An ancient town in Dorset has launched a new campaign in an attempt to stop the formation of fatbergs beneath its picturesque streets.
Educating about fats, oils and grease
The initiative has been devised by Wessex Water and the Environmental Compliance and Services (ECAS) with the aim of working with local hospitality businesses to educate them on the correct disposal of cooking and food waste. It is hoped the ‘Stop the Block’ campaign will help prevent fatbergs and blockages in the town’s drains and sewers. Shaftesbury, home of the famous Gold Hill, is the main focus of the campaign because it suffers from a high number of fatbergs due to the high volume of catering businesses incorrectly disposing of food waste.
Indeed, according to Wessex Water’s director of sewage George Taylor, the company removes ‘around 864,000 litres of fats, oils and greases’ each year from the inlet traps of their water recycling centres and sewage network. This huge amount is enough to fill eight double decker buses. Mr Taylor goes on to say that the aim of the partnership is ‘to work with the whole community to stop the wrong things ending up in the sewers’ and that ‘Shaftesbury is a beautiful town and like all communities in our area, we don’t want it to experience nasty blockages.’
How are fatbergs formed?
So called fatbergs are formed when the fats, oils and grease (FOGs) produced from cooking are poured down the sink. As FOGs are liquid when they are hot, many people don’t realise that when they cool, they congeal and solidify, forming clumps and trapping other waste we flush down the toilet. Over time, these clumps grow, blocking the pipes and sewers below our feet, causing sewage to back up into homes and businesses as well as polluting local watercourses.
As part of the ‘Stop the Block’ campaign, ECAS will visit local cafes, pubs, schools, hotels, restaurants and bakeries to teach staff best practices for the safe disposal of fats, oils and greases in order to stop blockages in the town’s sewers.
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