The City of London today announced a new environmental initiative designed to reduce the amounts of fats, oils and greases (FOG) entering our sewer system. The W.I.P.E. program targets restaurant and food service establishments, encouraging best practices when disposing of food wastes.
Statistics show that over 40 percent of sewer main blockages in London are caused by improper disposal of FOG and stem from both commercial and residential origins.
“Putting fats, oils and grease down sinks and drains is one of the main contributors to sanitary sewer backups and basement flooding,” says Barry Orr, Wastewater Operations for the City of London. “We need to be more aware of the impact of our own actions – both on the environment and on our infrastructure.”
Currently, the City of London is spending over $600,000 annually to flush sewers. The W.I.P.E. program aims to have direct impact on this cost by educating and informing restaurants and food service providers on how to properly divert FOG and solid food waste from our sanitary sewers. Components of the educational program include removing food waste prior to dishwashing and the use of grease containment units, known as grease interceptors, to protect the drainage system.
“The City of London is pleased to spearhead this much needed environmental initiative,” says Mayor Joe Fontana. “Sometimes education is all that is needed to change behaviours and outdated practices.”
By committing to the training and best practices outlined in the W.I.P.E. program, restaurants and food service providers can help reduce 90 percent of fats, oils and greases entering our sewer system.
Did you know?
It costs $400 per ton for the City to remove and treat food waste at our Wastewater Treatment Facility that has been disposed of down the drain. The same food waste could be composted for considerably less cost.
A food preparation facility could dispose as much as 1 kg of food waste down the drain a day. With over 2,500 locations in London, this could amount to over 1,000 tons of food waste entering the wastewater treatment facility per year and the treatment cost would amount to over $365,000. By simply using a food strainer to capture food waste the cost savings are substantial.