Drains Are Not Dumps!

July 6, 2020
Public Works

This is a reminder that drains (e.g. sinks and toilets) are not dumping grounds for garbage. Garbage often found in the Town’s sanitary system includes single-use wipes, paper towels, cleaning products, rubber gloves, diapers, feminine hygiene products, hazardous materials and food. These materials don’t break down like toilet paper and can cause damage to our wastewater infrastructure by clogging pipes and sewer mains, damaging pumps, and most importantly it puts operators at risk when they have to clean out and repair the damaged equipment.

Single-Use Wipes
Single-use wipes are often marketed as personal hygiene and household cleaning products. Many of these wipes are labeled as “flushable,” yet there is no standardized criteria or testing performed to demonstrate that they will not clog pipes or damage wastewater equipment. In fact, these single-use wipes have become particularly problematic for wastewater operations as their fibres get tangled in pumps, requiring hours of additional maintenance and cleaning. Just because these products are labeled flushable does not mean they should be flushed!

In addition to the wastewater operational challenges, single-use wipes are also increasing the amount of garbage being sent to landfills. When shopping for your personal hygiene and household cleaning products, please also consider the more environmentally friendly products available on the market.

Food Waste: Fats, Oils and Grease
When fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are poured or flushed down the drain they stick to pipes in the sewer system and create blockages that build-up and harden until they completely plug the pipes. These blockages result in sewage back-ups, basements flooding and many other unpleasant events that are hazardous and costly to fix.

Where do fats, oils, and grease come from?
The most common sources of household fats, oils, and grease are:

  • meats and other food scraps (including baked goods)
  • sauces, gravies, and salad dressings
  • dairy products (milk, cream, yogurt, kefir, cheese)
  • fats, lards, cooking oil, shortening, butter, and margarine

Please dispose of FOG compounds properly by putting them in your compost or garbage. Keeping a compostable container on your counter or in your fridge makes it easy to store and dispose of them.

Simply washing garbage down the drain does not make it go away. If you don’t know where something goes, please contact our waste management provider, Simcoe County at 705-726-9300 or visit the Simcoe County Waste Management website for more information: https://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/swm