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Portland cracks down on grease in wastewater

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Bureau of Environmental Services is implementing a Cut Through the FOG program to reduce fats, oil and grease from Portland's wastewater.

In 2011, the City of Portland spent $12.1 million to clear clogged sewer lines and remove fats, oil and grease from wastewater during treatment. For the last 20 years, according to the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), that check has been picked up by 72 of Portland’s largest industrial businesses, like Costco, Kraft Foods, Portland French Bakery, and Widmer Brothers Brewing.

But this year, the city is assessing approximately 3,500 food establishments, many of which are independently owned, that are also responsible for discharging a share of those fats, oils and greases (FOG) into our sewers.

The program aims to reduce FOG discharge by providing restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, hotels, and breweries with incentives that will not only decrease that discharge, but will keep those businesses' sewer rates from rising too dramatically.

Read more at Neighborhood Notes.

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