Want to protect the environment and keep our sewers working right? It’s simple!
- Use a trash can instead of the toilet to dispose of used wipes, hygiene products and other items that don’t break down like toilet paper.
- Even if the label says “flushable”, wipes and other trash can build up in the sewer system and cause overflows that might damage property, hurt the environment, or make people sick.
- Human waste and toilet paper are the only things to flush. Everything else belongs in the trash can – not the toilet!
What’s going on?
A pile of tampon applicators, condoms and trash cleaned out of the system by our operators at the West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle.
Last year, King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division spent over $120,000 just to take the wipes, tampons and other trash that came into our treatment plants to a landfill.
That’s enough trash to fill two semi-trucks every week!
Plus, there’s the increased cost for system operation and maintenance.
Wipes, trash and debris are a costly problem for cities and local sewer agencies, too.
Putting the wrong things down sinks and toilets might also cause expensive plumbing problems in your home or business.
Don’t flush trouble
If it’s not human waste or toilet paper, it’s trouble! Put these items in the trash.
View print version (PDF).
Helpful hint: Print out the flier above and post it in your bathroom or kitchen
to remind yourself what needs to be thrown away!
Think sinks and drains, too
Protecting water quality starts with each of us! Here are some more helpful tips.
- Use screens to keep hair, fruit stickers and other stuff out of drains and pipes.
- Scrape out greasy bowls, pots and pans before washing. Keep fatty foods and meats out of the garbage disposal, and put cooled, solidified grease in the trash.
- Don’t put unwanted medications down the toilet or sink. Worried about keeping discarded meds away from kids or pets? Many pharmacies across King County now take back expired or unwanted medications for safe disposal.
- Got paint, pesticides and other household chemicals you no longer need or want? King County’s Wastemobile and Household Hazardous Waste Dropoff sites are a much safer alternative to putting these things down the drain or in the trash.