Vermont rest stop combines advanced green toilets with Vietnam memorial

Like chocolate and peanut butter, it’s a combination so natural you wonder why nobody thought of it earlier: Vermont has built a $6.3 million rest stop featuring an ecologically advanced flush-toilet system, a greenhouse, and … the country’s oldest Vietnam memorial. Located along Interstate 89, the “living machine” green-toilet complex directs motorists’ excreta into concrete holding tanks, where (ironically) South Asian plants and organisms clean it up. The treated water is then pumped back to the toilets for reuse. When the state first moved to close an older rest-stop facility on the site in the mid-’90s because of poor drainage, vets lobbied to preserve it, saying the particular location was key to the memorial’s meaning. I-89 “was used many times by people heading to Canada to flee the draft,” according to John Miner of the Vermont chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America. And those dirty hippies had to stop somewhere to pee.