Flushing items that don’t belong down our toilets and drains can lead to backups in our homes, problems at wastewater treatment facilities and can even cause sewage to overflow into our lakes and rivers, here are 6 things you should never flush.
1. Disposable Wipes (of any kind)
NO MATTER WHAT IT SAYS ON THE LABEL, there is no such thing as flushable wipe!
These days you can’t seem to get away from one time use disposable, they are everywhere, from baby wipes to cleaning wipes to pre-wet towelettes, makeup wipes, there is a wipe for pretty much everything.
Canadian municipalities estimate it costs them at least $250 million a year to remove giant sewer clogs, known as fatbergs, that form when wipes and other solids that don’t disintegrate get glued together in the pipes by substances such as kitchen grease.
One of the biggest ever reported was found last February in Liverpool, England. As of July, workers were still trying to extricate the 400-tonne, 250-metre-long fatberg from a city sewer pipe.
Besides causing clogs, wipes can actually damage wastewater equipment.
They grab the impellers inside of the pump, and the pumps burn out.
In recent years, wastewater treatment officials around the country have been begging people to stop flushing wet wipes, even if manufacturers say it’s safe.
In August Canada’s Competition Bureau began digging into complaints that companies that market “flushable” wipes are making false claims about their products.
Friends of the Earth Canada and EcoJustice, on behalf of six individual Canadians, filed a complaint earlier this year about companies that use the flushability claim, after a Ryerson University study found nearly two dozen wipes labelled as “flushable” did not break down after being flushed.
Although the Competition Bureau won’t publicly confirm any investigations, the complainants say bureau officials recently told them an inquiry is proceeding. I am looking forward to seeing what comes of this.
Please stop flushing these please!
Just because you CAN flush it doesn’t mean you SHOULD flush it. Here is toilet paper and a wipe from over a year ago. The wipe is still whole after a year! Even wipes labeled as “flushable” can lead to toilet and pipe blockages. Read more 👉https://t.co/CLd0TMVPXq #WipesClogPipes pic.twitter.com/s08tYlUsbZ
— Sanitation Districts of LA County (@SanDistricts) April 11, 2019
2. Tampons & Sanitary pads (same goes for diapers)
They create the same issues as wipes. You should never flush a tampon (used or not) or its applicator, both go in the garbage. The same goes for Sanitary pads. Some cities in Canada accept used tampons and pads in the green bin. Check with your local municipality. The wrap the pad comes in and the applicator go in the garage.
I made the switch to cloth pads a while back, here is my extensive guide.
3. Condoms (male and female)
Condoms are garbage, too.
Can also clog your drain and create blocks, this goes in the garbage too.
No matter the brand, vegan, plastic free etc. It goes into the garbage!
Should never ever go in the toilet, in many cases these are considered to be household hazardous waste and should not be placed in the garbage either. The safest way to dispose of expired prescription drugs and over-the-counter health care products is to take them back to your local pharmacy (or vet clinic if you have pet medications).
Proper disposal eliminates the risk of accidental poisoning and keeps oceans and landfills free of pollution.