Several companies, a school and Vesthimmerland Municipality have joined forces to develop a new type of school toilet to improve hygiene and make toilets more user friendly. As a result the percentage of pupils who wash their hands after going to the bathroom has jumped from 26 to 85%.

For many years toilet conditions in the schools in Vesthimmerland Municipality were unsatisfactory. A 2014 survey among pupils, parents and teachers showed that many pupils found the school toilets disgusting. Some students completely avoided them, which can lead to incontinence issues and other lifestyle diseases.

In 2017 Toppedal School renovated its toilets and joined forces with Vesthimmerland Municipality’s development unit, which had previously worked on welfare technology solutions for the elderly. Together with various companies, they embarked on developing the school toilet of the future. The new toilets used the latest digital technology and were ready in October 2017. In addition to touch-free flushing, ventilated soundproofed stalls and decent lighting, a hygiene island with built-in screens reminds pupils to wash their hands. The no-touch taps switch on automatically and sensors keep track of the amount of traffic, allowing cleaning staff to clean and fill up the soap and toilet paper as needed. The entire space features smooth, easy-to-clean surfaces without joints. What is more, replaceable film designed by pupils with a local artist adorn the stall doors. To increase the feeling of ownership for the project, pupils recorded the voices used to nudge people to do things right. The school’s toilets have improved significantly, with triple the number of students now washing their hands and many more are unconcerned about using the school’s toilets. So far, similar solutions have found their way into three schools in Aarhus Municipality.

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