Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
September 23, 2008

Economic Report:
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Blue Chip Economists Lower Growth Forecasts Again
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In This Section:
Richmond, Va., Puts Squeeze On Water Use
More Towns Legislate Their Way Out Of FOG
L.A. Jumps On Calorie-Counting Bandwagon
And San Jose Borrows Page From L.A. In Obesity War
Toronto Considers Ban on Bags, Cups, Containers

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Manitowoc Foodservice Group 
Industry Report Sponsor: Server Products
Regulatory Report Enodis

Richmond, Va., Puts Squeeze On Water Use
Richmond, Va., and the surrounding counties in late August implemented mandatory water conservation measures that affect both businesses and residents.

The city and nearby counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and Goochland are asking businesses and residents not to hose down driveways or parking lots and not to use ornamental fountains. Car-washing, too, is restricted to no more than once a week, and only with a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle.

There are also restrictions on watering lawns and landscaping, which you'd expect, but scheduled days on which you can water depend on your address. Even-numbered addresses can water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; odd-numbered properties can water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. No one can water on Mondays.

For commercial customers, the city will issue warnings for first violations, and fines for subsequent violations ranging from $100 to $200. To promote conservation, the city also plans a surcharge for excessive water use. Customers who use more than 140% of their winter water usage (water consumed in December, January, and February) will pay a higher rate. For example, if your average monthly usage is 8 hundred cubic feet, or 8 ccf, and you use 20 ccf, you'll be charged a higher rate for everything over 11 ccf (8 ccf x 140%). The premium during mandatory conservation is 100%.


Section sponsored by Enodis

More Towns Legislate Their Way Out Of FOG
Like the Energizer Bunny, this topic just keeps going and going. Now Coweta County, Ga.—the southwestern portion of Atlanta's metro area—and Fort Oglethorpe, Tenn., have joined the list of jurisdictions regulating what you put down your drain.

The Coweta County Water and Sewer Authority established a new policy that calls for quarterly inspections of grease traps and a $100 yearly fee for commercial establishments that use them. The policy was recently drafted as an ordinance and sent to the county commissioners for approval.

City council members in Fort Oglethorpe gave a FOG ordinance there a second reading in early September, and they've already sent a notice out to restaurants alerting them to expected changes. Restaurant grease traps now will be inspected every three months, and owners must keep documentation of routine cleanings.

Section sponsored by Enodis

L.A. Jumps On Calorie-Counting Bandwagon
Add Los Angeles proper to the list of places in California that don't want to wait for Governor Schwarzenegger's decision on a statewide menu-labeling law. At the city's Sept. 10 meeting, the L.A. city council called on the city attorney's office to draft an ordinance requiring chains to post calorie counts on their menus.

L.A. County just a few weeks ago passed an ordinance that requires chains in unincorporated areas to post calories and other nutrition info on menus and menu boards.

The city ordinance would be more similar to the county ordinance than it is to SB 1420, which recently passed in the state assembly and landed on the governor's desk. The statewide bill affects chains with 20 or more stores nationwide. The county and proposed city ordinances would affect chains with 15 or more stores in the state.

Section sponsored by Enodis

And San Jose Borrows Page From L.A. In Obesity War
San Jose, Calif., apparently thinks Los Angeles' neighborhood fast-food moratorium is a good idea. Three San Jose city council members proposed a one-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in the city, and an indefinite moratorium on new fast-food stores within 1,000 ft. of a school.

Originally floated by councilwoman Nora Campos, the concept was temporarily sidelined in August when Campos had her first baby a month early. But with the backing of two other council members, she introduced the idea at a September council meeting.

The city's mayor, Chuck Reed, now chairs a committee to decide whether the idea merits the city's time to draft and debate an ordinance. Reed is against the proposal, saying it's not "the way to solve our obesity problem." He warns it will be tough for the city attorney to come up with an acceptable legal definition of "fast-food."

Section sponsored by Enodis

Toronto Considers Ban on Bags, Cups, Containers
As part of an effort to be Canada's greenest city, Toronto is taking a look at ways to keep more trash out of landfills, including a possible ban on paper coffee cups, fast-food containers and plastic bags, according to Canadian news sources.

Several years ago, the city announced plans to divert 70% of its solid waste away from landfills by 2010. Recycling programs and consumer education have helped get Toronto well on its way toward that goal, now diverting about 42% of its trash.

As possible alternatives to the proposals banning paper cups, fast food containers and plastic bags, the city also is looking at a possible tax on those items to encourage consumers to use their own cups and bags and a deposit that consumers would get back if they return cups and containers to sellers, making them responsible for recycling.

Ironically, consumers now can recycle paper cups at home in "green bins" provided by the city as part of their garbage service.

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