Leap year gives us an extra day, and what better way to use this bonus time than to start flushing responsibly? Let’s use this day to educate yourself and others about the importance of responsible flushing and being more conscious of the “Do Not Flush” symbol. Seize this opportunity to change your habits, setting a precedent for responsible flushing that extends far beyond an extra day on the calendar.

The Impact of Flushing: Why Should You Care?

Did you know that 99% of materials that clog equipment at wastewater treatment plants are non-flushable? In 2023, we collaborated on the largest sewage collection study to better understand what non-flushable items are being flushed. Based on the study, we found the top three non-flushable items to be paper towels (52.8%), “Do Not Flush”-labeled wipes (34.1%), and feminine hygiene products (7.2%). Flushing non-flushable materials not only leads to blockages in wastewater treatment plants but ultimately causes severe environmental consequences as they do not dissolve.

When these materials end up in the ocean, they can also harm marine animals and disrupt the ecosystem. Before you flush a non-flushable item down the toilet, it’s important to understand its impact on the environment and take the necessary steps to minimize the negative effects. At the end of the day, a simple flush doesn’t truly make it disappear.

Why You Should #FlushSmart: Make Every Flush Count

Now, let’s move towards implementing actionable steps to smart flushing. What does it mean to #FlushSmart? Simply put, flushing smart means being mindful of what we flush down the toilet. Only appropriate materials, like human waste and toilet paper, should be flushed down the toilet. Other materials, like paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and wipes labeled with the “Do Not Flush” symbol, should be disposed of in the trash can. Looking for the “Do Not Flush” symbol is a simple, yet effective way to flush smart.
Make every flush count and #FlushSmart to protect the environment.

An Extra Day to Flush Responsibly

Understanding the impact of flushing and choosing to #FlushSmart can significantly reduce the negative effects of improper waste disposal. Let’s use this extra day in the leap year to encourage responsible flushing habits!

About Responsible Flushing Alliance

The Responsible Flushing Alliance (RFA) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization dedicated to consumer education focused on what not to flush. RFA’s goal is to change consumer behavior to help reduce damage to our nation’s sewage systems caused by objects and materials not designed to be flushed.