S2E34 - Tom & Simon Rice of HSG

HSG UK (Hygienex) offers water conservation and washroom services. Lead by Simon Rice and Tom Rice, they are a father and son duo that created Ureco a water saving device for urinals and their clients and partners include Tescos, Pizzahut, Rolls Royce, NEC Birmingham, Boots and BT. 



  • How a father and son team got involved in the washroom services.
  • Saving the world one washroom at a time.
  • The Ureco helps stop costly urinal blockages whilst also saving huge amounts of money and water.
  • “A urinal flushes 4 times an hour on a 9l cistern, over a 12 month period, that is a 315,000 litres of water. With Ureco, we reduce the average water spend from £780 down to £32 and that’s just on one cistern.”
  • “We installed it in the NEC in Birmingham and we saved 35 to 36 Olympic sized swimming pools of water every year. That is hundreds of thousands of pounds every year on the water bill.”
  • A lot of waterless urinals require the cleaning team to put water through to clean the system. A lot of waterless urinals are getting bad smells and blockages.
  • Initially, the Ureco were biodegradable, but we then made it recyclable plastics. We didn’t want to save water but then impact and produce a lot of plastic.
  • Converting fleet into electric vehicles and supporting Bumblebee Conservation Trust
  • Cleen App is an award winning app its the UK’s first and best washroom review app for toilet in building sites e.g. urinals are using too much water or not accessible for disabled.


Useful link:


HSG Twitter @HSG_UK


Simon Rice’s Linkedin

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Will  0:08  

Welcome back to the Green Element podcast where we feature business leaders and innovators transforming their operations to be more environmentally and socially sustainable. I’m your host, Will Richardson, and I can’t wait to meet our guests today and help you on your journey of sustainability. Today we’ve got Tom and Simon Rice on the show. They are a father and son duo that run a water saving device, urinal company called Ureco. I’ve probably done it a massive disservice by describing it like this. It saves an awful lot of money, you don’t get blocks and you save a lot of water. I mean, it’s kind of it literally. I’ve come away from the episode now thinking it’s a no brainer. Everyone should be putting their product in. I don’t actually understand why you wouldn’t, it doesn’t make sense. And I am not on commission. I should point out that as well. Alright. I hope you enjoy the show. Tom and Simon Rice, thank you very much for coming along to the Green Element podcast. Welcome today, you run a company called HSG UK and have a fantastic product in it that I’m sure many of our listeners would love to know more about and you are helping us sustainably so please, why don’t you introduce yourself and more about what it is that you guys do?


Simon  1:38  

Thanks very much. Well, it’s very kind of you to to have us on. Yeah, in terms of HSG we’re all about water conservation primarily and that water conservation is within the washroom area. We own and manufacture a product called Ureco which basically goes into gents urinals and can save aside a massive amount of water, which in turn saves them a massive amount of money. We have installed in various sites all over the country, ranging from some huge customers such as Tesco, Pizza Hut, the NEC in Birmingham, through to just single sites that have one urinal and one cistern. Without sounding corny, obviously, we’re all about kind of saving the world one one washroom at time, so whether people have got one, one urinal with one cistern or 800 urinals on the site with 400 cisterns, it doesn’t matter to us.


Will  2:38  

Brilliant. So urinals, I wouldn’t say it was probably the place that most people would go into business. How did it all come about?


Simon  2:48  

That’s a really good question. A really good question. And he’s quite an interesting answer to that one, actually. My dad was always self employed, and he was a structural engineer. And when I mentioned to him that I was considering leaving employment to go into self employment. First, he looked at me a little bit strangely, as much as to say, Are you really sure about that? And then he kind of proceeded to give you some advice. He said, You know, you really need to go into somewhere, an arena where there’ll always be a requirement for an element of your service. So the two areas that he recommended were toilets, because everybody needs to get the toilet or a funeral director, because unfortunately, as life goes on and stops at some stage, somebody will always need a funeral director. So I thought, which is the best way to go with that and I decided toilets was the best option.


Will  3:42  

Brilliant. So and you are now father and son company as well.


Simon  3:49  

Correct. Yeah, obviously Tom works alongside myself. It is a family business, it started off as a family business. But obviously over the years, we have expanded and taken on a number of staff, we now have around about 30 staff that work for us. And they range from, obviously business development managers through to engineering team that actually goes out to fit the Ureco product, and also to look after it on a quarterly basis as well. And again, I’m sure most companies would say exactly the same thing. But genuinely, you know, the team that we have in place at HSG is absolutely fantastic. And I think the biggest element of our success, I think is you know, is the people because it’s okay, having a brilliant product and a brilliant idea, and a brilliant innovation. But unless you’ve got people that are committed to the same kind of vision as you, who want to get the word out to people to tell them about that, that brilliant product, and then to install it and to look after it properly. You know, you wouldn’t be successful. So, yeah, I can’t praise the team at HSG enough.


Will  4:54  

So tell us a bit more about,your water saving urinal device. How does it work because you we’ve all seen them in urinals, well, variations of them, I would imagine in urinals. Is it something that just sits there? Or is it something that sits behind the scenes? Or how does it work?


Simon  5:13  

Great question. Well, in terms of how we install and look after the product, he kind of starts from square one really whereby people well initially when we talk to people about washroom services, and most people said the biggest problem that they had with in their site was the urinals. They either blocked smelt, or use too much water. So we designed the product back in 2007, with a company down in Devon, who actually manufacture it for us as well. And we set out to kind of address all those three problems if you like. So, when we go into a site, more often than not, the urinals are flushing a tremendous amount. I think the common kind of [inaudible] for a flushing urinal is to flush four times an hour, that’s without without water controls. So if a urinal does flush four times an hour on a nine liter cistern, over the course of a 12 month period, it would use approximately 315,000 liters of water. You then cost that up, at two pounds 50 a cubic meter, which is kind of the common charge across the UK, or the average charge across the UK, it would end up costing the site approximately 780 pounds a year just to run that one cistern. When we’ve installed the Ureco and our water management as well, alongside that, we’d reduce that 780 pounds down to 32 pounds. So you can imagine that’s just on one cistern. So if people have got multiple cisterns across the site, you’re saving a tremendous amount of water and a tremendous amount of money as an example, we installed it into the NEC in Birmingham back in 2009. And even after paying us to look after the products and service it on a quarterly basis, they save around about 35 to 36 Olympic sized swimming pools of water every year. And if you put a cost for that is around about 100,000 pounds a year on their water bill. And that is after paying us to look after it. So in terms of obviously the other associated benefits to it, stopping blockages and stopping smells as well. That is kind of like a real intrinsic part of the product. And that is part of the innovative design that we won the Queen’s award for in 2018. So is it worth me kind of just talking you through what we do when we go to a site? Will, and-


Will  7:39  

I think it would because my next question was going to be are you a water saving device? I think it must be more than that because you’re letting out some water at the same time. And it’s a more intelligent system than just a water saving device, isn’t it?


Simon  7:52  

Correct? As I say the common theme of urinals is to flush four times an hour. So over the course of a 24 hour period that’s 96 times a day because obviously urinals flush overnight as well, even when the buildings close, so we change that from 96 times a day down to just four times a day. So we do that by fitting our intelligent water management system onto the incoming water supply that comes into the cistern. So that’s the easy part really to fit that and to regulate it to four flushes a day, because it’s an intelligent water management system as well. We can program that to flush at whatever times of the day the customer requires. How if it’s a school, for example, they might say, Well, you know, can we have our four flushes between nine and three while the children are in school? Or it might be, you know, a 24 hour operation whereby they say, can you stagger them, you know, once every six hours. So the easy part is obviously fitting the water management system, which again, we design and manufacture ourselves. But the important parts I think, really is around the actual urinal bowls in the urinal pipework itself. So when we go to a site predominantly, we will go into the site that often has blockages and smells. So we will take off the urinal pipework to those urinals and either clean it out or to put brand new pipework on with the idea being that we get that pipework back to us as good condition as possible. We then install our outlets into the urinals as well. They’re specialized outlets which will take the Ureco cartridge and then we will insert the Ureco cartridge into the outlets as well. And as I say, we structure the flushes to four times a day. So then what happens is within the Ureco product itself is an odor lock system. So it’s very much once you plug the Ureco into the outlet it’s very much like putting a cork in a bottle. So any smells which would normally come out of the drains and out of the pipework, and into the washroom through a normal urinal, they’re stopped because you’ve got the Ureco in there as a plug if you like. It’s then got various filters around the Ureco itself as well to stop things like chewing gum and hair in any other debris going into the traps and into the pipework to help blockages. But the real kind of technical parts of it, if you like I think is the Ureco block, which is in the top. So it’s a it’s a blue block that contains 35 billion bacteria, which is, obviously huge amounts of bacteria. And those bacteria actually break down the normal hard [inaudible] that would normally form within the pipework. So there’s seven strains of bacteria in the Ureco as well to fight all seven strains of the buildup of gents urine.


Will  10:39  

And you have a team of people managing your system, how often do they have to go in?


Simon  10:44  

We service quarterly. So we’ll do the initial installation and get all the pipework as I say back to a normal condition get the Ureco installed, get the water management system installed. We then speak to the cleaning team as well to advise a cleaning team why the products installed into the urinal because obviously, if they didn’t know anything about it one day, they’ll come in and the urinals will look slightly different. So we make sure the cleaning team are aware of what we’re trying to achieve in terms of saving water and money, and then we come back on a quarterly basis. So on a quarterly basis, we will take the Ureco’s out because obviously, the block itself will have expired around about the 13 week period. So we’ll take the Ureco out, put new Ureco’s in, we will do spot checks on the traps and on the pipework to ensure that the Ureco is functioning as it should do by doing that as well. Sometimes we can pick up if anybody’s sort of poured any foreign substances down there, such as bleach or anything of that nature. And we will also plug into the water management cistern as well because that runs off a battery. So we’ll just check that’s flushed the right amount of times and check the battery life on the water manager too, just basically to make sure that everything is functioning as it should and obviously, if it’s not, we can we can jump on things very quickly in that quarterly period, just in case say somebody has accidentally poured a foreign substance down there, or maybe not looked after it or cleaned the product as it should do between our quarterly visits.


Will  12:17  

Yeah. Why is it that the urinal manufacturers don’t reduce the water usage themselves on their the flushing stuff? Is it legislatively led or is it mean, what’s, what’s the reason for that?


Simon  12:33  

That’s a very good question. That is a, you know, an excellent question. In fact, I think, again, you know, we have spoken to some urinal manufacturers about the possibility of sending out the Ureco kit with their manufactured urinals. And there’s definite interest there. And we have actually, on a couple of occasions, tentatively entered into kind of agreements to do that. I think, again, some of the really big urinal manufacturers maybe because you know, they’ve got a lot of other things kind of going on, I suppose within the manufacturing side of their business and all the other associated bits and pieces, maybe to add another string in into the mix is maybe a bit too far for them. It would be great, as you say, you know, to send them out at source if you like, because obviously straight away, then we’re, you know, we’re helping to save water from the word go rather than always having to, you know, find the sites to spread the message in a different way.


Will  13:33  

It does seem a bit ridiculous that we’re retrofitting something that could potentially be fitted from day one. That’s just me looking at it from an outsider’s point of view, I guess.


Simon  13:42  

No that is a good point Will. And again, just you know, your legislative point earlier. There are obviously water regulations for sites to adhere to basically say that, you know, if they have got a cistern within their site, it should be serviced by a flushing device. So the water regulations, I think 1999 say that that should be the case. So I think on, you know, on new build situations, I think sometimes that is often sorted by the architects bought by fitting a water management system to the side doesn’t mean that they will restrict the water to the right amounts, you know, they’re often set incorrectly or not set up properly at all. So, the urinals will still flush, you know, sometimes above 96 times a day, you know, if it’s a sensor based system as well, whereby it picks up people and flushes when it picks up somebody. If that’s set at one person, it picks at one person, then the urinals can flush, you know, more than 96 times a day. So even if the sites are specified by an architect, then it doesn’t necessarily mean that you know, it’s set up and they’re saving the right amount of water.


Simon  13:45  

And you have to have some elements of water being flushed down the urinal, don’t you? Remember we worked for a site in central London, and they were sold a waterless urinal system. And they were really pleased with it, they thought it was brilliant. And it worked for the first three or four weeks. And then after that, they found out that they had very flat pipes going from the building to join the sewage system. And so they had blockages on a fairly regular basis that they’d never seen before because they had quite a lot of water coming down from the urinals that would permanently just keep the blockages free. And they had to work with that. I mean, is that a common scenario to come across? Or? Yeah, I mean, what’s your experience with blockages and less water?


Simon  15:51  

That’s yes spots on, an absolutely fantastic point. We on that the issue of not to fall on pipework again, just going back to our engineering team who are qualified plumbers. When we undertake an installation, there is a lot more that goes into that installation. Other than just kind of taking the pipework off and cleaning it, I maybe should have explained that a little bit earlier. So if we do notice that there isn’t the appropriate fall on pipework, etc. Our guys will rectify that. Make sure there is sufficient fall on the pipe to as you say, take that waste away and out into the main stack. On waterless urinals again, it’s it’s very much a bugbear of ours, I must admit because there are waterless systems out there, which again, I think we’re kind of en Vogue, 10, 12, 15 years ago, which sounds great. It sounds great. Have waterless systems out there, but a lot of the waterless systems that do claim to be waterless will also require an element of water to be manually put through the urinals. So, you know, on that basis, you know, waterless urinals aren’t actually waterless because it does rely on the cleaning team to put that, that water through the urinals themselves. And commonly that that doesn’t happen, you’re absolutely spot on that doesn’t happen. So, what that will mean then is that, that that debris will still sit in that pipework, the bacteria will will probably look in time to kind of feed on each other. And then that will solidify as as, as it shouldn’t do. We do you know, a lot of, I must admit, especially lately a lot of the business that we are taking on now. It used to be, you know, sites whereby there was no water controls in there and there was nothing in the urinals. But a lot of our business lately has been through taking sites on that had been waterless previous previously, purely because the system wasn’t working for them at all. They were getting the bad smells and blockages. So they wanted to revert back to putting an element of automated water through the through the system albeit a very small amount each day, as you rightly say, to push that stuff and waste away out into the main stack.


Will  18:34  

For reason it’s ridiculous. So we learn from our mistakes. Now, say you’ve got a team of people I’d love to now focus on the business itself and how you run and look at the environmental management of the business. I would imagine looking at your because your client list is pretty, pretty good. Tescos, NBC, Lloyd’s to arena JCB, Pizza Hut and a few football grounds as well. RAF, Rolls Royce, Boots, Amazon. Yeah, exactly. I could carry on but it kind of says it all really. And so therefore environmental tent The, the tender parts of those projects do tend to ask for the sustainability parts of it and so can you take us through what sort of things that you do as businesses? As a business sorry.


Simon  19:29  

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And one really good good point, I suppose as a starting point is that when we were talking about helping to save the planet by saving all of the water that we were that we have gone, we were very very conscious about you know, the plastic side of the Ureco. So initially, when we set out we made the the Ureco biodegradable plastic. Which, yeah, over time obviously if it did go into landfill, it would would biodegrade. But we weren’t happy, I must admit at the time, this was this is obviously back in 2007, 2008 with the length of time it would take the Ureco to buy a degrade. So, what we then decided to do was to make the Ureco out of recyclable plastic. And it does take an element of of extra work to recycle the Ureco because they do have to be washed before they can be recycled because obviously he can’t, he can’t recycle unclean material. And so that that was obviously a big thing for us that we didn’t want to save water but then impact and produce a lot of plastic. We we’ve also got another product as well, which is called the Ureco Plus, which is another another product that we do install into sites as well. And it’s spot water meter. So we’ve got that fitted on our own building as well. What that allows us to do is to set thresholds. So, for example, if we have certain times of the day, so we can say, if the water started to run at two o’clock in the morning, for example, and you know, it ran more than half a liter, we would ask that machine to switch that water off to our building until the following morning. Because obviously from our point of view, we know that nobody is in our building at two o’clock in the morning, so there should be no water going through there. We can also as well, if we obviously the guys have to clean the vans to get us to keep us looking nice and tidy as we go out and about doing our work. But again, we can set the threshold to keep out flushing water, so sorry, keep that running water to complete at a minimum. So it allows us to kind of set threshold say, you know, literally, the hose pipe could run for a very short amount of time before again, it would shut the water off to the building if we thought they were using too much water.


Will  22:19  

That’s real. Every commercial building should have that the amount of water audits we’ve done, and we found water leaks. And it’s because we’ve analyzed the water usage as opposed to and they will have gone for months or years using too much water. And you could use your voice and it’s straightaway it’s a little bit like a smart meter, isn’t it? Except it’s actually larger than the smart meter. smart meters. meters.


Simon  22:49  

Yeah, absolutely. So right. Well, yeah, absolutely. So right. And you can also as well, you know, you can get it to produce usage graphs, you can actually because it does pause to the meter every time seconds, you can actually see real time flow, which is really, really quite interesting. And also as well, it’s almost like a magic trick, actually, sometimes when we go out to clients to show how the device works, what we normally do, you know, we can be in London, we can FaceTime the office and get somebody to turn the tap on in the office. And then from our tablet on our phone, we can close the valve on the tablet or on the phone. And people can see instantly it shorts the water up to the building. So even if you don’t have the thresholds set, you can also instead go into the tablet, as I say, on the phone, and close the valve from there manually. And it’s really, you know, as I say, it’s really quite sort of striking to see that happen. And then obviously, you can turn it back on with the phone or the tablet as well. So, again, it could be that you set an alert or for a caretaker to school, and if they get an email to say, you know, there’s been running water for a certain length of time, they could manually just go in to their phone and just turn the water off to the following morning. So they’ve got time to investigate what’s happened. So, again, you know, that is a brilliant tool. And it is great as well for, as you say, picking up leaks, if leaves are sprung on the ground, which would normally just run and run and run for a long, long time, maybe, you know, you will notice that until you’ve got you your next water bill. And sometimes if it’s not, you know, fast running leak, it’s been consistently happening for a long period of time, you might not even pick up on it, then it could just be one of those things where, you know, you get the bill and it’s the same kind of amount every quarter and people just overlook it, but you could well have a water leak underground, which is costing a tremendous amount of money, or


Will  24:41  

experience of that exact that happens on a fairly regular basis. Yeah,


Simon  24:46  

yeah. Yeah, absolutely does. And that’s, that’s really interesting. You know, when we speak to customers, you know, they say exactly the same thing. We’re also at the moment we’re looking into swapping the vans out for electric vans, which again is you know, it’s a big thing at the moment electric vehicles. So we’re trying to sort of get ahead of the game if you like to convert our vehicles to electric vehicles. We also do sponsorship opportunities with we do a lot of work with a Bumblebee Conservation Trust, which is an organization was quite close to my heart Actually, I do I’m very fond of the Bumblebee. But again, you know, when you look into the kind of work that that charity does and and the kind of work that their Bumblebee itself does, again, you realize, you know, sustainability wise is a crucial part of, you know, a crucial part. So, you know, we like to support that as much as we can as well.


Will  25:52  

Did you dress up in yellow and black on Bumblebee day. We as a team, you may laugh, but we did as a team


Simon  26:01  

There you go. There you go. Absolutely. Yeah, I do love the bumblebee. But that was probably even a bridge too far for me. Well, I think


Will  26:11  

I don’t really know how it came about, but I think we just thought someone said, it’s Bumblebee day tomorrow. We should all wear yellow and black. And so we all decided to wear yellow and black for the day. And the clients were like, okay, that’s interesting. Interesting attire for consultants.


Simon  26:28  

Lately, no, but you’re fantastic. And a fantastic thing to do for you know, for a fantastic, fantastic little animals, you know, is crucial to how we survive. So yeah, well done. Yeah.


Will  26:44  

And so looking, I mean, where you’re based in Darby on you. And you are all over the UK. I mean, I miss steel. Engineers go or plumbers, plumbers or engineers. plumbers?


Simon  27:01  

Both yeah the plumbers engineers. Yeah. The both really yeah. Yeah.


Will  27:05  

Cuz I travel all around the country from Darby or are they based around the UK?


Simon  27:11  

Very good question we, when we initially set off because obviously we were we had to start from somewhere. So we set off from a Darby base. We very slowly but surely, obviously we’re picking up sites. And we were we were doing bits and pieces as nearby to bases we could do initially, purely for two reasons. Rarely one, it was easier for us to manage for two again, we were conscious of the fact that, you know, we didn’t want to save a load of load of water, or then be shopping around the country in an impact on the environment. So we started off by trying to sort of work from a central point and work outwards. The difficulty comes w hen you do pick up national contracts like we did with Pizzahut and with Tesco bought, what it did allow us to do actually, when we picked up the Tesco contract was was alter the way that we operate. So we were then able to recruit engineers in different parts of the country. We’ve got some fantastic guys out there that you know are based in in Scotland down in London, Bristol, who can then obviously operate on a smaller circumference if you like from their home address. So, you know, again, is less than the amount of traveling that we have to do now, which is fantastic.


Will  28:46  

And so they have to carry quite little kit around with them.


Simon  28:50  

Again, great question. No, really, I mean, the good thing is because the Ureco is itself is quite a small item. After the initial installation it’s very much kind of like you know, taking around the Ureco the refills the urine a bulk cleaning product that we that we use as well actually just touching on that as well just as a way of, again, talking about how we’ve tried to save plastic etc. With the Ureco you run a ball cleaner we provide. For example, if there’s two urinals in a site, we will provide to trigger sprays at the outset of the con. And then from there. When we visit every quarter, instead of taking new plastic bottles, we literally just take two sachets to the site. We will pop them into the bottle ready to be used for the next quarter. Because the sachet sachets themselves have a dispose Yeah, dispersal out Rain on the sachets. So they will dissolve. So you put them in into the plastic bottle, fill it with water, shake it and you’ve got your cleaning solution. So, again, we will kind of always looking at ways that we could keep the amount of plastic down that we used.


Simon  30:15  

And that that system works really well.


Will  30:18  

That’s brilliant. I’m just now I’m thinking your engineers are gonna kill me for saying this because they listen to this, but they could they could be cycling and catching the train everywhere and they may not even need the vans that you’re talking about.


Simon  30:34  

Yeah, that’s a very good question. Again, I think it’s it’s a situation whereby you know, if we have got equipment in kits on the van, or we do have to be set up a suppose for unforeseen circumstances. So as I say, it might be that we go to the site. They’ve changed over their cleaning team and they use the wrong cleaning. On the urinals for a few weeks, so we’ll be able to then go to the site, and we’ll find out that the part work isn’t as clear as it should be for that exact reason. So, the guys, when they get started to do the quarterly service, they might need a bit more kit with them than then, you know, just having the normal you Ureco in a box. But yeah, as you rightly say, if, if we weren’t in a, in a world of utopia is something that could sort of slink back over the shoulder to get on the bike and away we go, that would be absolutely true. That would be absolutely tremendous.


Will  31:35  

I mean, I was kind of thinking I was a bit tongue in cheek, but I was also thinking from a management point of view and running an organization and, you know, can you keep those overheads low, you can pay people more and it just, it’s, you can just do more with your money. I mean, amounts of organizations that spend too much money. Managing the business is kind of ridiculous.


Simon  32:01  

Yeah, yeah, I think again, we’ll This is where we could probably rely on you know, your your listeners to this podcast, I think obviously, the more the more sites that we can pick up and take on, the more the tighter the route which could you know eventually lead to that that kind of situation especially in London for example. You know, the guys were going from from site to site. And we did have a lot of sites in there, it’s actually made more sense to, to be on a bike. As such rather than, you know, being sat in traffic, as you say, chill out fumes, and having the expense of the congestion charge, etc.


Will  32:48  

For consultants, actually, running teams of buildings. I’m just now looking at it from our point of view, were in the buildings we look at that we look at, we go around and more than likely we’re going to be in the east. To the bathrooms as well anyway. And I don’t know, if you start to get other people to be your eyes and ears. It’s another way of working or working with cleaning companies. I mean, I would imagine that we thought about the cleaning company point of view.


Simon  33:17  

That’s, you know, spot on points as well. And actually, that’s, that brings me on it quite nicely to another innovation that a couple of years ago, actually, we’ve got an app that we designed called Clean CL double E and and again, the whole idea of setting up the app was to honor our strapline in throughout this business is improving the world one washroom at a time. So whether that is through saving water, which is our biggest interest, all through too As I say, you know, doing other elements Within the washroom that makes it a nicer environment for people to, to use. So we settle cleaning around about 12 months ago now what it allows people to do is to literally go to any washroom in the world. So you can search for the site in question. And you can then place a review. So you can either replace the you can either place a good review, to say, you know, hats off to the site for what they’ve done, or you can place a bad review. Now, if you place a bad review will then take you into different screen where there’s various different icons that will tell you or allow you to comment on whatever you think is a problem. So for example, you can click on the urinal icon. And if you think that Iran was using too much water, again, you can you can feed that back to the site in question, or it might be that the nap even smell because they’re overflowing or there’s no So from the dispensers or whatever, so you can feed that into the app, then leave the review. And that review then will sit within the actual system itself. And again, where we’ve had real success in that is that and I didn’t realize this myself, actually, until we’ve kind of developed the app. And we started sort of talking to people. People with disabilities sometimes that you know, they won’t go out and visit a site unless they know that there’s good accessible toilets there. So allows people to then, you know, the thinking of visiting a site, the theater, for example, they can actually go onto the app and look to see what reviews are on there and see if people have common commented about, you know, the tool is being accessible etc. But the crucial bits as well, the biggest bit really is, I suppose, as it goes through to the to the venue so they can sign up for a dashboard. So when anybody’s empty to review that information goes into their dashboard. So then they can choose whether you know they want to or what they want to do with the information. So again, for example, if we go back to the water usage one and somebody commented that differently rhinos smell block and to use too much water that will go through to the site, and they can see then obviously, their customers aren’t on happy with that element of, of the washroom area. And if there are a restaurant, for example, that can be kind of really important to have visitors, you know, synthol it’s equals in kitchens in a lot of people’s eyes. So So yeah, so that was another element to kind of square the circle from our point of view as well. You know, we wanted to, to bring clean into the arena to to assist in all sorts of different ways.


Will  36:51  

Brilliant, I just looked it up. It’s got five star reviews, you haven’t got one. That’s not a five star review, so it must be really good.


Simon  36:58  

Yeah, yeah. We’re very proud of It is very kind of easy to say, Well, yeah, we are. We are very, very proud of that. And, you know, we’ve had some great, some great comments from that, including from from Apple itself. You know, we, they they picked out that the app was, you know, really, really well put together, and really informative and really usable for the people. So, yeah, we were proud of that as well. Cool.


Will  37:24  

I was actually on the Android one because I have an apple. Yeah, that means that you’ve got five star reviews on Apple and on Android.


Simon  37:33  

Exactly. Yeah. No, that’s Yeah, that’s really pleasing.


Will  37:38  

Great, friends. It just sounds like such a great product and what you guys are doing one washroom at a time is brilliant. Thank you so much for being on the show. I I’ve really enjoyed listening to you talk about your idols. I never thought I’d say it out loud. But yeah, thank you so much to both you and Tom and yeah, thank you very much.


Simon  38:09  

No, thank you well, thanks for having me. And one last thing well I was just going to add as well. If any of the people listening to the podcasts are interested we’d be prepared to again if they mentioned green element within their inquiry we will be prepared to give them a free serve if you like with so we will we will visit the site and literally look at you know, the fluffy setup the value rhinos work out a kind of a cost that that it was costing them at the moment to to run their urinals and then create a business case for for installing the Ureco into the urinals. So yeah, we’ve been grabbed the app for free.


Will  38:57  

Yeah, right. Thank you very much. That’s that’s really cool. And what I didn’t say was all of your Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn, all the kind of social media handles will be on the website and on our show notes as well. But thank you very much. Yeah.


Simon  39:17  

No problem. Thanks for having me as well.


Will  39:21  

So, from a cost benefit analysis point of view, it’d be really interesting to understand how the how the urinals work, because so one urinal could take 12 months to pay itself off putting installing the stuff and having the engineers fees and all that kind of stuff.


Simon  39:42  

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, to be honest, Will, it could be it could be quicker than that, you know, depending on how much how much water is being used. Before we we go into the site, but again, if we kind of work on the industry standard of four flushes an hour 96 times a day. So, again, we’re on to that that figure of 350,000 liters per annum. We’ll say that 315,000 liters per annum down to around about 17,000 liters per annum. So the drop is, is astronomical. And then as I say, even after paying those to look after it for a year, and paying those to install the product as well, they’d be looking roughly a payback between six to eight months. So, you know, it is kind of this is one of those no brainer situations, if you


Will  40:40  

guys is considering a lot of organizations don’t own the building they’re in, they leased them. And so that payback period sadly, is such a massive barrier to do a lot of sustainable activities and this is one sustainable an environmental thing they can do. That will absolutely make sense from day one, if they’ve got less than a year left on the lease, it makes sense to do it


Simon  41:12  

on 100% well and plus as well, I mean that that six to eight months payback time that I’m talking about there doesn’t take into account you know, what they’re paying for on top of the water at the moment. So you know, if the throne urine or blocks in there and cubes if they’re having diarrhea out maybe once or twice a year on top. On top of that, you know, you can literally bring that payback period down to maybe even one to two months. Is that is that it to be that that kind of astronomically different to the situation to face in it at the moment.


Will  41:53  

I’ve got another question on the fact that water has now been not privatized, but reg, it’s not regulated, is it? Basically you can buy water from different carriers. Let’s face it, that hasn’t gone massively well, and we buy off now not Thames water, but castle water. If you’re in London, that’s, that will change. I would hazard a guess over time. Has that made any impact with you at all from awards point of view? Or do you think actually will make any difference at all?


Simon  42:26  

And it’s a good question. I think as it stands at the moment, I don’t think he’s had much impact. I think there’s been kind of a lot of confusion around that. And as you rightly say, I don’t think he’s gone as well as as well as it could have or should have gone. I think maybe when people start to get things together, and you know, there’s a drop in price perhaps on you know, the cubic meter cost the water, then maybe at that point, then you know, people you I will and could shop around to use different different people to reduce their water bill that way. But even so, you know even even if you know people were getting a better cubic meter cost as well. There’s nothing better than obviously reducing the amount of water that goes through through urinals. So no matter how much it’s costing, you know they’ll still be a saving there. Uh, one thing I mentioned mentioned as well well is that there is also another statistic that basically says that 80% of wasted water going through any any site now so I’m talking wasted water down through a site 80% of that. Commonly will be going through the urinals. So interesting. If you think into yourself, you know, you look at our finger, 100% of waste of water, maybe other no 10% is is being waste. Through the top 10% is being wasted through the WC, they might have leak in siphons or whatever or 80% of that wasted water. Predominantly will be going through the urinal or as well. So again, even more reason to do so the weaker.


Will  44:18  

Yeah, brilliant. Thank you very much. That’s cool. Thank you so much for listening to the end of this episode of the green element podcast. Do take a moment and share this with your friends and colleagues rate and review the podcast wherever you get your podcasts. I’d love to know what has been your biggest takeaway from this conversation? What are you going to do differently? Please share your thoughts across social media and tag us so we can see them too at G underscore podcast for links and Show Notes for this episode, visit our website green element co.uk forward slash podcast. Thank you again. I hope you’ll join me on the next episode and together we can help create a better world


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