Friday, December 18, 2009 - 11:47

The Eden Project, with its 245 rainwater harvesting toilets, has won a national Loo of the Year Award for the high standards of its washrooms.

The awards scheme, run by the British Toilet Association, recognises the best ‘away from home’ toilets in locations ranging from supermarkets to service stations. Judged on a surprise visit by an inspector, Eden’s facilities were given the maximum five-star rating for the seventh consecutive year and scooped a prize in the Leisure category.

The Cornish tourist attraction’s washrooms were awarded for aspects such as hygiene, accessibility and signage. They are also environmentally friendly, featuring recycled rainwater, green cleaning products and low-energy hand dryers.

Conventional lavatories draw on mains water which has been cleaned to drinking water standards; an energy-intensive operation. Eden’s toilets and urinals are flushed using rain and ground water instead. This collects in the bottom of the former china clay pit, undergoes a simple cleaning process and is pumped to the washrooms.

Eden is also trialling the state-of-the-art Dyson Airblade, a hand dryer which uses around 80 per cent less energy than other hand dryers. The machine dries hands in ten seconds by releasing pressurised air, travelling at more than 400 miles an hour, through an aperture the width of an eyelash.

Both are stories that the educational charity, which prides itself on its onsite interpretation, shares with visitors on signs inside the cubicles.

The 23-strong Housekeeping Team cleans the facilities using only biodegradable products and replenishes them with recycled toilet paper and palm-oil-free soap.

Eden’s Logistics Manager, Kathryn Sanders, said: “When you think of the size of the site and the fact that we welcome more than 1 million visitors, it’s a massive achievement. I’m immensely proud to have an award-winning team that consistently delivers its work to the highest standard.”