Ambitious National Containment Campaign Starts Collecting
TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2017 /CNW/ - Many Canadians don't give it a second thought - They carelessly dispose of fat, oil and grease (FOG) by pouring it down kitchen sinks and toilets across the nation. It may seem innocent, but FOG flushers are forming fatbergs in their local wastewater systems and costing Canadian taxpayers thousands in clean-up costs.
A free, safe and convenient cup to foil fatbergs
Until now, Canadians did not have an easy way to get rid of fat oil and grease from cooking. Enter the Your Turn FOG collection cup, an easy solution to capture offending FOG and divert it from the local water system. Cups are available from participating wastewater utilities that order from the Your Turn website and distribute cups to their customers. Environmentally minded Canadians simply allow FOG from cooking to cool, pour it into a Your Turn cup and refrigerate until full. The final step is to dispose of the compostable cup through the appropriate collection service in their municipality.
Your Turn encourages Canadians to contact their local wastewater utilities and ask them to sign up for the program. Cups are not available for individual consumer purchase.
A bold approach to fight fatbergs
The City of London, Ontario took a bold step by providing residents with free environmentally-friendly containers to collect FOG from cooking. The Your Turn collection cups are designed to be disposed of through a regular waste system or taken to one of the city's four environmental depots.
"People want to do the right thing but it also has to be convenient," said Barry Orr, Sewer Outreach and Control Inspector for The City of London, Ontario. "There's no excuse to use your kitchen sink as a garbage can with or without a collection cup. Canadians can easily keep FOG out of the water system."
Containment cups rolling out across Canada
Based on the success of the Your Turn program, the City of London and FluksAqua, a free water and wastewater utility forum, have teamed up to offer the FOG collection cups to municipalities across Canada and the United States. Your Turn has generated interest as far away as Australia and Japan.
Ontario cities like Sarnia, Windsor, Sudbury, Oxford county, Middlesex Centre and Central Elgin are already on board. Your Turn has spoken to municipalities in Alberta, BC and New Brunswick about joining the program as well.
"Water professionals regularly discuss their frustration at the expense, environmental damage and safety issues of maintenance personnel caused by fatbergs on our forum," said Dr. Hubert Colas, President Americas, FluksAqua. "With easy access to Your Turn cups through our campaign, we're hoping municipal water professionals will sign up to bring cups to their communities and residents will use the Your Turn cups to keep FOG out of the water system."
Municipalities, and water professionals can sign up for the Your Turn program by visiting www.getyourfogcup.com. Your Turn charges a nominal cost for production of the collection cups but encourages free distribution of the containers to consumers.
The real cost of FOG in Canadian water systems:
The City of London, Ontario services 381,000 citizens and previously paid an average of $600,000 a year to flush out and prevent blockages in the system caused by "fatbergs." Fatbergs are caused when fat, oil and grease attach to other disposables such as baby wipes and form giant masses of waste that block pipes and restrict water flow.
As a result of London's Your Turn FOG collection cup campaign, the city has been fatberg blockage free for over three years. Since the program began in 2013, 100,000 cups have been distributed. From a financial standpoint, Orr says that the city has saved more than $100,000 a year on the drain diversion program.
What's your fatberg factor?
Canadians may wrongly believe that flushing a half cup of grease from frying bacon or oil from a turkey dinner down the drain doesn't have a big impact on their local water system. That is simply not the case according to Dr. Hubert Colas:
"A cup of fat oil or grease probably doesn't seem like a lot of liquid to flush into the system," added Colas. "Consider that all of your neighbours may be doing the same thing and so the cups going down the drain add up. The total accumulation can clog water infrastructure and pipes in your home, potentially costing residents hundreds to unblock and costing water utility services thousands of taxpayers dollars to do the same."
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FluksAqua – a free, practical and moderated Q&A forum designed for operators of drinking water distribution, water and wastewater treatment plants. Fluksaqua is the first online community created by a dedicated group of water and wastewater professionals to facilitate a constant and interactive flow of information between operators and professionals. The forum discusses issues of operations, maintenance and asset optimization.
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