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Eco-toilets bound for Angkor Wat temples

Eco-toilets bound for Angkor Wat temples

A JAPANESE nonprofit group, Groundwork Mashima, has offered to donate two ecologically friendly toilets for use at Angkor Wat, according to Cambodian officials.

Produced in Japan, the toilets use bacteria-laced cedar chips that break down waste into nitrogen and water. The "biotoilets", which have been installed in Japan's iconic hiking destination, Mount Fuji, need a small amount of electricity to function and do not require emptying.

Khuon Khun Neay, deputy director of Apsara, the government authority charged with running the World Heritage site, said he would meet with officials from the Japanese group later this month to finalise the terms of the donation. The biotoilets would "help keep the Angkor Wat temple complex's fresh atmosphere for tourists", he added. 

Ho Vandy, an official with the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, said he hoped the Japanese group would provide additional biotoilets for Cambodia's other prominent tourist destinations. But Khuon Khun Neay said additional units would need to be purchased for over $10,000 each.

Toyohiro Wantanabe, executive director of Groundwork Mashima, was quoted as saying in the Japanese Mainichi Daily News that his group wanted to contribute "toward the protection of the ruins".

While over a million tourists visit the Angkorian temples near Siem Reap every year, the complex includes only 11 public restrooms.

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