By: Holly Hollman
It won’t be long now before we’ll all be celebrating at the Athens Grease Festival! On September 30, throngs of toga-clad guests will take one day to honor everything fried. We’ll be looking for Twinkies, Oreos, Nutter Butters, pies, okra, fish, and anything else that can be battered and dropped into a vat of hot grease!

Come out to enjoy the food, fun, and music. We can eat responsibly the other 364 days of the year.

As you can see, Annie has her toga and crown ready. If you aren’t familiar with Annie, she is my dog and has her own Facebook page – Annie’s Canine Litter Patrol. Annie invites other dogs to encourage their owners to take two bags when they go for walks. One is for, well you know what it’s for. The second bag is for litter the canines sniff out along the way. Annie would love for you and your pooch to become part of her patrol. Just post a photo of you and your dog picking up litter on her Facebook page and you are IN!

So what does the Grease Festival have to do with KALB? Well, we will be there to have a good time just like hundreds of others. We will also be there to share information on the FOG Recycling Program provided by the City of Athens Wastewater Department. We will also ensure that all vendors have a proper way to recycle their used grease.

If you are not familiar with the FOG Recycling Program, here is an explanation. FOG stands for Fats, Oils, and Grease. FOG can originate from vegetable or animal sources, such as dairy products, vegetable oil, olive oil, or fats from cooking meats. Fats, oils and grease poured into the wastewater system (sewers) will cool and become a sticky layer on sewer pipes. The sticky mess then attracts and holds other food particles and debris that flows through the drains causing blockages or clogs. These clogs can then cause overflows. Removing these blockages is very costly, both financially and to the health of the environment.

The Athens Wastewater Department spends tens of thousands of dollars removing these clogs, the cost of which is passed on to the consumer, and we all know who that is! Although we celebrate grease at our annual festival, we don’t want all those little fatty party animals partying in our pipes!

How To Participate
FOG Collection and Recycling containers are available free of charge to Athens and Limestone County residents. Just pick one up from the white FOG cages located at the following locations:

  • Athens-Limestone Recycling Center – 15896 Lucas Ferry Rd.
  • KALB Office – 125 East Street
  • Utility Building – 1806 Wilkinson St.
  • Various apartment complexes in Athens (check with apartment management)

Once the container is full, return it to the bottom shelf of any of the collection cages. It is not required that you use a FOG container to collect your fats, oils, and grease. It can be recycled in any container with a secure lid. The contents will be processed and used in a variety of products.

With the holiday season approaching, we want everyone to be aware of this program and ready for all the fats, oils, and grease created by roasting turkeys, hams, and other delicious holiday foods. Stop and visit with the KALB folks at the Grease Festival to learn more about this program.

Don’t forget your toga!
By: Holly Hollman