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Toilets are not rubbish bins: Water NZ

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/05/2017

A new video is asking Kiwis not to treat their toilets as rubbish bins by flushing baby wipes and kitty litter down the drain.

The video by water industry lobby Water New Zealand and the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council says misuse of toilets is costing the environment and the economy.

Paper towels, make-up wipes and coffee grounds were among household items often being flushed down the toilet when they should instead be thrown in the bin.

They are causing water pipes to block and placing increasing stress on waste water treatment plants, the lobby groups say.

"Everything we flush finds its way into a wastewater treatment plant and then to oceans, rivers or the land," Water New Zealand chief executive John Pfahlert says.

"Clogged sewers can overflow into rivers and the oceans and destroy wildlife, placing big costs on councils and rate payers to clean up."

The blockages can not only pollute natural waterways, but unclogging them increases costs for households and ratepayers, Food and Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich says.

As well as appealing to Kiwi households and businesses to flush responsibly, the two lobby groups said they were working with the makers of wipes products to clearly mark which items can be thrown into toilets and which cannot.

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