When grease builds up in pipes, that can lead to clogs which eventually lead to sewer backups. Sewer backups can allow waste into the waterways, and that can lead to health issues for both humans and animals. If you are concerned about public health and the environment, it's important to dispose of cooking oil in your restaurant correctly. Here are some environmentally friendly tips to help you.
1. Respect Local Codes
The Environmental Protection Agency has rules on how you should dispose of unprocessed used cooking oil. Those rules are expressly designed to protect the environment, and you should follow them. In general, you are allowed to recycle or reuse old cooking oils, but grease that gets into your grease trap is classified separately, and it needs to be disposed of by a professional.
You may want to do some investigation to ensure they are not any additional codes in your local area. That way, you can ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to protect the environment in your situation. It's also important to keep records so you can show your compliance.
2. Tie All Sinks to Grease Traps
When you run a restaurant, every pan you rinse or dish you scrape, likely has some grease on that. Because of that, it's essential that all of your sinks drain into pipes that are connected to grease traps. If not, that grease will get into the general pipes and potentially wreak havoc.
3. Do Not Pour Boiling Water Down the Sinks Connected to the Grease Trap
In your kitchen, you may occasionally have a pot of boiling water—for example, after you finish making tea or boiling corn. Do not pour this water down the sinks that are connected to the grease trap. The water will melt the grease that's in the trap.
Then, the liquefied grease will slip out of the trap, but as it travels further down the pipe, it will start to cool and solidify. At that point, it will coat the pipes, leading to a clog. That in turn, leads to the health issues and environmental risks described above.
4. Don't Connect Dishwashers or Garbage Disposals to Drains Leading to the Grease Trap
In that same vein, you want to keep these appliances away from the grease trap. The hot water from the dishwater can melt the grease, which as explained above leads to clogs.
Similarly, the garbage disposal breaks up the food into tiny pieces, and if those pieces contain grease, that can also lead to clogs.
5. Make Sure Trap Is the Right Size
There are multiple sizes of grease traps, and you need to ensure that yours is the right size to handle your needs. If it's too small, it may not be able to trap all the grease you put down the sink. Then, it may overflow and lead to clogging issues.
6. Be Careful About Chemicals
Putting chemicals down the drain allows those chemicals to get into the wastewater system, and that on its own can be hazardous. Additionally, when you put harsh commercial cleaning chemicals down the drain, that can wreck the chemical balance in your grease trap.
7. Hire a Company That Offers Environmentally Friendly Services
Even if you take all the steps above, you should still hire a grease trap cleaning company that is environmentally friendly. For example, the company should use nontoxic cleaners. You may even want to choose a company that recycles the grease and turns it into methane power.
To learn more, contact a grease trap cleaning company. They can answer your questions and set up your service. You can also click here for more information.