Flushable Wipes Belong in the Garbage, Not the Toilet

ygkchallenge, Flushable Wipes, Garbage, Toilet, Kingston, Ontario

The #ygkChallenge is an ongoing series where we dare you to be different, resolve to be better, and or do something awesome in support of our beloved community. Each week, Kingstonist establishes a new, ambitious or quirky goal, encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone and do something great, and hopefully a little out of the ordinary. By taking part in this community-wide initiative, we hope to make Kingston (and the world) a slightly better place to live, work and play.

This week’s #ygkChallenge encourages you to:

Throw non-flushables in the garbage, not the toilet. Toilets are designed to handle 3 things: pee, poop, and toilet paper. That’s it.

Even if the package says it’s “flushable,” don’t. Throw it in the garbage.

Non-flushable items including “flushable wipes,” condoms, feminine hygiene products, dental floss, cotton swabs, hair, and oils belong in the garbage. These items don’t break down. Instead, they clog up pipes and jam wastewater treatment pumps causing basement flooding, sewage back-ups, and combined sewer overflows.

In 2013, the City of Kingston asked the public to stop flushing all wipes down the toilet. And this isn’t just a local issue. Every year, Canadian municipalities spend $250 million on damage caused by non-flushables. That’s a costly flush! To make matters worse, when wastewater facilities are overwhelmed, sewage bypasses into lakes and rivers endangering the health of recreational water users.

Attention swimmers, paddlers, boaters, people fishing: you can find sewage bypass information in the Kingston Bypass Log, here.

That’s why we’re challenging you to take a moment to think before you flush. Consider protecting your home and your community from costly damages. By protecting your waterways, you’re making Lake Ontario safer for people and wildlife alike. Good luck, YGK!

Join us in completing this week’s #ygkchallenge by liking it on Facebook and/or re-Tweeting it on Twitter. By liking and sharing, you’re not only committing to doing something great, but you’re also helping us spread the word and hopefully encouraging others to participate.

Submitted to Kingstonist’s Community Soapbox by Ruby Pajares for Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. Find out more about Waterkeeper’s efforts to protect your Lake Ontario here. Photo Credit to wastewater expert, Barry Orr.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

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