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Workshop addresses disposal of fats and oil

The issue of blocked sewer lines prompted the Environmental Health Department to host workshops to educate food handlers on the correct ways to dispose of fats and oil.

THE Environmental Health Department hosted a workshop to educate retailers, restaurants owners and food handlers on the proper waste management of fats, oil and grease (FOG), teaching a change of behaviour, saying the blockages in the sewerage systems do not happen because of ageing infrastructure but because of how the FOG waste is managed.

The Environmental and Pollution Department of the eThekwini Municipality, the Hillcrest Conservancy, MtM, Biochem Products, Adopt-a-River and Hillcrest Shopping Centre tenants were also part of the training workshop.

Also read: Upper Highway conservancies tackle sewage issues

Environmental and Pollution’s Claudia Botha said there had been numerous incidents of sewer blockages and seepage along Old Main Road, near Hillcrest Corner, and complaints from Hillcrest Treatment Works have been that fats, oil and grease have had a great impact on their operation.

Botha pleaded with people to refrain from pouring oil down the drainage system as it blocks sewers and restricts flow.

“Blockages lead to back-ups and reduced capacity in sewer pipes. It also results in impediment of proper operations and stench issues.”

She advised businesses to practise emptying their FOG collection container and cleaning skimming devices occasionally.

To keep the drainage systems free of oil, Botha said all food outlets must install a well-designed and operated fat trap.

“Food outlets should have regular maintenance and cleaning procedures for fat and grease traps in place. Records for all purchased and used/disposed oil should be readily available.

Also read: Organisations partner up to motivate the community to recycle

“In addition, food outlets must ensure proper disposal of used oil and must be accountable for safe disposal.

“Cleaner practices and waste minimisation need to be initiated at food establishments. They should follow waste hierarchy: Reduce, re-use, recycle, recover and treat, then disposal,” she said.

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