The City of Southlake’s Public Works Department was named a Texas Environmental Excellence Award finalist by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
The City was recognized for its F.O.G. (Fats, Oils, and Grease) Team’s efforts to work with restaurants, daycares, and hotels to reduce oil and grease that enters the sewer system. The F.O.G. team has also conducted outreach to residents looking to recycle their used cooking oil over the holidays.
The City was one of the first in the DFW Metroplex to initiate a comprehensive program that includes employees from different divisions of the Southlake Public Works Department.
“We asked this team to bring their collective knowledge and skills for better problem solving and better results, said Public Works Director Rob Cohen. “In addition to improving the environment by reducing sanitary sewer overflows, the F.O.G. team’s proactive efforts also provided cost savings of just over $46,000 in 2019.”
“By developing a working relationship with our community members, we have been able to reduce our operating costs. When you look at the environmental and cost benefits, there is no doubt this is a win-win situation for all of us,” says Wastewater Supervisor Jason Arellano.
The City’s F.O.G. program has been in operation since June 2017 and is continuously evolving to perfect all aspects of the program. The many facets that make this program successful include wastewater sampling, grease trap inspections, permitting liquid waste haulers, partnering with the City’s Code Enforcement, and offering a free oil recycling program to residents, among others.
“We’re constantly on the lookout for improvements we can make and new educational opportunities we can provide to business owners and residents. The best part about this program is getting to personalize our interactions with the community to reflect their needs and concerns,” says Environmental Coordinator Ashley Carlisle.
For more information on fats, oils, and grease, please visit the City’s webpage.