We all and especially the people involved in the food service business are aware of the invaluable contribution of the grease traps in keeping the business environmentally, socially and economically responsible. Grease traps often called as grease interceptors are indispensable components of restaurants, hotels and any other business that is involved in food preparation and service activities.
These small and big food waste intercepting tanks have been around since the 1800s. To define their roles, in brief, the grease traps are plumbing fixtures that collect the common wastewater from kitchens and food preparation units and further separate the solid waste (fats, FOG, oils, grease etc.) from the liquid waste thereby allowing only the liquid waste to release into the drainage system.
We are well aware of the benefits that grease traps offer to food service businesses. But what if these grease traps are not maintained timely or not used at all? Let’s see how even a single grease trap installed by a small-scale food business can save the environment and the community from a host of global issues that urban regions are striving to overcome.
Grease Traps Can Save Energy
According to a 2013 study conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute and Water Research Foundation, the wastewater treatment plants in the US consume about 30 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. A large part of this energy used in wastewater treatment plants goes in pulling out grease from the wastewater. They need to use sophisticated filtration systems and skimmers to remove grease from the top of the water collection basins. Going further, the collected grease needs to be dumped in a landfill or recycling stream which adds additional costs of transportation and environmental implications. Hence, it is important that myriad approaches are adopted to reduce the energy footprint of the wastewater treatment plants.
The best option to reduce costs and save energy is found in implementing grease traps. Big or small, if every commercial kitchen uses and maintains the grease traps diligently, the wastewater treatment plants will not have to hog such huge amount of energy to treat grease.
Grease Traps Can Mitigate The Greenhouse Gas Emissions
If you have a grease trap installed in your commercial kitchen then you should know that you are saving the environment from the harmful release of greenhouse gases. Because if the grease is left untreated, the wastewater plants have to use electricity that eventually releases 30 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Therefore, by preventing FOG from entering the main wastewater stream, the food service businesses can indirectly reduce the release of greenhouse gases from the power plants that supply electricity to wastewater plants.
Grease Traps Can Help Enhance Methane Production
This is one of the lesser known benefits of grease interceptors. They have the potential to enhance recycling of the organic waste into the production of methane gas which can be used to power wastewater treatment plants. A number of treatment plants are creating their own source of energy from the sludge that is left as the residue in the treatment process.
Just as the decomposing food waste in a landfill releases methane, the sludge at the treatment plants can produce methane through anaerobic digestion. And according to a recent discovery made by the scientists, if the FOG is added to the sludge in the digester, it acts as a high-energy food source for bacteria which then produces twice as much as methane. Hence, many pioneering wastewater treatment plants are utilising the benefits of the discovery by building storage tanks on-site to collect FOG that is delivered directly from the local commercial kitchens. All thanks to the grease traps that capture the FOG.
Grease Traps Can Provide Clean Fuel
It is a known fact that used cooking oil or deep fryer oil can be recycled and turned into a biodiesel. But now researchers are focusing on turning the brown grease (FOG) into a biofuel. The amount of water and contaminants present in the brown grease make it harder to recycle though. However, many companies have taken the initiative to work with the food waste haulers to collect, dewater and convert the brown grease into a biofuel.
Considering the fact that how the biodiesel is produced, this can be a greener step towards protecting the environment from the increased consumption of fossil fuels. Unlike the fossil fuels, the biofuel releases fewer greenhouse gases and toxins. Moreover, it does not release long-stored carbon as carbon dioxide when burned.
In the end, it’s again the grease traps that capture the brown grease or FOG for its further use as a clean fuel. Perhaps, we can say that they form the renewable resource in the commercial kitchens. With millions of gallons of grease trapped by the food facilities each year, imagine how much biofuel can be produced.
The ultimate green benefits of grease traps are that it helps in solving many environmental issues that are still a challenge. Substantially, they have the potential to slow down the process of global warming.
Take A Green Step Forward With Grease Guardian
Automatic Grease Traps For Under Sinks – The automatic grease traps are for both small and big-scale food facilities that look for professional maintenance system over a long period of time. These grease traps are made of stainless steel that is robust and durable. The waste from the ovens and kitchen sink can directly enter the grease trap in the inlet that separates the grease from wastewater and discharges into a receptacle. Additionally, you can also opt for grease traps that come with self-cleaning systems. To make these advanced grease traps more effective, the commercial kitchens can go for additional features like sensors and controllers that signal a warning when the tank is about to be full. Even the non-commercial kitchens can use automatic grease traps for a seamless experience.
Grease Traps For Basements – You can get stainless steel grease traps ranging from a capacity of 3.5 litres to 600 litres. These traps for basements are an ideal choice for commercial kitchens. These are quite sophisticated as they come with features like pro-cleaning system, oil-level sensors, motion-sensors, audio alarms and much more.
You also have options to choose from the stainless steel manual grease traps that are relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain. It is important that you choose the option that synchronises well with your commercial kitchen. It is even more important that you do install a grease trap in your food facility. It acts as a selling point and adds value to your business.
Should you need any assistance in opting for the right grease trap for your facility, Grease Guardian is here to help you with the need.