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HomeFarming NewsTips: How to avoid FOG clogs
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Tips: How to avoid FOG clogs

Think before you pour and put fats, oils and greases (FOGs) from the Christmas dinner in the bin.

That is the key message some of Ireland’s well-known chefs, Kevin Dundon, Lilly Higgins, JP McMahon, Guy Sinnott, Mark Murphy and Edward Hayden, are delivering as part of a Think Before You Pour campaign.

Clean Coasts operates Think Before You Pour in partnership with Irish Water.

The body appeals to the public not to pour FOGs down the kitchen sink. The campaign comes following a survey which revealed that approximately 4 out of 10 people admit to doing so.

Fats, oils and greases may seem like liquid when poured. However, they cool and harden as they travel along the pipes. As a result, they can cause blockages in our homes, businesses, the public sewer network and wastewater treatment plants.

Furthermore, they can even lead to overflows of sewage in communities and pollution in rivers, on beaches and in the ocean.

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Fatbergs can form when FOGs combine with wipes and other sewage-related litter such as hair and dental floss that you should not flush down the toilet.

Irish Water clears approximately 2,000 blockages, including fatbergs, from the wastewater network every month.


Irish celebrity chef, television personality and author Kevin Dundon said:

“This Christmas, I am delighted to be working with Clean Coasts and Irish Water on a great campaign to remind you to Think Before You Pour fats down the sink.”

“As you all know, I love using fat while cooking, such as butter to baste a steak, turkey fat from the roasting tray or some duck fat on crispy roast potatoes.”

“But, once served, pouring the residue left on the baking trays and pans down the sink will only end up creating blockages and giant fatbergs.”

He advises people to:

  • Let pans and trays cool for a few minutes;
  • Use kitchen paper;
  • Scrape the setting fat into a container;
  • Dispose of the fat in the general bin.

Continuing, he said: “It is a simple step that the family can do at home and help keep our pipes clearer.”

“So this Christmas, use as much butter and cream in your recipes as desired and Think Before You Pour!”

Reduce wastewater blockages

Speaking about the size and scale of the issue, Tom Cuddy, head of operations, Irish Water, said:

“This Christmas, let’s reduce the number of wastewater blockages backing up into our houses and gardens or spilling into the local environment.”

“We want to remind the public not to use their kitchen sink as a bin. ‘Think before You Pour’ and use a heatproof container to collect FOGs and put them in the bin once they have cooled.”

He said this would help prevent pipe blockages and protect the natural and built environment.

Be green this Christmas

Speaking about the campaign, Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities manager, Clean Coasts, said:

“This Christmas, Clean Coasts are asking the public to take positive environmental actions to be green this Christmas.”

“One simple green action that can be done in the home is to keep our wastewater pipes clear by never pouring fats, oils and greases from the Christmas dinner down the kitchen sink.”

“Instead, collect them into a heatproof container, allow to cool and empty into the bin.

“This helps prevent blockages in our wastewater systems. I would encourage and remind everyone to Think Before You Pour this Christmas.”

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Christmas food: What should I keep away from my dog? 

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