What Not to Flush
Please support our efforts and help to protect the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean from water pollution.
Top 5 Things Not to Flush
- Flushable wipes: The biggest headache for our wastewater treatment plants! Wipes are NOT biodegradable, and have to be manually removed from the equipment at our wastewater treatment plants and sent to the landfill.
- Prescription medication: Flushing prescription medicines down the toilet may not be removed during the wastewater treatment process and could heavily affect our wildlife after it is discharged into the bay and ocean. See more from SF Environment about medicine drop-offs in San Francisco.
- 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.
- Disposable diapers: They could clog and disrupt our wastewater cleaning process. Diapers belong in the trash can. There is an alternative option with compostable diapers.
- 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. Please keep dental floss out of our sewer lines by properly disposing of it after use in the trash bin.
If Toilets are not trashcans, then where do things go?
What to Flush:
Help us keep wastewater treatment costs down, keep our sewer lines clear, and protect the environment by remembering that your toilet is an "only-human-waste-and-toilet-paper-zone."
Only flush the 3 Ps...
What goes to Compost:
- Cotton balls
- Cotton swabs
- Make-up pads
- Paper towels
What goes to Landfill?
- Flushable Wipes: Baby, Cleaning, Makeup
- Feminine Products: Tampons, Pads, Panty Liners
- Disposable Diapers
- Kitty Litter
- Dental Floss
- Band-Aids and Bandages
For more information on what you can recycle, compost or put in trash cans, please visit SF Department of the Environment's webpage on Zero Waste.
Please do not flush hazardous waste materials down the toilet or throw them in the trash. SF Department of the Environment also has guidelines for disposal of any hazardous waste and/or toxic products or materials. Additional information can be found at SF Recology.