The AFP reported that Poland’s public toilets were recently inspected ahead of the Euro 2012 football championships, and the results were not pleasing. Toilets in six Polish cities that are to host matches, or are back-ups (Chorzów,Gdańsk, Krakow, Poznań, Warsaw, Wrocław), were examined by a “Clean Patrol”, made up of volunteer inspectors. They looked at about 200 toilets, and rated them on accessibility, hygiene, smell, and the availability of toilet paper, hand soap, and towels.
The leader of the Clean Patrol project, Arkadiusz Choczaj, said, “Not every football fan will get to the stadium, but all will visit our public lavatories and their standard speaks about Poland as a nation.”
The Clean Patrol, a project co-sponsored by the sanitary products supplier CWS-boco, concluded that Poland’s public toilets need to be seriously improved before hordes of tourists arrive in Poland for Euro 2012.
Only one toilet out of those surveyed scored a perfect 100 points, while most, about three quarters, scored about 65, the minimum acceptable standard. Toilets in airports, hotels, and restaurants received the best scores.
One quarter of the toilets examined received very low scores, making them completely unacceptable. Among the worst places to use the restroom, as most tourists in Poland surely know, are trains, as well as train and bus stations. The majority of toilets in these places were rated as “danger zones”.
However, Krakow, which is a back-up for hosting Euro 2012 matches, had the best opinion among Clean Patrol volunteers, including Choczaj, who said, “Our toilets there are better prepared for these championships than our football players.”
But, much work still needs to be done. Jan Orgelbrand, the head of Poland’s Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, said, “Regardless of the Euro finals, we have to improve standards because, let’s face it, we want to live in a country that doesn’t stink.”
Also, it is too bad that the Clean Patrol did not take into consideration the cost of going to the toilet. Many public restrooms in Poland, especially in train and bus stations, require a payment. Considering the results of the Clean Patrol’s inspection, one wonders what that money is used for.