In my Cro-Magnon mind,
it seems that restaurant oil and grease in the
sewers is BAD
and restaurant oil and grease down the garbage
disposals is BAD (though perhaps less so)
and using disposable foodware is BAD
I suspect Sharon is saying: can't we avoid all
Can't we reduce our impacts on land, water and air
(all at the same time)?
However, what I also heard in Sharon's question was
a question I have:
Are there compelling lifecycle studies that compare
the overall environmental impacts of washing dishes with using disposable
again, using my grunt logic:
it seems that the overall impacts of disposables is
way higher than reusables because
water use/pollution occurs at
the extraction/manufacturing stages
water use/pollution occurs at
the use stage
so I'm calling that, at worst, a
however, disposables have the additional
liabilities of many more materials consumed and pollution created per single
plus the additional landfill impacts
I know there are details, assumptions, and
exceptions ad naseum.
I have also seen the conflicting (and misleading)
studies done for disposable vs. cloth diapers (which are, of course, a similar
analysis but not exactly the same).
but has anyone found any "definative studies" from
that might help me determine if this
crude logic holds up under scrutiny?
Van Calvez, MSE, CPE
730 Ericksen Avenue, Suite 114
phone: (206) 855-9271
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2002 7:59
Subject: [GreenYes] restaurant oil and
The Long Beach Water Department has produced a brochure for restaurant
owners about BMPs for keeping fats, oils, and grease out of the sewers.
Unfortunately, one of their recommendations is that restaurants use
disposable paper products instead of washable dishware. I would like to
recommend a change to their brochure, but wonder if this issue of "waste water
vs. solid waste" has been addressed somewhere else. It seems that most
agencies are either waste water or solid waste, and very few deal with both.
I tried contacting the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (who
do handle both solid waste and waste water) and the gentleman with whom I
spoke didn't seem to understand why recommending disposables would be a
problem. His attitude seemed to be that since there was landfill space,
better to send stuff to the landfill than put it into the sewer. The
gentleman e-mailed me factsheets that th! e Sanitation Districts send out, and
they go even further with disposables. The Sanitation Districts
recommend the use of paper towels so that grease doesn't get into the sewers
from washing machine wastewater! It doesn't require much imagination to
take this to its logical conclusion -- single-use everything (clothing,
equipment, cars, buildings...), throw it all away. Come to think of it,
that's not a far stretch for what we already have :-(.
My instinct is to recommend that the Water Dept. just
remove any reference to disposables. It seems to me that following
the other oil and grease BMPs would keep grease out of the sewer without
adding to the solid waste stream. Have other agencies addressed
restaurant oil/grease while also incorporating an understanding of solid waste
reduction? I would like to be able to put my recommendation(s) in terms
to which the Water Department will be receptive.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Long Beach, California