"Wipe it, green bin it" campaign pilot launches in Richmond
03 October 2016
Grease – it’s the slippery mainstay of every kitchen and the bane of every sewer system. Metro Vancouver is teaming up with the City of Richmond to educate residents and businesses about how to properly dispose of their kitchen oils and grease. The City of Richmond has some of the region’s most persistent issues with grease build up.
In the kitchen, cooking oil, shortening, butter, lard or meat drippings are meant to stop things from sticking together. But when grease goes down the drain, something entirely different happens – it binds with wipes and other detritus, quickly hardening into congealed, gluey “fatbergs” that ruin plumbing and sewers.
“Many people are unaware that putting grease down the drain can cause big problems, not only for their own plumbing systems but also for our municipal sewers,” said Darrell Mussatto, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Utilities Committee. “Incorrect disposal clogs sewers, causes overflows into the environment and costs us two million dollars annually in repairs.”
An easy way to wipe up grease, oils and fats is with a paper towel and then place it in your green bin. Nearly all homes and food service businesses in Metro Vancouver now have organics recycling programs that accept oil and grease. Large volumes of oil from deep fryers must be collected and taken to specialized recycling depots. Visit Metro Vancouver Recycles to find the nearest location.
“Don’t put kitchen oil down the drain – it can clog your pipes and it is easy to dispose of grease in your green bin,” said Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of Richmond and Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee. “This is a problem throughout the region and the solution is simple.”
The “Wipe it, Green Bin it” grease education pilot campaign will run for eight weeks throughout the City of Richmond prior to a regional launch in 2017. The campaign also features face-to-face outreach at local grocery stores, pot scraper giveaways, and public tours of the Lulu Island Waste Water Treatment Plant. The City of Richmond will measure grease build-up in four areas of Richmond to monitor the results. The campaign will also have a presence in ads on transit, local newspapers and online.
“We’re also working alongside the commercial sector in an effort to encourage restaurants to adopt better grease disposal practices,” added Mussatto. “Commercial kitchens are improving their grease collection, but there is always room for improvement.”
“Our industry association fully supports this educational program and we are pleased to continue collaborating with Metro Vancouver on this issue,” said Ian Tostenson, President and CEO, B.C. Restaurant & Food Service Association.
Commercial kitchens are regulated through a Grease Interceptor Bylaw. Metro Vancouver staff are available to provide assistance in understanding the bylaw and grease interceptor requirements as they relate to specific facilities.
Residents of Metro Vancouver municipalities can find out more about correct grease disposal at www.metrovancouver.org.