Corral the Grease and Multifamily Cooking Oil Collection & Recycling Program
By: Sidney Phillips, HAA Intern
It may be surprising to learn that
common kitchen items, such as cooking oil, butter, meat and even salad dressing
can wreak extensive financial and environmental damage on our communities.
Commonly used cooking items including fats, oils and grease
(FOG) are the elusive culprits of clogged pipes, sewage spills and other
harmful environmental issues, and they pose a serious threat to the City of
Houston. When FOG is dumped down kitchen sinks these items solidify forming
large greasy globs that block the free flow of wastewater to treatment plants,
and eventually cause waste to seep out of pipes. Raw sewage then spills into streets, homes, apartments and neighborhoods,
ultimately polluting our City’s bayous and Galveston Bay.
FOG buildup most commonly occurs in
densely populated areas where there is frequent food handling. While commercial establishments, such
as restaurants, cafeterias and public kitchens, are required by City ordinance
to use periodically cleaned grease traps, residents of apartment communities,
where the problem is especially rampant, are not.
The consequences of FOG buildup in
multifamily communities damage apartment properties and the local sewage
system. As the cleanup of sewage
leaks and clogged pipes due to FOG can be incredibly expensive, both apartment owners
and Houston face a heavy financial burden. Therefore, it is extremely important apartment owners and
managers educate their residents on proper ways to dispose of FOG.
Through the Corral the Grease program, apartment owners can provide universally-fitted, sealed lids for residents to safely dispose of their FOG. The lids are provided free of charge to apartment communities and residents by the City of Houston. Enhanced Biofuels, a partner of Corral the Grease, will even provide disposal bins for your property so residents can walk their FOG containers down when they take their trash or recycling out. Contact Bill Goloby with Corral the Grease Program, City of Houston Wastewater Operations at 832-395-4964 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Apartment managers and owners interested in partnership opportunities for the Multifamily Cooking Oil Collection and Recycling Program can contact Fabian Wolff with Enhanced Biofuels at 713-540-8459 or email@example.com.
The City of Houston Corral the Grease Program also provides free of charge children's educational coloring books and refrigerator magnets which are very popular with the residents at Woodway Square Apartments.
Residents can prevent FOG blockages by following these
Throw food scraps from meats,
dairy products or sauces in the trash. Avoid using the garbage disposal.
Collect oil and grease in covered
containers (i.e. cans or glass jars) and properly dispose of them.
Never pour fats, oils or grease
down the drain or garbage disposal.
For more information, visit https://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/pud/corral_grease.html