optimistclubofarlingtonva.org/.
Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to
2023 Christmas Tree Sales Begin
Saturday, December 2
Get your holiday decorating off to the right start this year! We will be selling 150 Fraser firs, freshly cut and delivered from Sparta, North Carolina.