Fatberg: A Bad Place to Live

Many sweet little hamlets throughout the U.S. are called “burgs”: Harrisburg. Plattsburgh. Some are more famous than others. Gettysburg. Some are known for their steel mills. Or football teams. Pittsburgh.

But there are some burgs/bergs where no one should live. Like Fatberg. “Fatberg” can be any town or city, anywhere in the world. Because fatberg is something we build not with bricks and mortar, but with inappropriate behavior.

Not Weight or Whereabouts

So while “Fatberg” might sound like a community for people who are dieting, in reality it’s much more insidious: a large mass of fat stuck in the sewage system under the city. Yuck!

And it’s dangerous: last fall, maintenance crews discovered a fatberg of congealed fat, wet wipes and waste under the streets ofBaltimore that caused sewer spillage of 1.2million gallons! In London, the most recent fatberg weighed the same as 11 double-decker buses and was as long as two football fields.

Clearly, fatbergs pose serious spill clean up emergencies.

Vanquishing the FOG

While you might not think you can affect the weather, homeowners can eliminate FOG (fats, oils, and grease) by not pouring these liquids down kitchen sinks and toilets, or placing greasy pans and dishes in the dishwasher. Such well-intentioned behaviors are a leading cause of residential sewer blockages.

Aside from causing home damage, FOG that finds its way into local waterways harms the habitats of fish and wildlife.

Fatberg Farewell

Clearing your home’s “weather” is pretty simple:


  • Use an old coffee can or jar as a grease container.
  • Pour greasy or oily food wastes into the container, NOT down the drain or garbage disposal.
  • Mix liquid fats, grease, and oil with an absorbent material such as XSORB Super Absorbent in a sealable container before throwing in the trash.
  • Allow animal fats to cool or freeze in the container before throwing them in the trash.


  • Pour grease or oil down drains or garbage disposals.
  • Use hot water to rinse grease from cookware, utensils, dishes or surfaces. Use paper towels first.
  • Put food scraps down drains.

Now your home, neighborhood, and wildlife are safer, happier, and healthier. So go ahead, enjoy your next burg-er. Just remember what to do with the FOG.

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