City officials: Don't use toilet bowl for trash can

Apr 16, 2020

With people under orders to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, local city officials are urging residents not to mistake their toilet bowls for trash cans.

That plea is generally concentrated on sanitary wipes and whatever else people might be using if they have run out of toilet paper. Despite labels saying otherwise, there's no such thing as a "flushable" wipe, officials say.

“They are flushable in the sense that you can flush them; however, they cause issues in the sanitary sewer lines,” said Lynden Lawson, assistant director of public works and operations for Joplin. “If the CEOs for these companies had to unclog the sewer lines when an issue was caused by wipes, I believe they would change their messaging.”


The wipes, when mixed and twisted together with grease that has entered the sanitary sewer line, can quickly create plugs and back up private lines into nearby homes. Wipes should be tossed into the garbage, while grease should be allowed to congeal and then thrown into the trash or poured into a cooking grease container at the city’s recycling center.

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