Waste not, want not – FM’s role in reducing the fatberg

Last month the House of Lords EU Committee called for urgent action on food waste in Europe highlighting that at least 90 million tonnes of food is wasted across the EU each year. But it’s not just food waste that needs to be addressed, businesses need to help reduce the fatberg.

This morning Rob Kirby, Chef Director, at Lexington was interviewed on BBC Breakfast about the issue.

What is the fatberg?

A fatberg is a congealed lump of fat and other items found in sewer systems, which do not break down like toilet paper.

Huge lumps of oil and grease caused by pouring hot fat down the drain are costing water companies around £79 million a year to tackle.

Why is this a problem for FM?

Facilities Management professionals need to make sure that they look for ways to reduce the fatberg.

With cooking oil being such a contributing factor it’s important to make sure that their kitchen not only look for ways to reduce food waste but also at other areas contributing to waste, like how they dispose of fats.

What can FM do to reduce the fatberg?

There are many ways FM can work with their suppliers or partners to help reduce the fatberg.

When it comes to catering there are some simple changes that can be made, like baking/grilling as opposed to frying in order to reduce fats and straining oil and using it again.

There are also more innovative ways to reduces our impact in the kitchen - modern technology now enables us to suck oil out of fryer-filters and then return clean oil, which can be used up to five times.

Whether changes are being made in the kitchen or elsewhere, training and education is essential - you can have the best policies in place but they are useless if staff do not understand why they are in place.

At Lexington we train staff so that they understand the why first and then teach them the how.

Facilities Management professionals have a huge role to play in managing waste and shrinking the fatberg needs to be part of this.

Do the right thing – bust the fat.

Find out more about Lexington by viewing their company profile, here.

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