FALSE! None of the items listed below break down in the wastewater pipes of your home or on the way to the wastewater treatment plant. So what happens when you flush them down the drain? Since they don't break down, they can tangle and clump together, forming clogs that cause sewage to back up into your home or neighborhood. Even items labeled "flushable" are not safe for the wastewater system. Properly dispose of these products in the trash (where they belong) before they cause unpleasant and expensive problems.
- Cleaning Products
- Paint and Pesticides
Feminine hygiene products, such as sanitary napkins and tampons, are made of fibers like cotton and rayon. They are designed to absorb liquids instead of breaking down like toilet paper. These products can easily result in a clogged wastewater line in your home or community.
Wrap used products in toilet tissue, then put them in the trash.
Paper towels are designed to be absorbent and strong, and specifically NOT to break down in water. They are not intended to be flushed down the toilet.
Throw used paper towels in the trash - or use a cloth, which can be washed and reused.
While it's possible to flush things like dental floss, hair, cotton swabs, cotton balls and even condoms down the toilet, it is a bad idea. None of these products break down in water, and they can tangle with other items and block your wastewater line. Just because something is used or dirty doesn't mean it should be flushed down the toilet.
Toss these items in the trash.
Pet Waste Bags
Taking care of pet poop is never a fun task. "Flushable" pet waste bags have become the latest product that claim to make this task easier. Unfortunately, these bags do not break down once flushed and can cause clogs in your household plumbing as well as City infrastructure.
Unless you empty the contents of the bag into the toilet, dispose of pet waste in the trash.
Wipes are designed to be stronger than facial tissue, so they don't break down in water. This includes baby wipes, bathroom wipes, facial or cosmetic wipes, personal hygiene wipes, disinfecting wipes, floor cleaning or dusting wipes and toilet bowl scrub pads. Even products labeled "flushable" can clog your wastewater line because their plastic fibers don't break down quickly.
Wipes should always be thrown directly into the trash.
While it is ok for small amounts of household chemicals to go down the drain (no more than about a cup) large amounts of these chemicals should not be disposed by way of your household plumbing. Bleach, disinfectants and other household cleaners are difficult to extract from water, and chemicals can be harmful to workers and the environment.
The City of Temple hosts an annual Household Hazardous Waste collection day the 2nd Saturday of October. Please use this opportunity to properly dispose of unused cleaning products.
For more information or if you have questions, please contact our Solid Waste office at (254) 298-5725.
If you put medicines such as antibiotics, antidepressants, vitamins or pain medications down the drain or into the toilet, they end up in the water supply because water treatment processes cannot completely remove them.
A safe drop box is available to accept unused medicines at Walgreens Pharmacy located at 3614 S. 31st Street - Temple, TX. This service is available Monday - Friday 7am - 11pm and Saturday - Sunday 9am - 9pm.
For more information or if you have any questions, please contact the Environmental Programs office at (254) 298-5619.
Paint & Pesticides
Left over paint, insecticides, herbicides and paint remover can be hazardous, and they should not be disposed of buy way of your household plumbing. These chemicals are difficult and expensive to remove from the water and could damage your home.
Oil-based paints, pesticides and chemicals: These items are considered hazardous waste, should be handled with care and properly disposed of at a Household Hazardous Waste event. The City of Temple hosts an annual Household Hazardous Waste collection day the 2nd Saturday of October.
Latex paints: If there is only a small amount of paint in the bottom of the can, leave it in the sun to dry out, and then throw it in the trash. For quart and gallon cans with larger amounts of paint in them, a paint hardener can be purchased at a home improvement store for a few dollars and once the paint has dried out, can be tossed in the trash.
For larger quantities of leftover paint: Many hardware stores and nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity accept leftover paint for reuse or recycling. Paint can also be brought to the City's annual Household Hazardous waste collection event in October.
For more information or if you have questions, please contact our Solid Waste Office at (254) 298-5725.