It is not unusual for me to see a sign in a public restroom, telling people not to discard paper towels in the toilet, but to use the trash pails instead. (I am a male, living in the northeast U.S.A., if it matters.)
I’m trying to figure out who would do such a thing. Apparently, it is not just the occasional nutcase who does this, as it happens often enough that the management has found it necessary to put up such signs.
First of all, isn’t it obvious that a paper towel is so large and so stiff that it could very well stop up the plumbing?
Second, even if that point is not so obvious, why would someone go to the effort of taking the towel from the towel dispenser all the way to the toilet? The garbage pails are usually right there by the towel dispenser. Why not throw 'em away right there?
One possible answer I thought of is that we’re not talking about towels that people used for drying their hands after washing. Maybe some people use these towels as toilet seat covers, and if so, the toilet is certainly a nearby disposal place. But that too seems odd, because it means taking a bunch of towels from the dispenser and bringing them to the toilet; I find it much more convenient to use toilet paper as the seat cover.