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Taipei to require basic amenities, safety measures in public restroom draft bill

Proposed bill applicable to public establishments, convenience stores, fast food restaurants, malls

(Pexels photo)

(Pexels photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taipei City Government Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced a draft bill for a self-government ordinance that lists “standard equipment” requirements for public restrooms in the city on Thursday (Jan. 20).

Aside from a toilet, the list of standard equipment in a public restroom stall includes toilet paper, a hook and a shelf to hold personal items, a lidded trash can, railing, and a panic alarm. Additionally, there should be signage on the outside of the stall showing what type of toilet is inside, as well as signage showing whether used toilet paper should be flushed or discarded in a trash can.

Public restrooms should also come with washbasins, soap dispensers, mirrors, and either paper towels or hand dryers, according to the DEP. Operators of public restrooms are given an opportunity to make sure they are up to code, but if they still do not meet the requirements, they are then subject to fines between NT$6,000 (US$217.14) and NT$30,000 per incident.

The bill, if passed, will apply to public restrooms operated by 14 types of establishments, including those in the public sector, convenience stores, fast food restaurants, malls, and gas stations. The public may review the draft bill and offer suggestions up until Feb. 16, and the DEP will be holding public hearings to gather feedback from relevant parties.

The draft bill was proposed as an effort to further enhance public restroom quality and Taipei’s image, the DEP wrote in the introduction section.

“Public restrooms, water fountains, and free wireless internet are called the three major types of traveler-friendly infrastructure in modern cities; in particular, public restrooms are the first things tourists come across upon arriving in a city. Therefore, the quality of public restrooms is not only linked to citizens’ physiological needs, but also the city’s image, and must be actively and efficiently managed and maintained,” the draft bill read.

Current public restroom management is primarily based on a grading system, in which features such as cleanliness and amenity are merely criteria that add or take away points, per the DEP. The draft bill seeks to provide a source of law for relevant regulations so that the Taipei City Government may better manage public restrooms under its jurisdiction.

Updated : 2022-05-20 06:51 GMT+08:00