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07 Jul 2022

Here's what not to pour down your sink to avoid 'fatbergs'

Here's what not to pour down your sink to avoid 'fatbergs'

Here's what not to pour down your sink to avoid 'fatbergs'

Irish homeowners are being warned against pouring a number of substances down their sinks as part of a new project from Clean Coasts and Irish Water.

Clean Coasts and Irish Water is partnering with Edward Hayden to ask people to ‘Rethink the Sink’ and never pour fats, oils and greases (FOGs) from the Easter roast down the sink.

Instead, collect FOGs into a heatproof container (egg cartons, tins and jars are egg-cellent choices!), allow them to cool and empty into the bin.  

Edward Hayden along with other celebrity chefs and well-known personalities from around Ireland are participating in this years Easter ‘Think Before You Pour’ campaign including Kevin Dundon, Gina Daly, Lilly Higgins, JP McMahon, Guy Sinnott and Mark Murphy as well as well-known food blogger, Niamh O’Sullivan. 

‘Think Before You Pour’ is operated by Clean Coasts in partnership with Irish Water and appeals to the public not to pour FOGs down the kitchen sink, as a B&A survey reveals that approximately 4 out of 10 people admit to doing so. 

"FOGs may seem like liquid when poured, but they cool and harden as they travel along the pipes and can cause blockages in our homes, businesses, the public sewer network and wastewater treatment plants and can even lead to overflows of sewage in our communities and pollution in rivers, on beaches and in the ocean," a statement read.

"When FOGs combine with wipes and other sewage-related litter such as hair and dental floss that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, fatbergs can form. Irish Water clears hundreds of blockages including fatbergs from the wastewater network every week."

Well-known Kilkenny chef Edward Hayden said: “This Easter I am delighted to be working with Clean Coasts and Irish Water on the Think Before You Pour campaign. It is so important that we dispose of fats from cooking correctly. If they are poured down the sink they can lead to blockages and fatbergs. An easy solution is to simply pour the fats into a container once they are cooled and throw the contents in the bin. Trays and pans can be wiped with a kitchen towel to get any extra fatty residues before washing.” 

Donal Heaney, Wastewater Operations Lead, Think Before You Flush Ambassador for Eastern and Midlands Region added: “Irish Water is delighted to be teaming up with Clean Coasts and chefs from all around Ireland for the ‘Rethink the Sink’ Easter campaign. Last year we responded to approximately 10,000 customer notified blockages along the wastewater network, which were leading to sewer overflows.

"Removing fatbergs and blockages from our public sewers and cleaning up sewer overflows is a dirty job with nasty consequences but so easy to prevent. We are reminding the public to ‘Think Before You Pour’ this Easter, not to use the kitchen sink as a bin and to help us safeguard the wastewater network and local environment by collecting cooled fats, oils and greases and disposing of them in their bin.”  

Speaking about the campaign, Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities Manager, Clean Coasts said: “The prevention of blockages in our wastewater systems by fats, oils and greases is something everybody can engage in. Simply by being more conscious of our behaviour at the sink, and by making small changes, we can all have a positive impact on our natural environment. I would encourage and remind everyone to ‘Think Before You Pour’ this Easter.” 

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