Los Angeles Fats, Oils & Grease (FOG) Control Program

The Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation has the dirtiest of dirty jobs: maintaining 6,600 miles of sewer lines in America’s second largest city. Fats, oils and grease (FOG) that are washed down kitchen drains by restaurants and fast food establishments can build up in sewer pipes and restrict flow, causing major problems like sewage overflows. In 2004, the City of Los Angeles introduced a ten-year plan for improving their existing sewer system and operations, including a FOG Control Program. Currently in its tenth year, this program has resulted in a 94% reduction in FOG related sewer overflows. Read more
The Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno, Nevada is the first and only resort in the United States to heat their entire facility with on-site geothermal wells, saving $2.2 million dollars per year in natural gas expenses and reducing annual carbon emissions by 12,000 metric tons. The success of the Peppermill’s geothermal operation drew attention to a multitude of other opportunities for saving money through energy efficiency projects. Guests can now find green projects all over the hotel, including greywater recycling, artificial grass turf lawns, LED lighting, soap and shampoo recycling, electric vehicles, cardboard recycling, food waste recycling and more. Read more
In 2003, the City of Los Angeles took action against pollution by targeting the nation’s largest single source of mercury in wastewater: Dental offices. Dental amalgam, a mercury-based product used to fill cavities, can make its way into waterways and harm wildlife when not disposed of properly. The City of Los Angeles partnered with the California Dental Association to create and implement a mercury pollution prevention program. As a result, between 2002 and 2013, mercury contamination dropped 33 percent, and continues to decline. Read more
America's Best Coffee Roasting Company, located in Oakland, CA, has taken steps to reduce waste by shipping coffee in bulk. By shipping in bulk, ABC Roasting Company eliminates the need for approximately 1,000 plastic bags per week. Other benefits of shipping in bulk include labor savings for the company and customer in time spent packaging and unpacking coffee. In 2014, ABC Roasting Company received the StopWaste Business Efficiency Award for Waste Reduction Excellence in Food Processing. Read more
Bently Biofuels Company in Minden, Nevada collects used cooking oil from restaurants and turns it into biodiesel – a renewable, domestically produced, environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum diesel fuel. Carbon emissions released from biodiesel are 78 to 85 percent lower than emissions from petroleum fuels. If used in place of petroleum diesel, Bently’s 2012 production of biodiesel would offset 9.6 million pounds of CO2 emissions – the equivalent of taking 820 cars off the road for one year. In addition to preventing waste and lowering CO2 emissions, Bently is able to compost almost all of the waste products from the biodiesel plant, and use the composted leftovers to fertilize farm fields. Read more
At the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City, Nevada, inmates care for a herd of 1,500 Mustangs that have been removed from overpopulated public lands by the Bureau of Land Management. To deal with the large quantity of waste (manure) produced by these horses, the NNCC teamed with a local composting business called Full Circle Compost. Manure is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, which can act as pollutants if they reach waterways as surface runoff or by leaching into groundwater. Together, the NNCC and Full Circle Compost process 3,700 cubic yards of horse and cow manure per year into high quality garden soil, preventing pollution and providing a community model for effective collaboration in sharing resources. Read more