Disposal of fats, oils and grease

Stop and think - NOT down the sink!

Disposing of used cooking oils incorrectly poses a major problem for water companies and councils who must clean up the mess. Pouring them down your sink is the most common mistake households make when trying to get rid of them. Fats, oils and grease cause sewer blockages when they are put down kitchen sinks or foul drains, and when put down rainwater pipes and gullies, they cause pollution in local watercourses.

There are approximately 200,000 sewer blockages and pollution incidents throughout England and Wales every year, of which up to 75% are caused by fat, oils and grease. Clearing these blockages costs a million pounds year. Also, it can seriously affect your plumbing in your home. Over time, if you continually our it down the plughole, it will build up within the waste pipes, lining the interior walls of the pipes, eventually blocking up the pipes up completely. Huge lumps of fat and oil can sit in the U-bend or 'trap' clogging it up. The purpose of a water trap in your plumbing is to stop bad smells coming back up from the sewers and making your house smell. If this trap is blocked with fat, it will cause bad smells all on its own!

Top tips to dispose of fats safely:

DoDo not
Do wipe and scrape plates, pans and utensils prior to washing (and put the waste into the bin)Do not put cooking oil, fat or grease down the sink.
Do collect waste oil in a suitable secure container.Do not pour waste oil, fat or grease down the drain.
Do arrange for oil to be collected by an approved and licensed waste contractor.Do not put food scrapings into the sink (place in the rubbish bin)
Do use strainers in sink plug holes (and empty contents into the bin).Do not sweep waste into floor drains (place rubbish in bin).
Do maintain Grease Traps and Enzyme Dosing equipment regularly.Do not pour boiling hot water down the sink to try to dissolve fat and grease. It does not work!

For further advice please read Anglian Water's guidance notes (external link PDF)