Toilets are Not a Dumping Ground

Just because a toilet has a lid on it like a trash can, does not mean one can throw anything they want into it.

A friendly reminder from the SFPUC, only the “3 P’s” should take a splash. Pee, poop and toilet paper. The white throne, not a reference to the Game of Thrones, is an “only-human-waste-and-toilet-paper-zone,” helping to keep water clean for our ocean and bay, keeping wastewater treatment costs down and sewer lines clear.

The next time a toilet is flushed, remember the Story of Poo and and help protect the environment, making it easier for wastewater workers to process.

Thumbs up for the 3 P’s. Thumbs down for everything else. Here are the top five things not to flush down the commode:

Flushable wipes being manually removed from wastewater treatment plant equipment.
  1. Flushable wipes: The biggest headache for San Francisco’s wastewater treatment plants. While the packaging may say otherwise, flushable wipes are not biodegradable, and have to be manually removed from the equipment at wastewater treatment plants and sent to the landfill. 
  2. Prescription medication: Flushing prescription medicines down the toilet may not be removed during the wastewater treatment process and could heavily affect wildlife after it is discharged into the Bay and ocean. Residents can dispose their prescription medication at designated drop-offs locations in San Francisco.
  3. Feminine products (tampons, pads and panty liners): These products are designed to expand and absorb moisture, making it difficult for them to travel through the sewer pipes and difficult to break down.
  4. Disposable diapers: They could clog and disrupt the wastewater cleaning process. Diapers belong in the trash can. There is an alternative option with compostable diapers.
  5. Floss: This product is not biodegradable and loves to catch itself around any and everything that might travel down the same path in the sewers. Keep dental floss out of sewer lines by properly disposing of it after use in the trash bin.
Prescription Bottles & Pills-DO NOT FLUSH DOWN THE TOILET.

Lastly, use the compost bin for some other bathroom waste. For example: cotton balls, hair, make-up pads and paper towels.

Things that should put a lid on and put into the trashcan:

  • Flushable Wipes: Baby, Cleaning, Makeup
  • Feminine Products: Tampons, Pads, Panty Liners
  • Condoms
  • Disposable Diapers
  • Kitty Litter
  • Dental Floss
  • Band-Aids and Bandages

Remember the 3 P’s and take care of the toilet and San Francisco’s sewer system.

The SFPUC regularly educates residents to flush only the “3 P’s” down the toilet: pee, poop, and toilet paper.