Monday, May 11, 2009

Beyond the Corral

Wastewater folks call it FOG: fats, oils, and grease. One of the major causes of sewage blockages, which release pollutants, interrupt service, and are incredibly expensive to clean up, FOG is more even of a concern now than ever, between older infrastructure, increasing demand, and, unfortunately, certain water-conservation methods.

Some municipalities have programs to collect household FOG waste for conversion to biodiesel. Mine... does not. Austin and Houston recommend that residents throw their waste grease and oil in the trash.

Need I say that I'm not pleased by this?

Oddly, despite the municipally sanctioned advice to trash all FOG, the City of Austin does, in fact, accept used oil and cooking grease at one location--and, according to the website , "Oil collected will be reprocessed into biodiesal [sic]or other environmentally-friendly products such as soap."

So, no collection service offered, but if you're sufficiently motivated to add some road miles to your conservation efforts, they'll take care of the rest. Does this seem a bit strange to anyone?

Zero Waste is a long, long way away!

What does this have to do with bokashi? Not a thing, directly. But those grease-soaked paper towels can go in the bucket instead of the trash, and bokashi juice--the microbe-rich effluent produced during fermentation--helps keep drains clear. As for the larger quantities of grease and oil, if you're sufficiently mechanical, you might make your own bio-diesel, or candles, bird-feeding bars, etc. Hey, what about bacon soap? know, assuming your kitchen generates sufficient bacon grease for that.

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