Many of us love cooking up a delicious treat for the family in the kitchen, but for Anglian Water’s sewer technicians the ‘dish of the day’ which greets them when they get called out to a blockage is food waste and fat. These can mix together with wipes and other unflushable items to create a disgusting fatberg which can lead to flooding and pollution of the local environment. If the sewage is blocked and has nowhere else to go it can overflow and find its way into waterways, rivers and the sea.
But the hero that can save the day is the trusty kitchen bin! And its handy sidekick the compost caddy can play its part too.
What you can do to help – here are some top tips to help to prevent the wrong things going down the plughole in our kitchens and creating a fatberg.
For starters, always scrape the contents into a kitchen bin or food caddy. Then wipe them with a piece of kitchen towel before washing or placing the plates in a dishwasher.
Make sure you have a strainer in the sink to catch any food bits going down the plughole.
When leftover fat is liquid pour it into a used contained and pop it in the kitchen bin. Or wait for fat to solidify and scrape it up with old newspaper to put into the bin.
Recycle your used cooking oil - If you are using large amounts of cooking oil such as in a deep fat fryer it will go gloopy if you pour it down the sink and cause a blockage. Used cooking oil should be stored in a container with a tight lid - in some council areas can be taken to your local recycling centre where the oil can be decanted into large bins. It is then taken and converted into bio-diesel or bio-fuel. Check your council’s website for details.
Left-overs and small amounts of fat can be used in your gardens as a soil conditioner through the use of a hot composter or garden food digester such as the Green Johanna, which can take garden waste, as well as food waste including cooked meat and bones and small amounts of fat.
Wormeries are great fun for families with children and can also be used to create great soil taking left overs and small amounts of fat. Bokashi bins are good for those with small gardens or pots on patios and balconies, giving a great liquid feed as the food rots down.
At any one time we have more than eight Olympic-sized swimming pools of food waste and fat in our sewers. We can all play our part in reducing the impact on our environment. Have the conversation with your family and make sure your kitchen bin is playing its part in stopping environment pollution in its tracks.