Every year at SFU, hundreds of thousands of dollars are flushed down the toilet in plumbing costs. An SFU plumber can spend 20 per cent of their time on unclogging toilets because of poor flushing habits.

We all have a responsibility to flush only truly flushable products down the toilet. This keeps washrooms in working order for everyone in our community.  

What to do when you encounter a closed washroom? 

When you encounter an out of service washroom, use your phone or desktop to find the nearest alternate washroom by using search terms like, "washroom, toilet, universal, men, women, inclusive, accessible" etc. 

What can you flush?

Pee, poo and toilet paper 

  • That’s right. Only human waste (pee, poo, puke) and toilet paper should be flushed. Everything else needs to be disposed elsewhere, such as the trash bin.  


We want to highlight these unflushable items first and foremost, as they are what our plumbers frequently find.  

Paper towels

Although paper towels are made of a similar material as toilet paper, they are not designed to break down like toilet paper. We urge you to not flush them down the toilet as they are the number one cause of toilet clogs at SFU.

Hygiene products

Hygiene products whether they are made of synthetic or natural materials are not flushable and can cause major problems for toilets. Menstrual products like tampons and pads are meant to absorb moisture and not break down in water. Use the provided trash bins in washroom stalls to dispose of hygiene products.  

“Flushable” products – wipes

Many products are labelled as “flushable” on the market now, but this term is actually not regulated, and there is no guarantee that the products will dissolve in water. Your flushable wipes may be the cause of a major clog.  

Lab waste

Follow proper guidelines on where to dispose of lab waste. Hazardous (chemicals, radioactive liquids) and non-hazardous (rubber gloves, glass, paper and cardboard) waste all have a place they need to go to. Read more about Laboratory Waste Handling.  


There are many other items that shouldn’t be flushed: hair, condoms, prescriptions, grease, cotton swabs, baby wipes, diapers, cigarette butts, gum, food and floss.  

What to do if you see a clogged toilet? 

In the event that you do see a clogged toilet, please contact Facilities Services with your service request: