Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Don't Flush the Paper

There's a sign by the toilet in my apartment.

It's similar to signs I've seen all over the world, and also explains the foul wastebaskets in the ladies room near baggage claim in Miami airport, a gateway from this part of the world.

These things totally make me roll my eyes. Have you ever had a plumbing disaster and seen how fast toilet paper decomposes?

If not you could try an experiment. Try putting out two buckets of water. Put some soft supermarket-style TP in one. Put a balled up chunk of old newspaper in the other.

Which do you think will disintegrate quickly?

So in my opinion, using more biodegradable goods eliminate the problem. But that's not going to happen in most of the world, so they avoid stuffing up their septic tanks with what eventually turns into a kind of paper mache clog by throwing the paper into a wastebasket.


Of course, we have similar problems at home with things marked "flushable," which yes, technically, you can flush, but you know, you can flush just about anything. You can flush a Star Wars action figure from 1979. That doesn't mean you SHOULD. Ditto for feminine hygiene products and Wet Ones and those "flushable" diaper wipes. If it can't biodegrade in a few minutes, it has no business stuffing up your pipes.

Anyway, I'm of the unscientifically proven opinion that you can flush paper down the toilet if you are using the right paper, and this whole "It will stuff up the septic" is meant for lousy paper.

Which is what you get in much of the world. So I guess go ahead and use the stinky basket in the corner. Just be glad you don't have to empty it when you're traveling. 

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