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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The Food & Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today said it has been adopting a multipronged approach to enhance the facilities and services of more than 800 public toilets under its management.

The Chief Executive announced in the Policy Agenda in 2018 that comprehensive refurbishment works will be carried out for FEHD public toilets with a high utilisation rate or located at tourist hotspots.

Among the 23 public toilets near tourist hotspots, the FEHD will complete the facelifting or refurbishment works for 22 of them by the end of this year.

The Financial Secretary announced in the 2019-20 Budget that more resources would be allocated to the department for refurbishing its public toilets in phases, with an estimated expenditure of over $600 million involving about 240 toilets.

Facelifting or refurbishment works of 91 toilets progressively started in the first two financial years, and 17 of them have been completed and reopened.

The FEHD said it spares no effort in improving the attendant room facilities for public toilets with attendants.

Citing the Moreton Terrace public toilet in Wan Chai as an example, the department said that due to the toilet’s space constraints, it has explored the practicability of setting up attendant rooms in the adjoining area, and the relevant works are expected to be completed in the first half of next year.

The department also strove to upgrade facilities in existing public toilets, noting that it had provided tables, chairs and storage facilities for attendant rooms of around 200 public toilets.

It has also proactively followed up on the provision of installations such as power sockets, ventilation and lighting, with related works completed for about 60 public toilets’ attendant rooms.

Since March 2019, the FEHD has set up dedicated teams to provide thorough cleansing services to enhance public toilet cleanliness and alleviate the workload of attendants.

To improve the service quality of public toilets, the department is developing a prototype of a smart system to collect statistics including usage rates, smell, temperature and humidity through a real-time monitoring system, and collect users’ views on toilet services via the visitor feedback mechanism.

The system is expected to be launched for trial in the Southorn Centre, Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui East Public Transport Interchange public toilets in the second quarter of next year.

To combat the COVID-19 epidemic, the FEHD has implemented measures at its public toilets, including enhancing disinfection and cleansing services, as well as installing in phases sensor-type hand sanitisers and sensor-type toilet seat sanitisers.

Anti-microbial coating is also piloted at those toilets with a high patronage rate where the coating will be applied to toilet door knobs and handrails, toilet seat surfaces and hand-dryers to maintain the hygiene condition.

On the education front, the FEHD will step up promotional booths at selected public toilets to promote the messages of keeping them clean and using the facilities properly. It has co-organised a design competition and workshops with the Architectural Services Department to brainstorm innovative ideas on public toilet services, design and management.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News