Save our sewers

Sustainable Harborough Community

I love the way life is full of new discoveries. I contacted Anglian Water to see if they could bring an information stall to the Great Big Green Saturday in Harborough at the beginning of this month.
They were unable to come but did send information.

Did you know that Unblocktober is a national campaign and awareness month to improve the health of the UK’s drains, sewers and rivers and how we can all help prevent blockages? Sadly last year, Anglian Water had to remove over 3,000 tonnes of wipes, sanitary products and cooking oils from sewers at a cost that is paid for through our bills. Not pleasant for the people removing this mess either.

However all is not lost. A big discovery for me is that leftover kitchen fat, oil and grease can be reused and recycled. We can freeze leftover fat in ice cube trays to make stock or gravy.

We can leave cooking oil to cool for a few minutes and then pour it into a container to reuse another time or take it to our local oil recycling point. Ah, but do we have a local recycling point?

That’s where Leicestershire County Council’s very helpful alphabetical recycling list comes to the rescue and sure enough there was cooking oil.

There are special containers for oils at our local recycling and household waste site that hopefully will be re-opening after Christmas.

Businesses are included in the list as they can donate used cooking oil to Biodiesel companies who will convert it into biodiesel.

At the recycling event in the Kibworth Community Library last month, people talked of wiping oil and fat onto tissues and then placing the tissues in their household waste. Maybe this is a more environmentally friendly and money saving way instead. Oh and by the way, coffee grounds block pipes too, an urban myth that they don’t apparently, and are much better put on the garden.

Julie Fagan, volunteer, Harborough Climate Action and Eco Church member