Utilities Kingston #ChoosesToChallenge period stigma to get tampons, applicators and pads out of the toilet

March 8, 2021

Today is International Women’s Day and Utilities Kingston wants to start an important conversation aimed at encouraging residents to put tampons, applicators, pads, and other period products in the trash and not the toilet.

“Tampons, applicators, pads and packaging belong in the garbage. Flushed period products can clog up your pipes or the wastewater treatment system and lead to costly repairs. We choose to challenge the ‘flush it to hide it’ stigma, because no person should be so embarrassed about their period that they flush these products down the toilet. Be #PeriodProud,” says Heather Roberts, Director, Water/Wastewater Services for Utilities Kingston.

Choose To Challenge' is the campaign theme for 2021 International Women’s Day.

View, share and like the #PeriodProud video and Utilities Kingston will donate tampons to the United Way

On International Women’s Day, March 8, Utilities Kingston wants everyone, regardless of gender, to:

  • view this one-minute Utilities Kingston video: https://youtu.be/2Mc-uKeWigc, and
  • share it to help end the stigma around periods and encourage proper disposal of period products – using the #ChooseToChallenge and #PeriodProud hashtags on social media.

Once Utilities Kingston reaches 1,000 interactions with its video on social media, it will donate 200 boxes of tampons to the local KFL&A United Way Tampon Tuesday campaign. (Interactions can include views, likes and shares.)

Know what to flush

Utilities Kingston is reminding residents to never flush wipes or period products – even if a package claims they’re flushable. Only flush the three P’s – pee, poo, and (toilet) paper.

Other items do not break down in plumbing and treatment systems. Flushing them causes sewage back-ups in homes and costly breakdowns of wastewater treatment equipment, which in turn can contaminate local waterways and pose a health and safety risk.

Avoid flushing wipes, tampons, tampon applicators, pads, fats, oils, greases, dental floss, needles, hair and other trash. Here’s how to properly dispose of the top offenders:

  1. Wipes of any kind – Cleaning, baby and hand wipes go in the garbage, even if the package claims they are flushable. It’s a toilet, not a trash can!
  2. Period products – Tampons and pads go in the garbage, along with associated applicators and packaging, even if the package claims they are flushable. Or consider a waste- and plastic- reducing alternative, such as menstrual cups.
  3. Fats, oils and greases (“FOGs”) – Wipe greasy pans with a paper towel and put it in the Green Bin.  Dispose of solidified fats and grease in a 100 per cent paper cup, in your Green Bin. Dispose of cooking oil in a screw-top container in your garbage.
  4. Larger food particles – Use a strainer in your sink to catch food scraps and other solids. These go in your Green Bin.

Learn more about protecting your home and health by knowing what not to flush, access the #ChooseToChallenge video, see the evidence and get more information about the Utilities Kingston #PeriodProud campaign at UtilitiesKingston.com.