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Originally published July 14, 2014 at 5:29 PM | Page modified July 15, 2014 at 1:08 PM

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County puts a trashy spin on a Macklemore tune

King County spent $123,000 on a campaign to deter people from flushing improper waste down the toilet.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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Gimme a break, Seattle Times. First, your title is wrong since it was actually the County that did the ad campaign. ... MORE
@CityFellow @Jonathan H There are two ways this could be going: One, the Times', by excluding certain information, is... MORE
I for one learned something from this, so it had an effect on me.... I've always flushed hair down the toilet, thinking... MORE

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Do you associate the musical stylings of Macklemore with sewage backup?

If so, King County has just the campaign for you.

The county’s Wastewater Treatment Division spent $123,000 on a campaign called “Flushing Awesome,” which went live earlier this month, designed to deter people from flushing improper waste such as tampons, condoms and disinfectant wipes down the toilet.

The eponymous ad is set to the tune of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop,” and features an excited cartoon audience tossing up rolls of toilet paper like beach balls to lyrics such as, “Not gonna flush my trash/ only put TP in my toilet/ I-I’m not gonna cause a sewer backup/ This is flushing awesome.”

The county got permission from Macklemore to use the likeness of the song through the end of September, said Pam Elardo, director of the King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division.

King County spent $120,000 transporting improperly flushed waste to landfills last year, she said.

Yes, that’s about $3,000 less than the ad campaign. But Elardo said there are higher costs associated with equipment, labor and energy.

“It’s really the tip of the iceberg,” she said.

The Wastewater Treatment Division hired public-relations consultants earlier this year to think up a catchy jingle for the campaign. The county paid $40,000 for the production of two radio and TV spots, $73,000 to have them aired and $10,000 for bus advertisements.

Though the department is only permitted to use the song through the fall, Elardo said she hopes the “Flushing Awesome” philosophy will live on for much longer.

“We will always be on our guard and trying to promote that,” she said.

Andy Mannix: amannix@seattletimes.com



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