With most stores out of stock, Westerly business handing out free toilet paper


WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) ─ It’s no secret that toilet paper has been hard to come by recently as COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island continue to climb.

Rolls upon rolls of toilet paper have been flying off store shelves with everyone stocking up for a potential self-quarantine or shelter-in-place.

In an effort to combat the shortage, Robert Broccolo is providing free toilet paper for anyone struggling to find some.

Broccolo works for his family’s business, Professional Drain Services of Southern New England, in Westerly. He came up with the idea after learning that residents were flushing disinfectant wipes and causing backups in multiple Rhode Island communities.

“Being in a sewer and drain business, that’s all we see is clogged drains from things that don’t belong down the drain,” he explained.

He then took matters into his own hands to ensure everyone had toilet paper in an effort to prevent people from flushing those wipes.

Tapping into his family’s commercial business resources, Broccolo said he was able to find toilet paper through a local supplier.

He purchased hundreds of rolls from that supplier and has been handing them out ever since.

“We are a small family business and it’s important to take care of your community in need,” Broccolo said. “I’ve seen a lot of people not having what they need, and if I have access to it, I figured if I could help them in any way then I would.”

Broccolo put the call out on social media, and within the first hour, he’d already received nearly 30 messages from residents in need of toilet paper.

“We’re trying to do deliveries to everybody in the local area, a lot of elderly they can’t leave the house, people at home with kids and they can’t leave the house,” Broccolo said.

Broccolo said both the toilet paper and delivery are free. While he’s been mostly delivering the toilet paper locally, he’s received requests from across the state.

He said if you need toilet paper, to reach out to him so he can schedule a time to deliver it to you.

Need toilet paper? Call (401) 315-5450

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