Hyatt Regency Minneapolis   |   Minneapolis, Minnesota   |   June 17-20, 2024

Conference Speakers


Lara Wyss

President, Responsible Flushing Alliance


Lara Wyss is President of the Responsible Flushing Alliance where she serves as the primary spokesperson as well as leads day-to-day campaign work with member companies and a variety of stakeholders related to our consumer education campaigns and activities. Lara is an award-winning communications professional adept at developing strategic messaging and positioning to drive positive results through earned, owned and paid content. As a media relations and creative storytelling expert, Lara has a deep understanding of traditional, online, and social media and delivers innovative campaigns to engage with wide range of audiences, including influencers and industry thought leaders.

Based in Seattle, Washington, the Responsible Flushing Alliance (RFA) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization dedicated to consumer education around what should and should not be flushed. We partner with wipes manufacturers, legislators, wastewater sector, and other non-profits to support "do not flush" labeling on non-flushable wipes and provide accurate information about what debris is clogging our wastewater infrastructure.

Lara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University and is completing her Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of San Diego. 

Thursday, June 20
9:00 am - 11:15 am
Recycling & Regulations

What's America Flushing? A Deep Dive into the Largest Sewage Collection Study Conducted

Sanitation agencies and the wipes industry worked with an independent engineering firm, Kennedy-Jenks, to conduct the largest sewage collection study to date in order to see what Americans are really flushing and what's causing issues for sewage treatment facilities.

Two collection studies were conducted by INDA in partnership with RFA, CASA, and selected CASA member agencies: the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) in Southern California and the Central Contra Costa Sanitation District (Central San) in Northern California.

A total of 1,745 articles were documented across the four sampling events, marking it as the largest such collection study conducted in the United States.

Findings include:

Paper Products -- 52.8%

Nonwovens Labeled "Do Not Flush" -- 34.1%

Feminine Hygiene -- 7.2%

Trash -- 4.9%

Flushable Wipes -- 0.9%

The percentage of materials collected within each category had a high degree of consistency across collection events and facilities suggesting similar behavior across California. Based on this information, implementing consumer education to discourage the flushing of the top three categories could capture over 90 percent of the recovered materials.

Study results are informing the wipes industry's FlushSmart educational campaign to promote the "Do Not Flush" symbol and help consumers understand what should and should not be flushed.