In recent news, a number of top scientists from around the world have concluded that unwanted food being dumped into landfill sites is causing mass releases of greenhouse gasses, including methane and carbon dioxide. This has prompted the Environmental Agency (EA) and Manchester University to initiate a study which involves an unmanned drone, attached with sensors “being flown above Britain’s 200 landfill sites to study a major source of UK emissions.” The relatively new experiment has brought in some shocking figures; with some experts that are working on the case estimating that leftover food that is being dumped produces 21 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses each year, in the UK.
There are a number of issues that need to be addressed in this situation, beginning with ‘why is so much food being wasted’, ‘is there any way we can use the energy being produced’ and if not, can we reduce it?’
You only need to be a restaurant owner with a grease trap installed to be able to see how much food is wasted on a day to day basis, as they are manually emptied of the food waste at the end of each day. It is likely that if the price of food is increased, customers may think twice before over-purchasing or throwing out food. A number of questions have been asked if the gas being released can be harvested and used to produce energy. Viridor, a waste firm, has begun using some of the waste to power turbines via anaerobic digesters that trap methane and incinerators that use the waste as a source of fuel. It is here that we can see the use of grease traps that trap food can be a useful tool to coordinate the harvesting of energy.
If in the future, the practice of harvesting methane from waste food is aborted for one reason or another, grease traps can still be used for many other purposes, including; protecting your drains against fats, oils and grease (FOG) that lead to blockages and flooding, increasing the hygiene rating of a kitchen, allowing the kitchen to be exempt from municipal fines and reducing unpleasant odors within kitchens via the introduction of increased kitchen automation. This is just some of the many benefits of installing an automatic grease trap within a kitchen.
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