Yes, I know you were all drawn to this post by its highly intellectual title. I aim to please. I wanted to discuss what you should and shouldn't be putting down the toilet. There seems to be some misunderstanding about what local wastewater treatment plants can handle downstream. Of course, this is also dependent on your municipality, but I'm going to overgeneralize and assume that they are similar in what they can and can not handle.
I spoke, last summer or so, with Tom Watson from King County, our local EcoConsumer guru as I had some questions about the viability of gDiapers and its impact on not only your toilet, but on the processing of waste in general. gDiapers markets the product as the most eco-friendly diaper available, mainly because you can flush or compost them and they break down in 50-150 days.
Now, most people aren't going to compost human poopy diapers and most yard/food waste collection programs won't accept them, so that means the option for being the most "eco-friendly" involves flushing them down the toilet. I was surprised to learn a few things about what the engineers at our wastewater treatment plants can't stand. You, know the shit and the "shit" that clogs up the works.
Basically, what they recommend is that the only things you flush are human waste and toilet paper. Nothing else. Nada. Did you hear me? Those "flushable" butt wipes? No. How about that clay kitty litter that turns into something you can use skeet shooting? Hell, no. Tampons? Don't make me DivaCup you upside the head.
So, what about gDiapers? Aren't you paying attention? If something like a tampon is a problem, do you honestly think that flushing a giant wad of pooped-up gDiaper is going to go down properly? Not only is your sewage and/or septic system potentially at risk, but you're wreaking havoc with the whole system unintentionally.
The City of Vancouver actually did a study of the treatability of gDiapers and their impact on sewer and wastewater systems. To summarize, they concluded that (feel free to read the entire study, it's actually very interesting.):
"It is the City's recommendation that gDiapers, when used by the City's sewer customers, be managed as a solid waste and not flushed down the toilet. Consumers should bag the used product and place it in their garbage container for disposal. Those consumers who have an active and well-managed compost system may also choose to carefully include urine-only gDiapers discards with their compostable wastes."
So, what's the point of spending the extra money on flushable diapers if they are going to have to go to the landfill anyway? I'm not sure it's worth the extra cost. If you want to use disposables, stick with chlorine-free, non-toxic, non-flushable eco-diapers. Most of them are biodegradable if your landfill is equipped for that sort of thing. Just don't flush them.
And, just remember. The toilet is not a trashcan.
If you had/have kids, did you use cloth, disposables, eco-friendly disposables or another method for diapering?