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Talking Point: Could your kitchen FOG boost the circular economy?

Could your kitchen FOG boost the circular economy?

Could your kitchen FOG boost the circular economy?

In today’s Talking Point blog, Michelle Ringland, head of marketing at drainage specialist Lanes Group [1] wonders whether hotels can find a FOG solution that’s also eco friendly.

Restaurant kitchens face continuous drainage problems, so hotels need to be more aware of how they dispose of their fats, oils and greases.

Every year, drainage firms are called to deal with thousands upon thousands of blockages. There are many reasons for these occurring, but the most common cause is when fats, oils and greases (FOGs) are poured down drains. These congeal, solidify and eventually block the pipe - both in drains underneath the premises and along the streets in the sewers.

Sending out companies like ours to deal with drainage and sewer issues caused solely by blockages costs water companies, with bill payers having to cover the extra expense. In the UK, Thames Water alone spends more than £1 million a month.

By virtue of the fact that commercial kitchens deal with such large quantities of oils and fats, it’s particularly crucial that hotel catering staff know exactly what to do with the waste product. But today there’s an eco-friendly solution that even helps hotels play a part in a more circular, sustainable economy.

Concerned that kitchen staff often lack the knowledge of how to deal with FOGs properly, we asked 60 drainage engineers, from a mixture of Lanes Group and other firms, about their experiences of dealing with the hospitality sector.

Almost all of them (94%) told us they’ve been called out to clear blockages caused by FOGs. Half said that they deal with issues in restaurants several times a week, while 70% said that staff members’ lack of knowledge was the biggest issue.

The cost of callouts is not the only issue, though. Businesses in Scotland also face the possibility of fines up to £10,000, under the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2016. This puts a ban on disposing of food waste to the public sewer, and has been in force since January 1st 2016.

Below is our key advice to avoid having to spend quite so much on drainage callouts:

Don’t forget, it’s not just fats, oils and greases that can block drains. Solid food is also found to be a common culprit, so make sure every sink has a strainer. If you have floor drains, remember to never brush excess food down them - it all ends up in the same place after all!

Lanes Group is a national drainage specialist. For more advice and information visit http://www.lanesfordrains.co.uk/ [1].