Markham councillor wants to ban flushable products from York Region
Rob Villee, executive director of the Plainfield Area Regional Sewer Authority in New Jersey, holds up a wipe he flushed through his test toilet in his office, Middlesex, N.J., Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. (Julio Cortez/AP)
A Markham councillor is looking to ban flushable products like baby wipes and hand wipes from York Region sewers.
The region estimates that blocked sewers from wipes and other flushable products cost about $1 million in repairs every year.
Heath said he would like to see the products taken off store shelves until the word “flushable” has been removed from the packaging.
“These baby wipes and that kind of product, flushable products came in the last 20 to 30 years and a modern system might be able to handle it, but these sewers are quite often 100 years old they get clogged very easily,” Heath said.
A study published in April found that most single-use wipes labelled as “flushable” were unable to move safety through the plumbing and sewer system.
At a regional council meeting earlier this month, Heath urged council to put the ban in place.
“We should probably do it, get into a court case and potentially - most likely - win the court case.”
City staff is reviewing the report on flushable products and will bring forward recommendations at a later date. If passed, the ban could come into effect in the New Year.