This deal required by the union representing the plumbers suggests that greed and rigidity infect both sides of the political divide when progessive change is an issue.
City officials approved the use of waterless, no-flush urinals Wednesday at what will be Philadelphia’s tallest skyscraper — but only after reaching an agreement with plumbers.
In a deal that attested to the clout of the city’s unions, the developer agreed to a five-year trial of the 116 urinals. The developer is barred from installing the urinals in any other buildings in Philadelphia during that period, and they will have to be replaced with water-using units if they do not work as billed.
Liberty Property Trust is hoping to claim the honor of America’s tallest environmentally friendly building with the construction of the 57-story Comcast Center. The plumbers’ opposition had put that bid in jeopardy.
While raising health and safety issues, plumbers were also worried about whether the adoption of the new technology would lead to other changes that could cut into their work.
The no-flush units are expected to save at least 1.6 million gallons of water a year. Instead of water, a replaceable cartridge at the base traps odors and sediment as waste passes through. The technology has been in use since the early 1990s.