If you’ve managed to get a hold of Clorox wipes and other pre-moistened disinfectant towelettes (lucky!), it’s important to dispose of them properly. New York City’s sewage system is delicate and can’t handle an influx of wipes, so much so that the city’s Department of Environmental Protection put out a PSA a few years ago reminding New Yorkers to toss wet wipes into the trash.
Per the PSA, dubbed “Trash it. Don’t Flush It,” the only things that can go down the toilet are poop, pee, puke and [toilet] paper, i.e. the Four Ps. Even wet wipes that claim to be “flushable” need to go in the trash, along with condoms, tampons, paper towels and other non-toilet paper items you might think the sewage pipes can handle, but you are wrong.
Once flushed, these thicker products end up combining with cooking grease, ultimately congealing in the sewers and creating “fatbergs.” Fatbergs end up blocking the sewers, creating costly cleanups. They’re also massive — a fatberg found in the London sewers a few years ago weighed 130 tonnes and was even longer than London’s famed Tower Bridge.
So, when you’re done Cloroxing and/or Lysol-ing the heck out of your doorknobs, keys and cell phone — as you should — throw those wipes in the garbage and not in the toilet. The sewer rats and toilet snakes thank you for your service.