Products in stores are often marketed and labelled as 'flushable'. Although these items have the potential to decompose over time, when placed in your personal plumbing systems and in the City's sewer system, they are not given enough time to fully perish. For that reason, we need to keep in mind just because it says flushable, does not mean it really is!

Learn more about the items the City encourages you to not put down your drains:


Fats, Oils and Greases

Fats, Oils and Greases are a common subject when it comes to starting the conversation on what cannot go down your household drains. Fats, oils and greases are usually placed down your drain systems as liquids, and become solids or highly dense liquids very quickly. When these undesirable materials become solidified, they take the shape of the pipe and fully clog the opening from releasing new liquids.

Common forms of FOGs are:

  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Food scraps
  • Sauces
  • Grease from meat
  • Salad dressings
  • Dairy products
  • Cooking oils
  • Margarines
  • Cosmetics

Proper disposal

Fats, oils and greases should never be put down your drains or toilets. These items should be hardened and disposed of in your green or black cart or household composter.


Medications should never be disposed of in your household garbage or drainage systems. All dissolved solids and untreatable products are placed back into the Battle River and re-enter the water supply for the municipalities down river, including the City of Camrose. When medications are placed into your household garbage they are taken to the Camrose Regional Landfill. Which can potentially leach out of the solid waste. Although landfill “leachate” is collected and disposed of off-site, it is better to keep your medications out of the landfill in the first place.

Proper disposal

Medications should always be taken back to your local pharmacist for proper disposal.


Wipes are designed to be stronger than facial tissue and toilet paper and often have plastic fibres, thus reducing their ability to decompose on their own. When wipes are placed down your drains they have the ability to gather in low spots with other heavy materials and clog the system. They also have the ability to wrap around equipment within the wastewater system’s pumping stations and require a staff member to remove them by hand, which is both dangerous and laborious

These wipes include:

  • Baby Wipes
  • Bathroom Wipes
  • Cosmetic Wipes
  • Personal Hygiene Wipes
  • Disinfecting Wipes
  • Floor Cleaning or Dusting Wipes
  • Toilet Bowl Scrub Pads

Proper disposal

These items should be placed in your black waste cart.

Personal Care Products
Feminine Hygiene Products

Feminine hygiene products such as sanitary napkins, tampons, and pads have fibres made of cotton and rayon. These fibres are designed to absorb liquids instead of breaking down like toilet paper. These products have a extremely high potential to clog both the sewer system and the equipment within the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Proper disposal

These items should be placed in your black waste cart.

Personal Toiletries

Personal toiletries are often placed down household drains and toilets because they are in such small quantities. These items however, have the potential to build up in low areas throughout the drainage systems and block the wastewater flow.

These items include, but are not limited to:

  • Dental Floss
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Cotton Balls
  • Condoms
  • Contact Lenses

Proper disposal


These items should be placed in your black waste cart.

Paper Towels

Paper towels are similar to feminine hygiene products in that they are designed to absorb liquids with their strong fibres. These towels do not break down easily in water. These items are not intended to be placed down your toilet system as they have the potential to clog the sewer system.

Proper disposal

These items should be placed in your green cart. 

Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are okay to be washed down your drains and toilets in small quantities. When residents spray their sinks, clean their floors, or sanitize their toilets, small amounts of cleaning products are washed down their plumbing systems, and that's OK!

When large quantities are disposed of down your household plumbing systems, an issue is created. More often than not, chemicals which are found in cleaning supplies are untreatable in the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Similar to medications, when undesirable liquids are placed in your drains and are unable to be treated, they are released back into the North Saskatchewan River and become hazards for animals and other municipalities downstream.

The general rule of thumb when disposing of cleaning products is, if it is less than one cup (250 mL) it is okay to go down your drains. Anything more than that should be disposed of properly.

Proper disposal

Cleaning supplies should be stored in a safe place away from all children and environmental hazards, such as heat, and can be taken to the City's spring and fall Household Hazardous Waste Round-Up events.

Paint and Pesticides

Paint, paint thinner and pesticides are sometimes placed down household drains because they are liquids. However, this is not the proper way of disposing of these materials.

When chemical based liquids such as these are disposed of in your systems they have the potential to release hazardous odours into both your house and in the wastewater system. These odours are dangerous for your family as well as City staff. In addition, when these chemicals are released into your drainage systems they are sent to the Wastewater Treatment Plant where they can combine with the sludge that is collected at the bottom of the treatment lagoons. This can make the sludge unsuitable to be spread on farmer’s fields (normally sludge contains high levels of phosphorus and nutrients, making them great alternatives to fertilizer). Some of these chemicals remain in the wastewater, but are not treated in the lagoons, meaning that they are back to Camrose Creek. These have negative effects on the downstream environment and fish habitat, and require special treatment at the City’s water treatment plant.

Proper disposal

Paints and pesticides should be stored in a safe place away from all children and environmental hazards, such as heat, and can be taken to the City's spring and fall Household Hazardous Waste Round-Up events.


Flushable Items
The term 'flushable items' are used to describe the only items that the City suggests go down your drains. These items should be limited to “the 3 P’s”: pee, poop and toilet paper!
Phone icon

Contact Us