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Kitchener city council to tackle single use plastics and wipes

Ward 7 Councillor Bil Ioannidis put the motions forward to discuss the waste issue at hand
August 28, 2019
Brandon Graziano

Two motions will be before Kitchener city council Monday night to combat waste from landfills and waterways.

Single-use plastics would be one, suggesting the city go to the province and ask for a program similar to one The Beer Store has, but instead with plastic bottles.

Single-use wipes would next on the agenda, reviewing how they regulate the "flushable" wipes, considering it's causing major issues for the city's sewage system.

Kitchener Ward 7 Councillor Bil Ioannidis put the motions forward to Kitchener city council.

He says in regards to the wipes, studies have shown flushable wipes aren't really disposable and aren't breaking down.

"It's kind of deceiving and it's not very transparent to the consumer. They are not going to think twice. If it says flushable they'll flush it down. Though when you think about it on a municipal level, they're not biodegradable, they're not breaking down."

Ioannidis says it's causing clogs in the infrastructure and that it's not designed for it either.

Barbara Robinson is an engineer with Norton Engineering. She tells The Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS the labelling is very loose on its meaning.

"The word flushable just means it would pass through your toilet. The labelling on flushable wipes in that sense is correct. Obviously the wipes are wreaking havoc in our sewer systems. We need to be careful about terminology."

Robinson says the wipes help build up the fats and oils that go into the sewage system that cause massive backups and headaches for cities across the country.

Trevor Brown, Manager of Engineering and Wastewater Programs with the Region of Waterloo says this is a problem among many municipalities across the country, including Waterloo Region.

Meanwhile, there have been calls for a complete ban of flushable wipes for York Region proposed by Regional Councillor Jack Heath with the City of Markham.