Warwickshire residents encouraged to '˜fight fat' in sewers by recycling

Severn Trent is encouraging people across Warwickshire to '˜fight fat' and help keep the sewers clear of blockages.

Thursday, 17th August 2017, 3:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:30 am
Photo by Severn Trent.

The company is working with Warwickshire County Council in a bid to stop local people pouring fat down the drain in their kitchen sink.

At the beginning of May, Severn Trent discovered that fat was completely blocking part of Warwick’s sewers.

The company had been monitoring the fat build-up issue in the town after the issue was first discovered in 2015.

The fat blockage found in sewers in Warwick in May. Photo by Severn Trent.

For the partnership Warwickshire county council has installed oil and fat recycling facilities at the majority of its recycling centres.

This waste is then taken to a state-of-the-art recovery facility to be cleaned and reprocessed into an environmentally friendly bio-liquid that then generates green power for homes and businesses.

Malcolm Smith, from Severn Trent, explains: “This is a fantastic scheme being run by Warwickshire County Council that can help to keep oil and fat out of our sewers.

“Many people might think that it’s okay to pour left over oil and grease down the sink after cooking – but they couldn’t be more wrong.

The fat blockage found in sewers in Warwick in May. Photo by Severn Trent.

“As this liquid cools in the sewers it turns into solid chunks of fat which join together and often result in huge fatbergs that cause blockages.”

Councillor Jeff Clarke, Warwickshire county council’s portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: “With household waste cooking oil accepted at eight of the nine Warwickshire recycling centres, you are never too far from a local disposal point.

“Our oil is sent to a state-of-the-art recovery facility where it’s turned into bio fuel to generate carbon-neutral electricity for UK homes and businesses.”

Millions of pounds of damage is caused each year as blocked drains cause sewer flooding, and more than 75 per cent of these are the result of preventable blockages such as fats, oils and grease being poured directly down kitchen sinks.

Malcolm added: “We offer all our customers a free ‘gunk pot’ that can be used for collecting oil and grease in their kitchen.

“Once these are full they can then be transferred to a larger container and then taken to be recycled at their local site.”