Seattle’s old ‘super toilets’ are on the market again

Mar 29, 2016, 2:03 PM | Updated: 2:44 pm

The City of Seattle paid $5 million on five self-cleaning toilets, which they then sold on eBay for...

The City of Seattle paid $5 million on five self-cleaning toilets, which they then sold on eBay for $12,500 in 2008. The current owner says he is willing to sell the pods for a profit. (AP)


Before the Seattle Tunnel Project or the RV safe lots, there was the City of Seattle’s super toilets.

As far as KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson is concerned, there is a consistent smell in the City of Seattle: the scent of wasted money. And there may be no better example of the city’s pungent tendency to fund “failed projects” than the city’s $5 million investment in self-cleaning toilets, which cost the city millions but might soon be making a private citizen a profit.

Related: The fight against germs: Boeing introduces self-cleaning bathroom

Butch Behn, owner of South Sound Speedway in Rochester, purchased the city’s five self-cleaning pods on eBay in 2008. The high-tech units stationed in Pioneer Square and other neighborhoods in 2003 were supposed to be safe, clean facilities for tourists and homeless individuals. But instead, according to Dori, they became 9-foot tall silver pods used for drugs and prostitution. Behn told Dori that he purchased the bathrooms for $12,500 total, plus moving costs. He hooked up two at the Speedway but says the other three sit unused.

“I didn’t need them,” Behn said. “I bought the things for more of a lark than anything and it’s just unbelievable how much (attention) was on these toilets … I was just buying them because it was cheap. I’m a junk man.”

Behn says he’s putting the toilets back on the market &#8212 at $20,000 apiece.

“I don’t need to sell them; it just don’t make sense to have them sitting there and rotting,” he said. ” … I’ve had four phone calls on this since Sunday.”

Dori wishes the city would learn something from Behn.

“Butch’s motto: Buy low, sell high,” Dori says. “City of Seattle’s motto: Buy high with other people’s money and then get for anything you can.”

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Seattle’s old ‘super toilets’ are on the market again