Foodservice Equipment Reports

Vancouver: Fixing Grease Clogs Is A Budget Drain

City drains and sewers clogged by grease and oil buildup from restaurant fryers are not just an American problem. Our Canadian friends are getting fed up too. The city of Vancouver, B.C., says it spends millions annually on heavy equipment to unclog the hardened grease that backs up in sewers and pipes, so it is reviewing new ways to pay for it. The options include an annual flat rate for treatment costs or a user/polluter pay fee for re-inspection and re-sampling of effluent if restaurants are deemed to not be complying with regulations.

While the city already requires that restaurants install grease traps, the Vancouver Sun reports that only about 10% of the city’s 3,000 restaurants and commercial kitchens comply with the regulations. Non-complying restaurants can be taken to court, but the penalties levied against them aren't worth the high court costs.

Local politicians have long requested giving the sewage district ticketing powers so it can directly fine operators. According to the Sun, such a move is not likely until at least 2014.