The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Bathroom sensors nonsensical

By Bethany Peterson/editor-in-chief

Too often, practicality falls prey to brilliant, heartfelt ideas, like motion-sensor technology in restrooms.

I know they are supposed to make us healthier by eliminating germ sharing, but any benefit is outweighed by their wasteful, time-consuming and disgusting characteristics.

Perhaps its most serious fault is wastefulness.

A friend and I used to change from gym to street clothes in restroom stalls. We had competitions to see who could make the toilet flush the fewest times while we were changing. The average score was three times.

Since the average toilet uses more than 1.5 gallons of water per flush, three false flushes means more than 4.5 gallons of wasted water. Without the motion-activated sensors, that water would never have been wasted.

Ever gone to wash your hands and seen a huge puddle of soap deposited on the counter by the soap dispenser? Yeah, it’s soap, but the huge green, blue or pink puddle with little bubbles resembling mold is just repulsive as well as wasteful.

Working the sensors is time-consuming. I don’t know why, but the motion-activated faucets do not like me.

I stand in front of the sink waving like an idiot for a whole minute trying to get the thing to turn on, only to be left with half-rinsed hands when my time runs out, and I have to start the process over again.

When the water does turn on, I face another threat. I’m stuck with what comes out of the faucet, freezing or scalding as it may be. Nothing beats faucet burns in the race for the stupidest injury.

Oh, and don’t forget the paper towels. I don’t know anyone who can dry their hands with a six-inch-square towel. It takes at least two portions to get even close to a non-dripping hand.

Partially converted restrooms are another annoyance. When the faucet is motion-activated, I expect the paper towels to be, too. But, no, I’m left waving at a crank towel dispenser.

I like things that keep me healthier, but I hate things that solve one problem by creating others.

Let’s just all face the fact that a bathroom is a bathroom and isn’t going to be completely sanitary so that we can restore our sanity.

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