Did you know that it’s actually illegal to pour milk down the drain?
A lot of probably didn’t know that – and thought that with today’s modern sewer system, it’s fine to do that, especially when the milk is expired.
Why It’s Illegal to Pour Milk Down the Drain
Everyone knows that milk is a healthy drink. So, we all assume that pouring it down the drain isn’t harmful because how can something good become so harmful?
What we didn’t know is that milk might be good for our bodies, but it is a harmful pollutant in the environment. It’s classified as a Category 3 ABP (Animal By-Products) that should be disposed of properly.
In the environment, milk is food to bacteria that use up a lot of oxygen. In fact, milk has the highest Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) of all pollutants!
What does that mean to the environment? Well, the bacteria that break down milk uses up valuable oxygen. In an aquatic environment, that could suffocate the wildlife in the water because there’s less dissolved oxygen for them to use.
Take a look at the BOD (mg/L) from common sources:
- Clean river sewage has less than 5 BOD
- Raw sewage has 300-400 BOD
- Cattle slurry has 15,000-20,000 BOD
- Pig slurry has 20,000-30,000 BOD
- Milk has 80,000-120,000 BOD
Dairy products that should also be disposed of properly:
- Hard cheese
- Ice cream
- Soft cheese
- Soft spread
What to Do with Expired Milk?
Whether you’re a business or simply a household with expired milk, don’t pour it down the drain.
Here are ways to properly dispose of expired milk:
- Check your local laws for proper waste milk disposal.
- Call the Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division or the Solid Waste Unit, if there’s one in your area.
- Depending on where you are located, you can also hire waste disposal companies with food waste recycling services to handle the disposal.
- You can pour the milk on a plot of land or create a small disposal pond, but you’ll need to get a special permit to do that.
- You can donate the expired milk to composting facilities.
- Expired milk can still be fed to livestock.
There are actually a lot of beauty benefits and uses for spoiled milk. If you only have a small amount of spoiled milk, you can use it for these purposes. But if you have gallons of spoiled milk, it’s best to dispose of them properly – and never pour milk down the drain!