TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!
On Saturday, September 27th the Spirit of Athens is planning to host the largest toga party on the planet in an effort to break the current Guinness World Record. You do not want to miss this, so mark your calendars!
To those of us at KALB, TOGA has a different meaning. While eating all those wonderful Oreos, Nutter Butters, and any number of foods are being deep fried, we will be thinking about what will happen to all that grease when the festival is over. We might be shouting TOGA at the KALB tent, but we’ll be thinking:
G rease clogs in
KALB staff will be present to ensure that all disposed grease is recycled. It may sound like a big job since it IS a GREASE festival; however, the more important task at hand is encouraging residents to recycle the fats, oils, and grease that are found in every kitchen year around.
Fats, oils, and grease, otherwise known as FOG in the world of wastewater, are found in foods such as cooking oil, shortening, meats, butter, sauces, and dairy products. When these FOGs are allowed to go down the drain, they cool and stick to the walls of the sewer pipes. As more and more FOGs congeal and stick, they also attract other materials that wash down the drain and cause clogs, which restrict the flow of water through the sewer pipes. This can cause sewers to back up into homes and businesses.
When these clogs happen on a homeowner’s or business owner’s side of the line, it can be very costly to them. When the clogs build up on the city’s side of the line, it costs everyone in higher sewer bills.
In 2012, the Athens Wastewater Department developed the FOG Collection Program in an effort to keep these destructive fats out of the sewer lines. Resident of Athens and Limestone County can pick up a collection bottle free of charge from cages located at the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center, the KALB office, the Utilities Building and a select number of apartment complexes. When the containers are full, they can be placed on the bottom shelf in any of the cages and another one taken.
KALB has been working with the Athens Wastewater Department since the program’s inception to help educate the public about the dangers of improper disposal of fats, oils, and grease. All filled FOG containers are sent to our recycling center for handling. The fats, oils, and grease are then sold to a Limestone County farmer who turns it into biodiesel fuel for his farm equipment.
Since the program began in 2012, close to 1,500 gallons of FOG have been processed through our recycling center. That is a huge increase over the years before the FOG Collection Program was introduced. However, there is so much more that is not being captured. Having too much to recycle will never be a problem! Several local farmers have told us they are ready to purchase the fats, oils, and grease when we have enough to go around!
Stop in at the KALB office on East Street or the Recycling Center on Lucas Ferry Road to learn more about the FOG Collection Program. KALB will be at the Athens Grease Festival with FOG containers available for area residents. Stop by the KALB tent and we’ll be happy to answer any questions.
For more information about the toga party, visit the Athens Grease Festival Facebook page.
By: Lynne Hart