Canada’s Scarborough Town Centre (STC) might soon be fattening up its coffers if the grease recovery pilot project that it is running in its food court gains momentum.
STC launched the initiative at Grill It Up back in March 2009, replacing the eatery’s conventional grease trap with a Goslyn grease recovery device (GRD) as means of reducing the amount of oil and grease pollutants being dumped into the municipal sanitary system. Suddenly, the residues could be extracted from the sludge that Grill It Up produced and then recycled or renewed into usable products like biodiesel and animal feed. Since then, seven more tenants have come on board, including giants McDonalds and NYF. They can now capture 99 percent of the sludge from their operations right at the source; a marked improvement from the 60 percent they were able to recoup with their old grease traps.
The tenants collect their used oil and grease individually, but the center is working on a plan to provide a common collection bin so that the residues can be picked up. STC is in discussions with Goslyn to bring on board Wardlaw’s Poultry Farm, a contractor that could eventually supply a bin and collection service. It would likely pay between 12 and 14 cents for each liter, depending on the volume of oil and grease collected, and STC said a business could recoup its investment in 18 to 24 months.
STC promotes its pilot program using signage, promotional material, social media and sustainability press releases. The word is starting to spread.
“STC is the pioneer of this system and is the first to introduce this [to the retail marketplace],” noted operations manager Steven Minielly.
“Since then, it has been adopted by many other Oxford Properties centers. For the first unit that was installed at Grill It Up, the operations department offered to pay half the cost ($2400), so that STC could get the system in and then introduce it to other food court tenants. This system also generated several phone inquiries and visits from [representatives] of other properties and national programs to see how the unit worked. It is now mandatory for food court tenants to have the unit installed when they complete a renovation or when their grease traps need to be replaced.”
The grease recovery system has helped to enhance STC’s overall sustainability program, which has enjoyed some notoriety. The center has received coverage from publications such as Monday Report on Retailers and Building Strategies & Sustainability. Award magazine will also be running a piece on STC’s green endeavors in its October edition.