City converts grease to energy
A Dallas Water Utilities program is creating energy from used grease and cooking oils through a citywide recycling effort.
Cease the Grease started as part of Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) initiative agreement with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to reduce grease related sanitary sewer overflows. The program began in April 2005 on a limited basis and expanded in June 2007 to a more comprehensive program.
“The ultimate goal is to change Dallas residents’ behaviors from improper disposal of used fats, oils and grease to positive behavior by recycling used FOG for beneficial reuse,” said Morgan Dadgostar, Senior Program Manager for Pretreatment & Laboratory Services at Dallas Water Utilities.
Cease the Grease outreach recycling efforts have resulted in establishing 26 used cooking oil collection locations around the City of Dallas where citizens can leave their recycled oils to be converted to energy. The Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) are taken from recycling locations to a treatment plant where they are used to produce methane. The retention time to produce methane from the digesters averages just 20 days.
The program not only produces energy but also plays an essential role in helping decrease sewer maintenance costs and potential damages.
“The average cost to clean up SSO is $600 to $1500,” said Dadgostar. “The SSOs can cause property damage, malodorous conditions, environmental problems, and contribute to the pollution of clean water supplies and result in regulatory fines and violations.”
For more information on the program or to find a recycling station, visit http://www.ceasethegrease.org.