A fatberg in New York City caused a major problem for residents in a neighborhood near New York City’s Kennedy Airport. It pushed human waste into approximately 300 homes causing extensive damage and displacing families right after the Thanksgiving holiday. Around the holidays people tend to rinse coking fats, oils and grease down their kitchen sink drain at an alarming rate, which leads to sewer blockages and overflows.
“It [cooking fats, oils and grease] tends to congeal into big masses that slow or stop the flow of sewage, leaving it no place to go but back up the pipes. In some places around the world, the grease balls have become so enormous they’ve been described as ‘fatbergs’.” (Associated Press)
The Financial Costs of Fatbergs
This year New York City started a fatberg campaign and said that “the city spends approximately $18.8 million a year to degrease the sewers, deal with damage caused by sewer backups, and repair plant equipment and transport those items to landfill. As these costs increase, it will also increase water and sewer rates (NYC)”. Meanwhile London, spends $19 to $63 million (£15 and £50 million) annually removing fatbergs from city sewers. Smaller cities are also experiencing the financial burden of fatbergs, Detroit recently cleared a single 100-foot long fatberg found in an 11-foot diameter pipe at a cost of $100,000.
The EPA estimates that 65 percent of all sewer spills are caused by fats, oils and grease.
While cities are paying to deal with fatbergs growing beneath our feet, these costs are pushed on to residents through their water and sewer bills. So, while you may not know it, your wallet is feeling the effects of fatbergs.
Environmental Damage from Fatbergs
While it is relatively easy to calculate the cost of fatberg removal, it is not as easy to calculate the cost of the environmental damage that occurs when sewers overflow. With this most recent flooding in New York City, the cost of damaged homes and personal property is going to be staggering.
The environmental costs of having raw sewage pour into streets and entire neighborhoods is harder to calculate. Sewer overflows cause environmental damage and they put everyone at risk for illnesses.
“Don’t Feed the Fatberg!” Use the Grease Hero
The Grease Hero is designed to be placed into the top of your kitchen drain or on your countertop. You can quickly and easily pour the used cooking fat, oil or grease (FOG) into it, and then promptly dispose of the entire drain guard, instead of rinsing these harmful contaminants down the kitchen sink. Our Grease Hero is made with recyclable materials to absorb the fats, oils and grease and can be thrown out with your regular garbage.
Join Our Mission to save the environment and properly dispose of Fats, Oils, and Grease.