Junk Hunters Advice to Avoid Creating Christmas ‘Fatbergs’ : Follow the 3Ps to Avoid Clogging Sewers with Waste Cooking Fats this Christmas

Thames Water Whitechapel Fatberg junk hunters christmas food waste cooking oil
© Thames Water

Waste removal specialist, Junk Hunters, have published a brief guide to help households avoid clogging sewers with ‘fatbergs’ this Christmas by properly disposing of cooking fats and food waste.

It’s the time to eat, drink and be merry – but be sure to follow the 3Ps when disposing of food waste and cooking fats from Christmas dinner or you could cause a festive stink.

According to the company, knowing what not to put down sinks and toilets, and preventing grease and fat from going down the sink, are crucial actions for fighting fatbergs.

The team at Junk Hunters issued the guidance just as news broke that part of the famous ‘Whitechapel Fatberg’, which made international headlines, is to go on display at the Museum of London.

PPP – the Turd Way

The team explained that nothing should be flushed down the toilet except the ‘three Ps’ – pee, poo and paper, and gave advice on preventing oil from being washed down the sink and making simple grease traps.

Fatbergs are formed when cooking oil and grease mix with non-biodegradable items in the sewage system, and solidify to cause blockages.

It took Thames Water nine weeks to defeat the 130 tonne Whitechapel Fatberg, which was subsequently recycled into biodiesel.

With all the rich roasts being prepared over Christmas and New Year, the Junk Hunters experts urged householders to take their advice and avoid a repeat of the monster fatberg.

“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,” explained 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.”

The team’s top tips include:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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