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Flushable wipes? Not so much, region says

The only product you should be flushing is toilet paper, period — it's costing York Region about a $1 million a year to remove items like wipes, dental floss, fats, and paper towels from the sewer system
toilet paper rolls shutterstock_123718372 2016

At the top of the list of things that are flushed but shouldn't be are flushable wipes. Go figure.

York Region is expressing its growing concern over improper disposal of products like "flushable" wipes in its sanitary sewer system.

It's a $1 million problem annually, with wipes, dental floss, fats, paper towels and other improper items having to be removed from the sewer system, according to the Region.

In fact, the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association estimates the national costs related to improper disposal of wipes are at least $250 million each year.

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York Region is advocating for provincial and federal governments to take action to improve product design and labelling, as well as working with the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association and Municipal Enforcement Sewer Use Group to advocate for a national standard for products that are actually flushable.

And, bottom line, the Region wants you to know the only product you should be flushing, along with No. 1 and No. 2, of course, is toilet paper. That's it.

These items are banned from the bowl: fats, oil and grease, paper towels, cotton swabs, dental floss, toothpicks, feminine hygiene products, prophylactics, pharmaceuticals, diapers, and, of course, the wipes.

"The wipes are uniquely problematic because manufacturers label certain wipes as 'flushable', contradicting messaging from wastewater authorities," according to a Region memorandum. "Improperly disposing of these items can block pipes and bind pumps causing damage and sewer backups, resulting in increased maintenance costs along with health, safety and environmental risks."

For more details, read  this.

Debora Kelly

About the Author: Debora Kelly

Debora Kelly is NewmarketToday's community editor. She is an award-winning journalist and communications professional who is passionate about building strong communities through engagement, advocacy and partnership.
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