Sick of your Christmas presents? Don't flush them down the loo, eh?
What do YOU do with your unwelcome or unwanted Christmas gifts? Put them away unopened before passing them on to someone else at a later date? Donate them to your local charity so that the poor and less fortunate can benefit from them? Smash them up with hammers before burning all the bits?
They’re all viable options, but if you live in Yorkshire, it seems that flushing them down the bog is also high on the agenda as well. Yorkshire Water have got the mild hump with their customers following the arrival of various gift-flavoured items into the sewage system. They say that since Christmas Day, items such as cuddly toys, pieces of Lego, novelty socks and even a CD single by Little Mix have arrived at its treatment works.
They’re just a few of the 18,000 blockages that they remove from their sewers each year, at a total cost of more than £2 million. As well as the gifts, a number of miniature Christmas trees have arrived at Yorkshire Water’s treatment works, believed to have been stuffed down sewers by owners who were too lazy to dispose of them properly.
Matt Thompson, from Yorkshire Water, told the BBC: "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. 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.
"[We're asking] 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."
So if you’re passing through Batley, Thirsk or Kirklees over the next few days and see someone trying to force a withered Christmas tree down a manhole, stop and have a word with them and educate them about the plight of Yorkshire Water. We reckon it’ll probably save some penguins’ lives or something.