Thursday, February 22, 2024

7 things that are clogging up the sinks of Victoria this holiday season


Have you considered putting your sink on a ‘fat-free’ diet?

According to the Capital Regional District, each year almost one million kilograms of fats, oils and grease (FOG) flow down the drains of homes throughout the capital region.

FOG can cause blockages in our wastewater conveyance system, overflowing into the environment and backing up in to homes and businesses.

Additional energy and treatment capacity is then required to break down FOG entering the system, increasing costs to operate the sewer system, which in turn increases costs to taxpayers.

Fat, oils and grease that makes it through to the ocean can deplete oxygen, damaging fish and other organisms that inhabit the environment.

Identifying sources of FOG can be tricky, but include the following:

  • Oil and grease from cooking meats
  • Cooking oil, butter, shortening, lard, and margarine
  • Mayonnaise
  • Gravy and oil-based sauces
  • Fatty food scraps
  • Cooking juices (such as in roasting pans) and floating fats
  • All dairy products, including milk, cream, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, and cream cheese

Many oils (such as coconut oil) will solidify when they come into contact with lower temperature water in the wastewater conveyance system, therefore creating clogs. If the oils do not solidify, they may still create clogs as they often bind to other forms of fats and grease.

Here are a few simple steps that will prevent fats, oils and grease from causing clogs and blockages:

  • Wipe small amounts of grease with a paper towel or used napkin and place in compost. In a growing region, even small amounts add up quickly! Over time, those small amounts can turn into a bigger problem.
  • Cool larger amounts of grease in a container until solid and empty into your kitchen scraps or garbage.
  • Large amounts of liquid oil (up to 10 litres) can be recycled at the Hartland Depot.
    One of the goals of residential source control is to reduce waste at its source in the most effective and convenient way. Use a container that is readily available, heat resistant and sturdy. Used paper coffee cups can be a good option as they can be composted in your kitchen scraps. Experiment to find the best solution for you. The key is to wait until the container is full before disposing. If your municipality operates a kitchen scraps program, consider using a compostable container to store FOG. Both the container and content can be placed in your kitchen scraps bin.
  • Rethink your waste and how you dispose of it. Help keep FOG out of the pipes.

Find more info on CRD’s FOG campaign online.


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