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Dubai lays down tougher rules for grease disposal by eateries

Sajila Saseendran / 6 December 2011

DUBAI - With nearly one-third of grease from city restaurants getting dumped illegally, the Dubai Municipality has issued new regulations for eateries and cooking oil waste collection companies in Dubai.

Grease trap cleaning companies have to install high-tech GPS tracking devices to locate and monitor their tankers and staff before they renew their permits next year. These companies and eateries should also use custom-made coupons that will help tally records of collection of grease from eateries and its disposal at the only recycling plant approved by the civic body, the Municipality said on Monday.

It also warned that companies failing in adhering to the new regulations will lose their licenses and hefty fines will be imposed on restaurants dumping grease in garbage bins and sewage lines and those trading with unauthorised cleaning companies.

According to officials from the Municipality and Al Serkal Envirol Grease Trap Waste Recycling Plant, eateries in Dubai produce nearly 30,000 gallons of grease per day.  However, the plant in Al Aweer receives less than 10,000gallons of grease only. Officials said the remaining grease collected from the grease traps in various eateries is being dumped in sewage networks, deserts or in other emirates.

Twenty-three companies have been approved for cleaning grease traps in eateries and transporting it to the plant. However, Faisal Ahmed Al Hammadi, head of the Administration and Technical Support Office at the Drainage and Irrigation Department, said almost half of them have violated the municipal rules regarding disposal of grease and many have been fined.

Director of the department Talib Abdul Kareem Julfar said most of the companies in the market were mixing grease with sewage water as fees for treating sewage is much cheaper than that for recycling restaurant grease. “If you have to pay just Dh20 for treating 10,000 gallons of sewage, recycling that much of grease would cost you Dh5,000 as it is a difficult and costly procedure. Companies don’t want to pay that much money.”

As a result, Julfar said, a lot of grease accumulates in the sewage lines and in the inlet building of the Municipality’s sewage treatment plant.  “Our network, pumping station and sewer lines get blocked frequently because of grease. It becomes like cement and we have to hammer it and remove it physically.”

Elham Pourtangestani, Plant Manager with Al Serkal Envirol, noted that fat, oil and grease from eateries can cause blocks in sewer lines sending sewage into homes or restaurants and that is an open invitation for disease and illnesses.

She said the plant will distribute booklets of Envirol coupons free of cost to cleaning companies while the municipality said it will allow companies that have already installed GPS devices to integrate their system with the centralised server provided by a company assigned for recording the operations of the trucks. The GPS solutions offered by this company record the locations, routes, and landmarks visited by cleaning trucks and view vehicle information on electronic maps via the internet, apart from identifying their drivers and monitoring their speed.


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