Wrapping paper dumped in waste

Unwanted gifts: Matt Thompson, of Yorkshire Water, at a sewage works where unwanted presents have washed up.

Unwanted gifts: Matt Thompson, of Yorkshire Water, at a sewage works where unwanted presents have washed up.

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CHRISTMAS wrapping paper is clogging up machinery at a waste treatment plant in South Yorkshire – creating extra work for the Yorkshire Water staff employed there.

Staff at Blackburn Meadows sewage treatment works in Rotherham have found the soggy festive wrapping on screens used usually to remove toilet paper and wipes from Sheffield waste before it is treated and returned clean to the River Don.

The screens at Blackburn Meadows – a 78 acre site next to Meadowhall, which treats up to 370 million litres of waste water a day – have been blocked repeatedly since Christmas Day.

Elsewhere, an X Factor CD, cuddly toys, novelty socks and pieces of Lego are among the items to have washed up in Yorkshire Water’s sewage works.

The company believes the items have been discarded down manholes by people clearing out their homes after the festivities.

Matt Thompson, of Yorkshire Water, said: “Just because you don’t want Little Mix’s record or those socks your grandma has lovingly knitted for you, it doesn’t mean 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.”

Yorkshire Water launched its ‘Doing the Dirty’ campaign earlier this year, aimed at encouraging customers to dispose of their rubbish properly.

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