On November 19, World Toilet Day, NACWA unveiled a new Toilets Are Not Trashcans logo to encourage proper respect of toilets, and the sewer systems that they flush into. Too many utilities across the country – and around the world – are spending too much money on dealing with all of the products that people flush down their toilets that should be thrown into the trash instead. NACWA began its Toilets Are Not Trashcans campaign two years ago to focus on reducing these materials. Wipes seem to cause the most problems for our members, so that has been a major focus of our work. But paper towels, feminine hygiene products, dental floss, and other items are also flushed, contributing to problems in pumps, pipes, and treatment plants.
There’s no regulatory or legislative solution for people flushing the wrong things, so public education is the only way to change these behaviors that are causing so many problems. With the new logo, we hope to make it easier for utilities and other entities to help spread the Toilets Are Not Trashcans message. The logo is available in several different electronic formats that we will share, completely free of charge! It can be combined with other messages, such as “Only Flush the 3 Ps: Pee, Poop, and Toilet Paper,” and it can be used in many different applications. Here are some ideas:
- Webpages with information on what can and cannot be flushed;
- Bill stuffers;
- Plastic clings that can be placed on toilets;
- Stickers or other materials that can be posted in public restrooms; and
- Wraps on utility trucks.
Mount Pleasant Waterworks, a NACWA Member Agency, has used wraps on their utility trucks very successfully to educate their community about proper disposal of wipes and FOG (fats, oils, and greases). The advertising space is free, and the trucks are seen by the community on a daily basis – it’s a great way to help get the message out!
If you are interested in using the logo, please contact Robin Davis. You don’t have to be a NACWA member – we’ll let anyone use it to help with public education, no strings attached.
More information about NACWA’s Toilets Are Not Trashcans campaign is available at www.nacwa.org/toilets, and in our recent Advocacy Alert (members only). Please contact me if you would like any other information about the campaign. Although my kids think it is a little odd, I am always more than happy to talk about wipes, microbeads, orange peels, or any other items that might be causing problems in your sewer system!