For most restaurants, autumn is the time to think about heartier menus, holiday events, and if they are having a staff holiday party this year. However, for some this fall has been about innovation, tragedy, and law enforcement, all dealing with grease traps. In this edition of Grease Traps in the News, we’re looking at stories from the last three months, and how some restaurants are probably hoping Santa will bring them a new grease interceptor for Christmas.
North County: From Grease Traps to Biogas for Power
September 21th: The Encinas Wastewater Authority and Waste Management of California is looking to close the loop even further by using food waste to power plants that treat wastewater. Currently on the table is an assembly bill (Bill 1826) that would collect and mash up food waste, and then dump it into the waste water feed into the power plants. What’s powering those plants right now? They had a pilot program using the waste from breweries, but the main way they’ve been increasing the biogas (methane used to power the plants) has been the brown grease from grease traps!
Huntsville: The Importance of Grease Trap Security
October 14th: In more tragic news, the death of a 3-year-old toddler shocked the Alabama town of Huntsville when she fell through the lid of an exterior, below-ground grease trap. Sadie Grace Andrews was playing with her siblings in the picnic area behind a local ice cream parlor when she fell into the 6-foot deep grease trap where the lid had apparently been unsecured. She was found 10 minutes later, unresponsive, and was taken to a local hospital where she was unable to be revived. Tragedies like this show the importance of property security on a restaurant’s waste systems, from grease traps to trash compactors.
Saugus: Laying Down the Law
November 15th: Two years ago, the Saugus Board of Health started regulating local restaurants, requiring grease traps (an internal grease trap and an external grease trap) to be installed. This November, the Director of Public Health David Greenbaum started to inspect the local establishments. 70 have been inspected so far, with only about 65% of them having the required grease traps installed both inside and outside the restaurants. Those who fail to get the grease traps installed shortly are looking at fines and could even find their permit to do business. Enforcement will be followed up in the new year.
These three stories deal with the many facets of grease traps: how they help protect the environment and can even be recycled (along with your waste vegetable oil) into fuel; how important it is to secure your exterior grease traps to avoid accidents; and how your city or county has grease trap laws that will be enforced. Food Grease Trappers are experts in the field of grease trap maintenance and waste vegetable oil (WVO) collections for the foodservice industry and we have been doing so for over 20 years. If you need assistance with your grease trap in New England, make sure to contact us.