This article will cover cafeteria grease trap reduction. Cafeterias always bring back nostalgia. When graduates or retired businessmen revisit their school or office cafeterias, they simply smile and stay a while, hoping that they could taste even one dish that was made during their time. And when they discover new menus, they can’t help but be impressed at how their cafeterias have adapted to the changing times. Cafeterias are meant to satisfy the hunger of those who have little time to spend on thinking about what they should eat. Every possible food item is in cafeterias. But despite of the benefits that cafeterias have, these institutions are deemed as major contributors to the existing FOG (fats, oils, grease) crisis. More menus developed means more ingredients bought and more FOG produced.
The excessive FOG production in cafeterias just can’t be helped because of so much demand for fresh, warm food in schools and offices. The demand is even higher now because of the increased awareness of nutritious, well-balanced meals to prevent obesity that leads to conditions like heart diseases and diabetes. To prevent worsening in FOG overflow from cafeterias, the government created the grease ordinance that schools and offices should follow. According to the ordinance, grease traps should be installed in school and office premises so that grease could be taken care of. The traps or grease interceptors should have permits and should be regularly inspected. A stable maintenance schedule should also be set for them.
In normal conditions, the grease trap slows down the flow rate of the FOG-filled wastewater. The slow flow rate plus the distance enables the FOG to cool down, solidify, and float on top of the effluent. The heavy solid wastes sink to the bottom of the trap. The effluent is then considered pre-treated before it flows through the sewer pipes that lead to the wastewater treatment facility. But because of FOG overflow, the effluent gets an excessive amount of FOG. Eventually, the FOG solidifies in the sewer pipes and sticks to the pipe walls, blocking the normal flow of the wastewater. This results to the dreaded wastewater backup that contaminates the schools, offices, and the surrounding environment. Health and sanitation issues spring up. This is the basic reason for cafeteria grease trap reduction.
Cafeteria grease trap reduction could be started in the kitchens with the help of the staff who work there. They could manually scrape off and collect the solid wastes and FOG and place them in a receptacle that can be sealed up and be disposed of together with the regular trash. The drains could then be fitted with meshes or filters so that the grease and solid materials could be caught before they even enter the grease trap. This can significantly reduce the amount of FOG in the trap.
There are additives containing chemicals and enzymes that promise great improvement in the FOG situation. Upon application of these additives, an instant meltdown of the FOG occurs, making schools and offices believe that they really are effective in getting rid of the FOG. But when the melted FOG mixes with the wastewater and enters the pipelines, the FOG cools down, solidifies, and then sticks to the walls of the pipes. It’s pretty much the same thing that happens when there is excessive FOG. Instead of helping the situation, chemicals and enzymes only make things more difficult to resolve.
When it comes to cafeteria grease trap reduction, bacteria are the greatest helpers that could possibly take action. Bacteria may be primitive, with only feeding and reproduction as their goals, but they are very efficient in getting rid of the FOG. They really consume the contaminants, leaving the grease trap odor-free. They don’t even have chemicals to pollute the surrounding environment.
A selected strain of bacteria is used in the process of bio-augmentation while non-pathogenic bacteria are used by bioremediation in consuming the FOG and solid wastes. Truly bacteria are the only ones that are reliable in helping resolve the FOG crisis.