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Bangor Joins Portland in Battle Against Grease

Stop throwing that old bacon grease down the drain…mmmm…bacon.

Grease, fat and oil are costing the city lots of cash, and it could be prevented. In April Portland officials launched an effort to curb the costly damage and maintenance that grease clogs cause in the city. Portland spent about $60,000 cleaning out 70 tons of grease from the sewer system last year.

Bangor is following in Portland’s steps as the city is sending out letters to area restaurants about their grease collection systems…or lack of. Most Bangor restaurants are in compliance. However, for small family businesses the $5,000 to $15,000 grease collection systems can be far to costly.

Grease collection systems are required by city code. To help more restaurants become compliant, the city is helping cover the costs. It’s starting a grant program to pay for up to $5,000 of the installation of a grease trap. The grants will be paid for through wastewater connection fees.

Restaurants aren’t the only ones who need to watch what goes down the drain. Residents are being asked to be thoughtful of how they discard grease. Rather than dumping it in the sink, scrape grease off into a trashcan or container.

When grease clogs in a sewer line, four man crews have to send a machine that shoots a high powered water jet to free up the jam. It’s a regular and costly occurrence. The Bangor Wastewater Treatment Plant collects 58 tons of grease every year. All that grease would otherwise end up in the Penobscot river.

It will cost Bangor $15,000 this year to keep the city’s 160 miles of sewage lines grease free.

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