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High in the mountains of Chile, portable restroom operator Rodrigo Duarte examines a Global restroom that tumbled 400 feet down the side of a cliff and landed in the mining pit where he services restrooms on a daily basis.

Rodrigo owns MegaAmbiente, a portable restroom business in Chile that services copper mines in the arid northern region of the country.   It is here, 12,000 feet above sea level, where you find the richest copper mines in the world.  In fact, Chile ranks number one in the world in copper production and these mines require many portable restrooms to operate efficiently.

Except for a few scuff marks and five broken rivets, this Global survived a 400 foot fall

Starting up in 2010, Rodrigo began his business with red, white and blue Global restrooms and a 450 gallon aluminum slide in unit from Satellite.  It is a harsh environment and both men and equipment are tested by extreme temperatures and gale force winds.   Northern Chile is also the driest place on earth where no rain has fallen in some regions dating back to the 1960’s.

Conditions are so harsh mining companies require that all drivers servicing portable restrooms undergo physical testing to insure they can perform physically demanding work at high altitudes.

The mine where Rodrigo happened to be the morning he found the Global at the bottom of the cliff is deep in the mountains, where snowfall is common during the winter months.   The night before,  a storm producing 100 kilometer winds (60 mph) and six inches of snow blew the Global off the cliff.

Rodrigo expected the Global to be damaged by the fall.  Amazingly, the Global was intact.   There were scuff marks and obviously it needed a good cleaning, but the only repair would be replacing 5 rivets.

Except for a few scuff marks and five broken rivets, this Global survived a 400 foot fall

Even before the fall, Rodrigo was convinced Global restrooms were right for his business.  The unique Dirtbuster base is perfect for the mines because the dirt and gravel tracked in by workers falls through the open grid reducing the time it takes to clean the unit.   That’s why Rodrigo recently increased his fleet with an order of purple Global restrooms.

Staging area for assembling new Global restrooms

All operators experience harsh conditions running their business.  High in the Andes Mountains Rodrigo probably experiences them more often, but he isn’t complaining.  Being in control and owning your own business in very rewarding, no matter what part of the world you live in.

 

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The public would be interested to know that the portable restroom industry saves approximately 125 million gallons of fresh, drinkable water each day. That is enough water to fill four lakes, each the size and depth of a large football stadium, every single day.

Annually, the amount of water saved is over 45 billion gallons. In an era when fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce this is a significant savings. The fact is, operators who deploy restrooms and the people who use them are thereby part of an important water conservation activity—and they probably don’t even recognize it.

To learn more about how portable restrooms, and you, are changing the world click here.

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Most people would probably agree that improving people’s lives and
preserving the environment are very worthy goals. If both of these objectives can be achieved at once, that’s even better. That’s exactly the value proposition we offer in the portable restroom industry.

Portable restrooms fulfill two roles, depending on where they are deployed. In the United States and other developed countries, they are viewed as a convenience. In the rest of the world, they can be lifesaving because they prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases.

Americans take portable restrooms for granted and probably don’t even think about the benefits beyond the immediate convenience they provide at a special event or on a work site. If we would educate users of our products so they understand the positive impact we are having on health and the environment, the perceived value of what we provide would increase.

We recognize the end user often has a negative view of a portable restroom. If we elevate their impression – and we believe we can do that by highlighting the benefits they provide – then we can expect a shift in perception where users see themselves participating in the effort to protect our natural resources.

The public would be interested to know the portable restroom industry saves approximately 125 million gallons of fresh, drinkable water each day. That’s enough water to fill four lakes, each the size and depth of a large football stadium, every single day. Annually, the amount of water saved is over 45 billion gallons. In an era when freshwater is becoming increasingly scarce this is a significant savings. The fact is, operators who deploy restrooms and the people who use them are thereby part of an important water conservation activity – and they probably don’t even recognize it.

Operators understand that placing portable restrooms at work sites conserves fuel and increases worker productivity. Rather than having to take breaks from work and drive to remote, permanent toilet facilities, workers are able to have the convenience of facilities right at their work sites.

A portable restroom lasts 15-30 years. In that time, it will appear in many locations. Truly, a portable restroom is a green product. It contains recycled plastic and is recycled each time it is brought to a new site. Imagine the expense of having to build something more permanent at every work site or having to send workers to remote locations to use the toilet. Worse would be if people reverted to not using a restroom at all and we were faced with contaminated groundwater similar to that in undeveloped nations, where 40 percent of people have no bathroom facilities.

Developed countries may face the threat of disease from human waste after a natural disaster. Once the immediate concerns of saving lives and preventing further injuries is addressed, the next phase in recovery is providing clean water, sanitation and electricity. Countries with the ability to provide these resources are very fortunate. Many disasters would be far worse if portable restrooms were not deployed quickly, because a sanitation- and health-oriented environmental problem would compound the problems caused by a natural disaster.

In developed countries, it is difficult to explain how bad the situation would be if portable restrooms were not placed where people expect them to be, whether at a work site, at the scene of a natural disaster or at a big event.

At most, members of the public might have been to an event where the organizers failed to plan well and had more people attend than expected, thereby creating an inconvenience – specifically, long lines – to use restrooms.

Yet few people have probably ever been in a situation where the lack of portable sanitation would create a big problem. To explain the magnitude of the potential problem, it is instructive to describe a situation where portable toilets are not available, but are desperately needed.

India presents an example, where thousands of people will descend on a city for several days to take part in a religious festival. Without adequate portable sanitation options, people relieve themselves on the ground. Outbreaks of sickness are a result for several months and some people die because of the lack of proper sanitation.

The fact that we don’t have problems like this in the developed world is testament to the positive impact the portable restroom industry has and to the critical role it plays in a civilized society. Our purpose is greater than our own little world. We should be proud of the service we offer, and we want operators to think that way. Our industry is saving lives, and on top of that, we were
“green” long before it became fashionable.

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Satellite Industries has been selected by Managing Automation magazine as one of their top 100 companies in 2011 for a Progressive Manufacturing 100 Award (PM100). The PM100 Awards honor manufacturing companies that have transformed themselves through the use of information technology.

Satellite was specifically recognized in the category of Business Model Mastery for their use of technology to connect customers, suppliers and employees on a global level. The connectivity
provides many advantages such as online ordering, inventory monitoring and replenishment, shipment tracking, banking, order processing and many other administrative functions.

“Many companies our size have not taken the step of becoming global,” said Todd Hilde, President and CEO of Satellite Industries. “Our adventurous spirit has pushed us to all corners of
the world and the need to leverage technology has become increasingly critical. We have deployed technology to link our supply chain and customers together by utilizing multiple
technology platforms and processes. You do not need to be a fortune 500 company to leverage technology globally, but you do need the drive and the spirit.”

Other winners of the 2011 PM100 Award include Boeing, L’Oreal, IBM, Ford, Honeywell and Motorola. Winners in prior years include the companies shown here.“

“As we prepare for the eventual end of the Great Recession, these winning companies dramatically underscore how the manufacturing industry will begin to emerge in an even stronger position once a recovery takes a firm hold,” says David Brousell, Editor-in-Chief of Managing Automation. “The projects that enabled these companies to become PM100 winners reflect great creativity and inventiveness, a determined willingness to take risk, and an enduring resilience to continually improve every aspect of their business. These companies are leading the way to a better future.”

The award will be presented at Manufacturing Leadership Summit on May 11, 2011 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. Click here to find out more about the PM100 Awards visit http://www.managingautomation.com/awards/index.html

Contact us at 1-800-328-3332