Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet:


“Flushable” wipes aren't the only thing you should never put down the toilet...

“Your guide to adult toilet training” is front and centre on the City of Vancouver Facebook page, part of the city’s “never flush wipes” campaign. (Check out the website neverflushwipes.com.) Like cities across North America, Vancouver is spending millions each year to unclog and repair sewerage system infrastructure damaged by “flushable” wipes. Not to mention all of the other sewer-clogging non-flushable items that continue to go down the toilet, from facial tissue to dental floss, diapers, feminine hygiene products and food scraps.

But a clogged sewerage system is only part of the problem when toilets are used as trash cans.

The sewerage treatment systems were designed to deal with human waste and toilet paper. As a result, environmental toxins, from prescription drugs to over –the-counter medications and chemicals like solvents, can pass through waste-water treatment facilities and are discharged into the environment.

This is a serious pollution problem and has a significant impact on aquatic life. (Our waterways have enough trouble dealing with medications (prescription and other) that our bodies excrete without having leftover doses washed down the drain as well.)

To help keep our sewerage systems working properly, and reduce environmental pollution, here is a list of items that should never be flushed down the toilet:

Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet:


  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications (including veterinary), vitamins and other supplements:  Keep them in their package and drop them at your nearest pharmacy when you get the chance.
  • Band-Aids and other bandages, cotton balls and swabs, facial tissue, dental floss: all go in the trash.
  • Human or animal hair; tea bags, coffee grounds, filters, paper towel. These can all go in the compost.
  • Fats, Oils & Grease from meat and dairy products, sauces, butter/margarine, cooking oil/grease, shortening/lard, food scraps. These can all go in the compost.
  • Cigarettes, cigars, butts, kitty litter: These go in the trash.
  • Feminine hygiene products, disposable diapers, condoms : All go in the trash.
  • Houseplant leaves and clippings, silt, sand or mud: All go in the compost.

Dispose of the following at your local Household Hazardous Waste depot:

  • Personal Care Products (unused perfume, nail polish remover, etc.) 
  • Unused pesticides & garden products
  • Vehicle products (ex. unused antifreeze coolant, motor oils)
  • Unused household cleaning products

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