Fatbergs – ‘enormous solid masses of oil, grease, wet wipes and other hygiene products that congeal together to cause major blockages’– as we know, these are wreaking havoc in the sewers of cities around the world and at Grease Guardian we aim to radically change the way in which we all dispose of FATS, OILS and GREASE.
Recently, a massive 130 tonne specimen described as a “monster” caused backups in sewers in London’s Whitechapel, and the cities of Baltimore, Singapore and Dannevirke, New Zealand have also all experienced similar issues in recent weeks. For some reason 2017 seems to be the year of the FATBERG!
However, Fatbergs are not a recent phenomenon, but have undoubtedly attracted increased attention in recent years as old sewerage systems and drain pipes struggle to cope with the increased consumption and disposal of everyday products like fats, oils and greases from cooking. This is a particular issue for cities like London with old Victorian systems and sewers. The underground is under severe pressure due to our lifestyle and habits.
Strategies are in place in order to prevent sewer fatbergs but more needs to be done. The water industry tends to focus on removing sewer blockages and reducing the fats, oils and greases that enter sewers from commercial sources (such as restaurants and hotels). But around ‘three quarters of the fats, oils and greases in the sewers actually comes from domestic sources, making household disposal a key priority for change.
Grease Guardian wants to create an increased awareness directed to the public to focus on what we all put down the kitchen sink. Current advice is that cooking fats, oils and greases should be disposed through food or solid waste recycling. But there is little information on how we can dispose of other products – like that fatty off milk at the back of the fridge – without pouring it down the sink. The mucky complexities of how people actually deal with fats, oils and greases in the home suggest that the solution might need to be more complex. More awareness is needed.
Is changing people’s broader behavior related to food waste and disposal of fatty products the solution? If so this is not going to be easy to change. Grease Guardian would like to hear from you if you have any ideas or thoughts on this topic. Is installing a domestic grease trap the answer? Or is it down to our lifestyle habits? Or perhaps both?
Contact Team Grease Guardian HERE
…..Remember to think beyond the plughole.