VANCOUVER -- Things used to protect us during the pandemic such as masks, wipes and latex gloves are filling up landfills – or worse, the sewer system.

It seems many people still aren’t getting the message and are flushing things down the toilet that shouldn’t be anywhere near the pipes, and the consequences could be costly.

“When you flush you think alright, it’s gone,” said Tim Kester, British Columbia general manager, Reliance Home Comfort.

It might be out of sight but what you cannot see, can haunt you.

Often times it can be those flushable wipes, which may flush but often do not breakdown. The same goes for "a lot of the Clorox wipes that people are using" to sanitize during the pandemic, said Kester.

Metro Vancouver’s sewage treatment plant continues to find odd items flushed down the toilet, including wipes, which often clog up pumping stations. That can lead to costly repairs on equipment and pipes. Millions of dollars spent on repairing municipal sewage systems can lead to higher utility bills.

In addition, flushing some things down the toilet can lead to expensive plumbing repairs in your home.

Did you know that clumping cat litter is a big problem? Many people who keep their cat’s litter box in the bathroom may be temped to flush some of it when they clean it. Beware. Clumping cat litter is a big problem.

“When absorbed with water it can cause a concrete like substance, causing expensive drain repairs,” said plumber James McBride.

You may have flushed many things down the toilet, never realizing that it could lead to a clogged pipe and a sewage backup in your home. Here are some examples:

• Flushable/baby wipes

• Condoms

• Feminine hygiene products

• Cotton swabs and cotton balls

• Dental floss

• Food

• Fish

• Cat litter

• Cigarette butts

The only thing you should be flushing is human waste and toilet paper.