Who’s ready for some football? Party hosts across Hampton Roads are busy planning their menus for the big game loaded with enough chicken wings, cheesy dips, burgers, ribs and party platters to keep even Patrick Mahomes out of the end zone.
All these greasy, oily foods can do a number on kitchen pipes if cleanup and leftovers are not handled properly. When washed down the drain, they can congeal into a mass that blocks pipes, clogging sanitary sewer systems across Hampton Roads and causing environmental hazards in the street.
To avoid this game-day disaster and a hefty plumbing bill, the folks at askHRgreen.org want residents to keep these cleanup plays handy:
- Defend your pipes. Skip the garbage disposal! Leftovers should go in the trash, not down the sink. Even after a good shredding, food particles cling to pipes resulting in clogged drains and sewer backups.
- Intercept the grease. Pour cooled oil and grease into a container, store it in the freezer to harden, then throw it away on trash day. Before washing dishes, scrape food particles and batters into the trash. Batters, sauces and dairy products have a high fat content and can clog drains.
- Block the scraps. The sink should never be the end zone for food. Use a sink strainer to catch the scraps when peeling, slicing, and cutting vegetables for coleslaw or vegetable trays.
- Don’t fumble the cleanup. Have a dedicated recycling container for collecting plastic and metal beverage containers. Make sure these items are empty before depositing in the recycling container. Glass bottles are not accepted everywhere in Hampton Roads so be sure to check before tossing them in the bin. Pizza boxes with all the oily, cheesy leftover residue, by the way, are not recyclable and should go in the trash along with any disposable paper plates and single use cutlery.
- Hand off leftovers. Do not let leftovers go bad in the fridge. Fix a plate or goody bag for guests to take home, leaving the kitchen and local landfills a little cleaner!