5 ways to avoid a Christmas fatberg

Photo credit: Sam Edwards / Getty
Photo credit: Sam Edwards / Getty

From House Beautiful UK

Households are being urged to dispose of Christmas dinner leftovers carefully to avoid a fatberg this Christmas.

Fatbergs are formed when cooking oil and grease mix with non-biodegradable items in the sewage system, and solidify to cause blockages. And now rubbish removal experts, Junk Hunters, have issued a warning and advised on how to avoid clogging drains and sewers over the holiday period.

'Christmas is a time for having fun, but fatbergs make everyone miserable, especially the sewage workers who have to literally break the awful things down,' said Harsha Rathnayake, CEO of Junk Hunters. 'There's no need to hold back in cooking – you can still have your delicious Christmas dinner exactly as you want it. Just take a few simple steps to make sure you don't wash any fat or food leftovers down the sink.'

Photo credit: deepblue4you / Getty
Photo credit: deepblue4you / Getty

Take a look at their top tips below:

1. Flush only the 'three Ps'

Toilets and the sewage system are designed to take three things only – pee, poo and (toilet) paper. Don't flush anything else – including baby wipes, kitchen roll, any sanitary products and cotton wool. Even nappies and tights have been found in the sewers, and needless to say, they don't belong there.

2. Scrape plates

After Christmas dinner, scrape the plates and utensils well before washing them to get as much oil off as possible. Let the fat solidify first if that makes it easier to get rid of all of it.

Photo credit: Westend61 / Getty
Photo credit: Westend61 / Getty

3. Get a grease trap

You can get one installed, but a very simple alternative is to pour any oil and cooking fat into an empty milk container or margarine tub while it's cooled but still liquid, and let it solidify in that rather than in your drains. Then chuck it away when it's full. If you find there's water collecting in the bottom, cut a hole in it and water your lawn before throwing it away.

4. Use the hair trap

You might be washing your hair more often than usual for all the seasonal parties. Make sure you've got a hair trap in your shower or bath plughole and throw the hair in the bin.

5. Don't fall for the hot water myth

Some people might tell you that you can clear fat and oil from the drains by pouring hot water and washing up liquid down the sink. They're wrong. Just don't let fat go down there at all.

For more tips on safely disposing of cooking oil and fats, read our top tips here.

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