Posts Tagged ‘Holiday tip’

December 20, 2012

Holiday Tip: Don’t Give the Gift of Grease

The holidays are busy, but that’s no reason to put extra stress on your septic system. Sending cooking grease, paper towels and coffee grounds down the drain can be a harmful holiday present for our sewer infrastructure, and for your plumbing at home as well.  These simple steps can help put grease in its proper place:

  • Collect cooled cooking oil, poultry and meat fats in sealed containers and discard with your regular garbage.
  • Dishes and pots coated with greasy leftovers should be wiped or scraped clean into the trash can prior to washing or placing in the dishwasher. Scrape, don’t rinse!
  • Place fat trimmings from meat in a plastic bag and discard them with your trash, rather than dumping down the garbage disposal.
  • Never pour grease down the drain – place cooled grease and oils in a sealed container and dispose of it with your garbage.
  • Other materials that cause trouble in sewer lines include ‘flushable wipes,’ kitty litter, plastic/cardboard feminine hygiene applicators, disposable diapers, prophylactics and personal care products, and cigarette butts.

For more information on Des Moines metro area’s wastewater operations, visit Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority.

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Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , , , Posted in Customer Service, Customers, Environment December 19, 2012

Holiday Tip: Hand Washing vs. Dishwasher

Washing dishes by hand is a chore most people dislike, especially when the dishes pile up after a delicious holiday meal.  The good news is washing dishes in a dishwasher is more economical, saves energy, saves water and saves time.

Even older models of dishwashers use less water (15 gallons) than the average American who washes dishes by hand (20 gallons).  Since 2009, Energy Star models have proven to be even greater water savers, using only about 6 gallons of water.  Hand-washing costs about $430 more in energy and water than an Energy Star dishwasher per year. Using a dishwasher rather than hand-washing can save about 5,000 gallons of water per year.

Dishwashers can easily achieve the recommended level of 140 degrees or higher for proper disinfection, whereas hand-washing cannot.  And since our time is so precious around the holidays – dishwashers save over 230 hours a year – that’s almost 10 days!

If you want to save even more in energy costs, open the door and let dishes air dry during the drying cycle. Use water wisely with your dishwasher by making sure it is full before you run it.

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Posted by: Gail Peckumn 3 Comments
Labels: , , , , , Posted in Customer Service, Customers, Environment December 18, 2012

Holiday Tip: Best Disposal Options for Leftover Holiday Food

Question:  Am I better off feeding my leftover mashed potatoes into the garbage disposal, so they don’t end up in a landfill or should I throw them in the trash can, so they don’t end up the water supply?

Royce Hammitt, Operations & Maintenance Manager at Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority, explains options for disposal of your leftover holiday feast, from best for the environment to the worst.

Source Reduction/Prevention
Prevent food waste before it is created.

Feeding People
Donate fresh, wholesome food to those in need.

Feeding Animals
Feed safe, fresh food scraps to animals.

Turn food waste into a valuable soil amendment utilizing a backyard composter.

Sewer Disposal vs. Landfill
Food waste contains fats, oil, and grease which can coat and block sewers leading to sewer overflows. Sending food waste to landfills may produce methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas which can escape to the atmosphere.  Fortunately, Metro Waste Authority captures methane and utilizes it to produce green electricity.

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Posted by: Laura Sarcone 1 Comment
Labels: , , , , , Posted in Customer Service, Customers, Environment