greasetrapGrease Trap Waste (GTW)

A grease trap is an engineered tank designed to remove Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) and food based solids and debris from every food service establishment’s waste stream, preventing their entry into sewage collection networks.  The grease trap captures those wastes and contains them until a waste hauler/pumper service can collect and properly dispose of them.

Grease Trap Waste Disposal 

GTW is typically transported to and dumped at receiving stations which are located at a relatively few municipal sewage plants (POTWs), where they must pay an average tipping fee of $0.10/gallon.  A very few companies have land application permits allowing for incorporating the waste into soil. This practice is discouraged for several reasons. Some companies dewater the waste, splitting it into sewered and land filled streams. This is both costly and labor intensive, and used only when other methods are regionally very expensive.

Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) 

Publicly owned treatment works is a term used in the United States for a sewage treatment plant that is owned, and usually operated, by a local government agency.  They are usually designed to treat domestic sewage and not industrial wastewater. There are approximately 16,255 POTWs in the U.S., serving 75 percent of the total population.  The remainder is served by decentralized or private septic systems. Haulers pay tipping fees to these facilities averaging $0.10/gallon. Some haulers split the waste into solids for landfilling and water for sewering but both are expensive and the later is labor intensive.

FOG – Fats, Oils and Greases.

A by-product of food preparation and dishwashing consisting of animal fats (lard), vegetable oils, and cooking grease. This product is commonly labeled “brown grease” in the industry.  The traps that capture FOG are often neglected and therefore allow FOG to pass through into the sewer systems. Three-quarters of the sewage collection infrastructure in the US is so bunged up with brown grease that they work at half capacity, causing 40,000 sewage spills per year.  Local governments already spend  $25 billion a year on grease related issues to keep the sewers flowing, according to Barry Newman, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal in an article published in June 2001. Municipalities are cracking down on grease trap neglect and therefore the need for grease trap waste treatment is rising. FOG contains the same btus as diesel fuel, burns clean, and qualifies as a bio-fuel created from biomass. It substitutes for #6 fuel oil (bunker fuel) and can be used as a poultry-feed additive.

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