Cleaning Company Blames Unsanitary Citizens for Taiwan’s Unclean Public Restrooms

taiwan public toilet
Photo by 玄史生, via Wikimedia Commons

Tung Ming-hsun (董明遜), director of the cleaning company 清潔公司 hired to maintain many of Taiwan’s public restrooms, said that complaints about the condition of some public toilets are the fault of the citizens’ unsanitary bathroom habits, UDN reported.

Unsanitary habits included urine on the floor, sanitary pads not disposed of properly, unflushed toilets, and blocked toilets. One worker said that in 10 years she has seen many objects clog a toilet, including condoms, feminine hygiene products, and even sweatpants and underwear.

Tung noted that in addition to the unsanitary habits of citizens, the facilities themselves are inadequate to handle the large volume of human traffic. In some cases the public toilets are old and still use narrower pipes, which inhibits the passage of toilet paper and increases the frequency of clogs.

Another problem Tung noted was that many people do not dry their hands after washing, which leads to excessively wet floors. There’s also the problem of people not bringing their own toilet paper to use as the public facilities generally do not provide any.

While the EPA recently recommended that citizens flush toilet paper rather than dispose of it in nearby trash cans, some hospitals in Taipei still have signs requesting people to not flush the paper. While the tissue paper is safe to flush, too much can still clog a toilet and cause problems in a public restroom.

Public toilets at Taipei Main Station have also received complaints despite being the cleanest of all of Taiwan Railway Administration’s (TRA) more than 200 stations. The 11 sets of public toilets throughout the station handle about 500,000 people each day, and those people have the same habits as at any other public restroom in Taiwan, according to another UDN article.

Another problem noted by another public restroom cleaning company is that the cleaners are considered service workers and therefore cannot scold citizens for their unsanitary habits, no matter how disgusting they may be.

1 Comment

  1. Nice translation and write-up. UDN ran at least 3 versions of this story today, and one touched my heart when it mentioned that cleaning staff are known to shed tears sometimes as they are cleaning up the mess.

    It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it.

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