This holiday season, do yourself and other taxpayers a favor by keeping grease from turkey and ham dinners out of sinks and other drains. And while you’re at it, stop flushing disposable wipes down the toilet, even if the label claims “flushable.”
Sewer workers everywhere dread this time of year when the problem of “fatbergs” — clogs of fats, oil, grease, and wipes — worsens, leading to backups and costly repairs.
Here’s how you can help
- Dispose of fat, oil, and grease by pouring them onto newspaper or other paper items in the trash, or into a non-recyclable container and then into the trash.
- Another idea: Soak up grease with pieces of crusty bread pieces, and then put the bread on bird feeders for wild critters.
- Wipe greasy pans, pots, and other dishes out with a paper towel before washing.
- Place disposable wipes in the trash, too.
As this video program shows, disposable wipes may flush down the toilet, but they fail to break down. Cities across Minnesota report costly repairs and upgrades after wipes clog their pumps and pipes.
The MPCA has proposed legislation the last two sessions to require manufacturers to change their labeling on disposable wipes. The proposals didn’t go far, but the agency has created a toolkit to help educate consumers.