With the problem of recurring major blockages in sewers caused by fatbergs, people living in West Oxfordshire are reminded that cooking oil can be collected as part of their household recycling service.
Fatbergs are putrid fatty masses that occur in the sewers when cooking oils, fats and unflushable items such as sanitary products mix together and solidify.
Cllr James Mills, Leader at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Fatbergs can block sewers and cause disruption and so it is important to avoid pouring oil down the sink.
“In West Oxfordshire we have for many years been collecting used cooking oil; it is part of our weekly household food waste service and it is recycled and used for energy.”
He added: “Residents simply need to pour cooled oil into a clear plastic bottle and put it out next to their recycling boxes or food waste caddy on collection days.”
Thames Water is running a ‘Bin it – don’t block it’ campaign to raise awareness of the problems caused by disposing of cooking oil and wet wipes in drains and sewers.
Alex Saunders, Waste Networks Manager for Thames Water, said: “All too often people do not realise the problems caused by pouring oil down the sink. West Oxfordshire residents are fortunate that they have a free oil recycling collection service and using this goes a long way to avoiding the costly and horrible experience of sewage backing up into homes, gardens and the wider environment.
“We also ask that people don’t flush wipes, cotton buds, nappies and sanitary products down toilets even if they are labelled as flushable. Our message is clear: bin it – don’t block it.”
Last summer Thames Water revealed that it clears at least three major blockages from Witney’s sewers every fortnight.
Engine oil is also collected at the kerbside. However, it is not recycled with food waste, but as a separate process to be reused as motor oil and hydraulic oil.