Tossing unwanted trash is a part of our daily routine. It’s so easy to drop that apple peel down the disposal, or trash that unwanted pillow right into the garbage. But let’s get to the real nitty gritty. Show of hands, how many of you flush down your tampons, cotton balls, or even Goldy the goldfish? Come on, don’t be shy. Well, you probably want to pump the breaks on this. Although no one wants an acetone soaked cotton ball or “moist towelette” littering their trash bin the results of flushing them down the loo are actually catastrophic.
Chemicals are being eliminated into the water polluting water systems and killing animals. And remember good ol’ Goldy that you thought was dead? Well, many sewer inspectors say that they’ve found massive goldfish just living down there breathing in all of those fumes. Can you imagine a more horrifying existence than that? Oh don’t forget the condoms you or your significant other have been flushing. Ya, those bad boys are not biodegradable and have a tendency to clog pipes and once again eliminate small ecosystems.
Here’s a quick and easy list of items you should most definitely NOT be flushing.
Tampons: Tampons are the bane of plumbers’ existence. Tampons clog toilets; they’re not even meant to be flushed. So stop, just stop.
Cigarette butts: Not only are they just bad for you, but there are a ton of really disgusting chemicals inside them. All of those toxins that are released into the water eventually have to be filtered out again and chances are some of them are gonna squeeze past that filtering process.
Dental Floss: Even though it’s minuscule in size it is NOT biodegradable.
Animals: No animal should be flushed down the toilet. Whether it’s a minnow to an alligator. We’ve all heard the horror stories. Just don’t do it.
Prescription medicine: You know those climactic scenes in movies where the drug addicts flush their pills? This is extremely harmful on the environment. These drugs kill bacteria, will contaminate groundwater supplies, and can have terrible effects on wildlife downstream. There are various services, such as takebackyourmeds, that will dispose of your meds properly.
Condoms: Condoms don’t break down in water. Enough said.
Wet wipes: Even though they claim to be biodegradable this is when they’re observed for an incredibly long time. Sydney Water claims that 500 tons of wet wipes are removed from Sydney’s sewer each year. Pretty gross, huh?
Hair: Hair clogs showers so what makes flushing hair down the toilet any different? Over time all of that hair you’re flushing will turn into one giant ball that will not only clog major pipes, but the smell that’s been accumulating over time…pretty horrendous.
Cotton balls: Cotton balls are another one of the offenders that don’t break down just piling up bigger and bigger until the entire sewer system just explodes with soggy cotton balls. And let me tell you, no one wants to be around for that!
Some of these are pretty common knowledge while others…not so much. So what’s a good rule of thumb? If it’s not your bodily waste or toilet paper…just chuck it in the trashcan. Wouldn’t you rather whisk it outside than risk it coming back up all over your floor?