What to Flush? The Three P’s
The toilet is only meant to flush the three P’s – Pee, Poop and Paper. Human waste and toilet paper should be the only thing going down the toilet. Unfortunately, the toilet has turned into a trash can and many items from sanitary products, cleaning wipes to medications are being flushed down the drain. Flushing these types of items cause home pipes to clog, wastes water every time you flush and most importantly has a huge impact on our sewers and the health of our drinking water source. Below is a list of items that are commonly flushed, but should not be going down the drain:
- Sanitary products (pads, tampons)
- Baby wipes
- Disinfectant wipes (includes “flushable”)
- Paper towels
- Facial tissues
- Kitty litter
- Dental floss
No Drugs Down the Drain
When residents dispose of medicines in the toilet or sink, these contaminants are passed on to municipal wastewater treatment systems or septic sytems. Many pharmaceuticals cannot be effectively removed by these systems and have been measured in wastewater discharge.
The best way to dispose of expired prescription drugs and/or over the counter medications is to make them undesirable by crushing and mixing them with coffee grounds, kitty litter or dirt and disposing of them in the garbage or taking them to designated drop off locations in Whatcom County. For more information on what you can take back and where to drop off click on the links below:
- What Can You Take Back?
- Whatcom County Drop Off Locations
- Washington State Take Back Your Meds Coalition Website
- FDA Guidelines for Unused Medicine Disposal