8 Ways We Innovated Portable Toilet Odor Control Products
The portable toilet industry and those who work within it are often lost in a sea of disrespect and ignorance on the part of the public-at-large who are blissfully unaware of the difficult and important job of removing human septic waste they perform every working day.
Even for those who work for Surco Portable Sanitation Products, a leading specialty chemical manufacturer and provider of institutional and industrial odor control, it can be lonely working on portable toilets. This is especially true for the drivers who are not only dedicated to handling the most unpleasant of tasks by many standards, but are also known to work solo.
The heart of the portable toilet industry is septic waste, which by its very nature, puts people off. Despite the smells and setbacks, portable sanitation workers have become accustomed to malodors, as a “nose blindness” develops over time as territory that comes with the job.
They enjoy sharing their unique experiences and commiserating with their fellow drivers who are the only ones who understand the true scope of their demanding jobs. And many have found an entertaining venue with the new and different podcast, Get Flushed, that is dedicated exclusively to them.
What Is Get Flushed?
Get Flushed is the very first and only weekly podcast of its kind that is aimed at shedding some non-smelly light on the potable toilet industry as it affects purveyors, suppliers customers and end users. It is open to all who are passionate about portable sanitation, a global industry that is valued at over US $15 billion each year.
Written and produced in New Zealand and hosted by a man named Pete, this podcast is now heard on six continents, 16 countries and 26 US states. The goal is to bring people together, exchange ideas, educate those who do not know and inform all of new and improved products.
Get Flushed And Surco Portable Sanitation Products
Every week the podcast is focused on a single topic that concerns the global portable sanitation industry. Most recently, the topic at hand was a discussion concerning the chemicals used to treat portable toilets with Surco’s odor control specialist, Tonya Ray, whose professional life is dedicated to helping portable sanitation companies increase customer satisfaction and nourish their businesses.
She spoke to Pete about the innovative nature of our company, which was founded in 1946, and how over the years we have become a global provider of odor-control products for the modern portable toilet industry with clients who hail from all over the world.
The focus for researchers developing new products has shifted during the last few decades from eliminating microbial life that may live inside the porta-potty tank to the introduction of beneficial biological digesters, enzymes and microbes that feed on odor-causing bacteria.
Tonya was proud to state that Surco is a pioneer and trend setter within the industry as the first specialty chemical manufacturer to do many important things. The series of “firsts” are as follows:
1. We Were The First To Develop A Syrup Type Concentrate
We are the inventor of the ultra concentrated non-formaldehyde portable toilet chemicals that were once known as “syrups.” This represented a move towards the phasing out of formaldehyde, which was deemed a carcinogen in 2011, and the development of safer solutions for both portable toilet users and the environment.
2. We Were The First To Replace Formaldehyde
Even though the past standard for porta-potty maintenance involved the use of formaldehyde, which did help to cover up waste and mask foul odors, we never used it. We determined very early on that it was an unsuitable and unsustainable compound.
Our chemists and researchers invented a non-formaldehyde, ultra concentrated, blue bacterial inhibitor and odor neutralizer at our in-house 85,000-square-foot Pittsburgh Technology Center, which is equipped with the very latest in gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, head space analysis, distillation, extraction and quality control technology.
This new compound altered the portable toilet landscape forever by introducing beneficial enzymes and microbes that feed on odor-causing bacteria and provide a pleasant, overall fragrance to the end user’s experience.
3. The First To Introduce A Non-Staining Blue Dye
The blue liquid in portable toilets is meant to keep their interiors smelling fresh and clean at all times. The color, blue, was selected back in the 1950s because it suggests cleanliness and freshness.
Although formaldehyde is still used in certain parts of the country and banned in others, there is an active movement towards developing an awareness of the need for safer products.
This has given rise to our creation of among other safe cost-effective products, a unique, non-staining blue dye, which ranks far above others of its ilk because it contains five rather than the usual four standard components of portable restroom deodorizers.
These include: biocides, which hinder the growth of gram-positive odor-producing bacteria; dye, which hides the waste and debris that lie beneath the surface; fragrance, which covers lingering odors, and detergents, which serve as agents that cause selected fragrances to dissolve in water and aid in the scent becoming more uniform in nature.
Our formulation includes a superior fifth ingredient; an odor neutralizing additive known as Metazene that eradicates malodors in the vapor-phase (above the water surface).
4. The First To Use True Neutralizers That Kill Odors In The Air
Metazene has been around since the late 1940s, but early efforts to prepare it were often thwarted by its relative reactivity. It took many years to perfect a concentrate that was stable and pure.
Today, this colorless liquid neutralizer with a slight scent of witch hazel is used in many of Surco’s portable toilet deodorizing products because unlike other additives, it controls malodors at the molecular level.
Metazene works as a chemical reaction affected by molecular weight. It bonds with malodorous molecules, which alters their electron patterns, negating their properties via hydrogen bonding, atom formation (adsorption) and encapsulation.
Neutralization renders bad smells odorless because their molecules sink and evaporate over time due to very low vapor pressure. Metazene has not only helped Surco to become a leader in odor control technology, it has also been used successfully in thousands upon thousands of products all over the world. The portable restroom industry greatly depends on this potent additive and its odor-killing properties.
In the words of Raymond Czapko, Vice President of Business Development at Surco: “Thousands of portable toilet and restroom companies rely on Surco’s liquid and solid products that contain Metazene to control odors year round. It’s the most effective odor neutralizer available.”
5. First With The Press and Pour Measurement Bottle
Surco was the very first company to develop the press and pour measurement bottle, which measures, and pours exact quantities every time. It is a boon to the industry because it prevents waste and is perfect for portion control.
6. First To Develop The Paper Deodorizer Disks
Deodorizing paper discs are designed to eliminate the worst porta-potty odors when they are placed on a hook behind the vent stack or on a toilet paper rod outside the dispensers. They lock into place, are economical and convenient. Their zipper closure bags guarantee a longer product help life.
7. First With The Wafer Square Air-Freshener Blocks
The Wafer Square™ Air Freshener Blocks are robust when it comes to providing extra odor protection instantly and inexpensively that lasts for up to 30 days. Ideally suited for use at special events and functions, they are V.O.C Compliant and 100% original.
Their freshness is preserved because they are individually wrapped in odor-barrier, easy-tear bags, and their unique composition renders them strong enough to endure repeated portable toilet wash-downs.
8. Surco Is First With Fresh Straps
Also known as “smell belts,” our fresh straps are designed to be hidden, as they are discretely attached to the internal exhaust pipes of portable toilets. They provide powerful, linear-diffused odor enhancement and freshness for up to 60 days.
Recyclable and eco-friendly, these straps are 100% waterproof, vandal resistant and self-locking for easy installation. They can hold their own against portable toilet wash-downs. Other advantages include the fact that these straps are made in the USA, are completely waterproof, 100% recyclable and are safe for the environment.
Tonya Ray at the conclusion of this Get Flushed episode, made a special offer to listeners, especially to those companies who have never used Surco products before. First-time visitors to Surco can now receive free samples of products as well as 10% off their first order with the mention of the specific code, Get Flushed!
Final thought about porta-potties: Sign on a Portable Toilet Truck: Caution: Hauling political promises ~ Anonymous