Twenty battery-operated toilet seats have been purchased by a Los Angeles city department for a pilot program to make city bathrooms more hygienic, easier to clean and to reduce maintenance costs by eliminating the throwaway paper covers, which often are left on the floor or clog the toilets.
"We are very conscious of the need to keep public facilities sanitized," said Sylvia Cunliffe, general manager of the city's General Services Department.
She said Mayor Tom Bradley had watched a demonstration of the seats and said, "Let's try it."
Some of the seats were installed Friday in the private bathrooms used by the City Council, and others were scheduled to be installed in the mayor's office, as well as other offices scattered throughout the Civic Center, Cunliffe said.
The seats, made by Hygolet of San Francisco for about $100 each, are covered with a wrinkled clear plastic treated with a disinfectant.
Pushing a red button on the side of the toilet moves a new sheet of plastic from a battery-operated dispenser onto the curved seat for each new user.