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How To Avoid Fatbergs & Blocked Drains

Northern Ireland Water have reported that they’ve spent the last six Sundays and a large amount of public money clearing a ‘ fatberg‘ which has accumulated in the drains of South Belfast.

The blockage is in a sewer in the city’s Dublin Road and Northern Ireland Water confirmed that they have removed “a couple of hundred tonnes” of grease from the sewage system.

Much of the problem is thought to be caused by fast food outlets and businesses in the locality. As a result, we have some recommendations, tips and advice on how to responsibly dispose of your waste and avoid these sorts of issues in your area.

Cooking Oil

Pouring fat down a drain is the biggest contributor to fatbergs. To avoid blockages recycle your used oil, margarine and grease by putting it in your food waste bin, making sure it is cold first.

Barry Donaghy, Managing Director of ISL Waste Management says: “Cooking oil and fats are valuable resources. They can be used to produce biodiesel and other fuels. By putting it down the drain, you’re not just causing blockages, but also making sure it can’t be reused. Cooking oils can be recycled by putting small amounts in your food waste bin. Larger amounts can be soaked with paper first.”

Wet Wipes, Paper Towels & More

fatberg debrisKitchen roll, paper towels, sanitary towels, wet wipes, nappies and rags do break down, but not quickly. They can gather in drains and sewers, clog with fats and oils and block entire systems. Dispose in the proper recycling bin.

Starchy Foods

Even if you have a macerator on your premises, you should never put starchy foods such as potatoes and pasta down a drain. Treating organic matter in this way contravenes current NI food waste legislation and could leave your business open to fines. However it can also lead to blockages and sewage problems.

Coffee Grounds & Eggshells

These seem small and insignificant, but can cause major problems in cities. They don’t really break down and instead collect with other materials and block sewers. Into the food waste bins please.

Food waste and organic matter that we collect for recycling never goes to landfill and is turned into renewable energy and fertiliser for local farms. By disposing of yours properly, you are not only helping to avoid sewage problems, but behaving responsibly and in the interest of our environment.

If you need help with your food waste removal, advice on what goes where and best practice or just a quote from our team, please get in touch with ISL Waste Management.