What not to flush down sinks, drains, and toilets

What not to flush down toilets, sinks and drains

Concept and creative courtesy of Metro Vancouver

The only things that are okay to flush down the toilet are pee, poo and toilet paper.

Anything else can lead to sewer back-ups and blockages in the system.

Keep these items out of your toilets, sink and drains

Protect your home and our wastewater system against costly repairs by keeping these items out of your toilet, sinks and drains.

Wipes, paper towel and facial tissue

  • Wipes that claim to be flushable aren’t. Flushable wipes retain their shape and strength, and don’t’ break down in pipes.
  • Paper towel, facial tissue (Kleenex) and serviettes also don’t break down like toilet paper and will block your pipes.
  • Bag wipes, paper towel and any items used as a toilet paper and put in your black cart. They do not belong in your green or blue bins.

Bathroom items

Dispose of these items in your garbage:

  • Sanitary pads, tampons and applicators
  • Diapers, wet wipes, rags, bandages
  • Dental floss
  • Cotton swabs, condoms, cosmetics


Hair build-up in our treatment plants can result in equipment being shut down for manual cleaning. Compost hair in your green bin, or it can also go in your garbage.

Fats, oils and grease (FOG)

Fats, oils and grease can build up in your pipes, restricting flow and leading to blockages in the system.

  • Always wipe pans and scrape dishes before rinsing them.
  • Put up to two litres of cooking oil, fats, sauces, drippings and grease in your green cart for composting.
  • Solidify grease by letting it cool down. Mix oil with paper towel and put in a certified compostable bag to go in your green cart.
  • Watch the Report to Calgarians about FOG


Take unwanted medication to a pharmacy for disposal. Flushing pills and medication can be harmful to the environment.

Household hazardous waste

Cleaners, disinfectant, chemicals and paint thinners are considered household hazardous waste and should be taken to a household hazardous waste drop-off locations for safe disposal.

  • These include:
  • Bleach and ammonia
  • Clean solvents and spot removers
  • Disinfectants
  • Hot tub and swimming pool chemicals
  • Oven cleaners
  • Septic tank cleaners
  • Alkyd, latex and oil-based paints
  • Lacquers, stains and varnishes
  • Paint thinners, strippers and solvents
  • Petroleum-based products such as motor oil and gasoline

Need to find out how to properly dispose of an item? Visit calgary.ca/whatgoeswhere