CHRISTMAS rubbish is causing a major headache for Yorkshire Water.
The company is concerned that more and more items are being dumped in the region’s drainage network – causing costly problems to fix.
The festive period has seen the unwanted rubbish collected at sewage works at Bradley, Cooper Bridge and the rest of the region.
And they include the truly bizarre – an assortment of cuddly toys, pieces of Lego, novelty socks and even a CD single of Cannonball by X Factor winners Little Mix.
Sewage staff have also had to deal with a number of small Christmas trees – their tinsel often replaced with unappealing loo paper and other rags, as they float into the works.
They are thought to be have been discarded down manholes as some owners set about their post-Christmas tidy-up following the main day’s festivities.
But what concerns water chiefs are the items which have not made it to the sewage screens at the plants – the ones jammed in sewer pipes that are already blocking drains.
That problem has been exacerbated by the amount of fat poured down water pipes and drains, as it solidifies and reduces the flow.
The company manages 54,000km of sewer pipes and is becoming increasingly concerned by the trend among, what is believed to be a small minority of customers, for treating sewers like a rubbish bin.
Spokesman Matt Thompson said: “Just because you don’t want Little Mix’s record or those socks that Grandma has lovingly knitted for you, it doesn’t mean that we do.
“While we’re no longer surprised to see unwanted presents coming into our treatment works, it’s always disappointing, particularly as we work so hard to educate people on the dangers of using our sewers as a giant rubbish bin.
“Our message is simple: Anything other than human waste and loo roll has no business in our sewers and we’d ask people to do the right thing and make sure they dispose of their rubbish in the correct way, rather than risk blocking our sewers and potentially flooding their own homes with sewage.”
This year, the company has already removed more than 18,000 blockages from its sewerage network.