VICTORIA -- The Township of Esquimalt is warning the local community of a recent spike in pressure in the municipality’s waste stream, largely due to an increase in people staying at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With individuals and families doing their part by staying home, our systems are seeing a spike in use,” said Jeff Miller, director of Engineering and Public Works.

“We need to be mindful of how we’re treating the Township’s assets.”

The township is asking residents to only dispose of appropriate items in their washrooms. Esquimalt says that items like sanitary wipes, even if they are labeled as “flushable”, should not be disposed of in toilets.

“Wipes cause pumps to be clogged and can create sewage overflows,” said the township in a release Tuesday.

“Residents should note that the only thing that should be going into the sanitary system is human waste and toilet paper.”

Meanwhile, the City of Victoria, alongside many other municipalities across Canada, are echoing the same concerns.

Esquimalt says that residents looking to dispose of household garbage should place the items in garbage bags, tie them securely, and place the bags in their appropriate waste collection container.

Meanwhile, the township says that while the Hartland landfill remains open, the municipality’s yard and garden waste transfer station on Canteen Road has been closed until further notice.