Our wastewater systems are made to handle waste water not discarded fats, oils or grease. Please only release waste water down your sink.
When discarded down the sink, fats, oils and grease break down into component parts — fatty acids and glycerol. These fatty acids bind calcium found in the sewers (created from biological processes including the corrosion of concrete) to create a soap compound which can then attach to pipes, creating stalactite-type structures (fatbergs). While it’s called a soap because of its chemical composition, this isn’t something you’d want to wash yourself with. Recently a bus-sized, 17 tonne fatberg was found in a British sewer.
Fatbergs block the sewer line and can cause disgusting and dangerous backups. While drain cleaners might clear out pipes in your home, the greasy mess gets washed into the sewers afterward, creating a bigger problem down the line.
How to dispose of fats, oils and grease
- Let it solidify in a pan or jar then put the solid grease in your general waste bin and wipe the pan or dish with a paper towel to soak up the rest
- Consider recycling large quantities of fats and oils for conversion to biofuel
If you accidentally release grease down a sink, wash it out using boiling water and a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. This will help push it out of the household pipes, although it will still be able to coagulate in the main water system.