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grease recovery unit

  • Would You Pay £2600 to Save £8k?


    Grease traps can seem pricey. And that price-tag can push some into buying cheaper, less-durable traps or even opting to take the risk and not have one at all.

    But choosing to cheap-out or putting off installing a GRU entirely is a bad idea for any food business.

    Here’s why being cautious about FOG production makes good financial sense.

    First, the basics:

    The FOG problem

    Fats, oils and grease (FOGs) left over on plates and utensils is washed down our drains as we wash up. Those FOGs find their way into the sewers where they solidify and, over time, form fatbergs.

    Dirty plate with knife and fork

    When those fatbergs are discovered by water company workers, an investigation begins which traces the responsibility for the bergs to the doors of local food businesses.

    After being educated by the inspectors and given a fair number of warnings, if those food businesses fail to change they will eventually face:

    Fines From The Water Companies

    These fines can be hefty.

    While the £420,000 fine handed out to Hypergoods Ltd. by Thames Water in September was particularly huge, even the more common financial penalties for poor grease management can cripple food businesses.

    Severn Trent Water is currently highly productive in their grease-related prosecutions, with a trio of court wins.

    Back in 2016, Severn Trent handed out a £5,495 fine to a restaurant in Wolverhampton for poor grease management. Severn Trent followed this up with a court win last year which saw SCE Catering Ltd. ordered to pay £9,226 for poor FOG practice and handed out yet another fine this year in a Nottingham Magistrates’ Court case which saw a third restaurant fined £8,419 for responding inadequately to the water company’s advice on preventing the formation of fatbergs.Roll of bank notes in red tie

    These fines have all been for contravening The UK Water Industry Act of 1991, an act which also saw a nearly £16,000 fine handed out to a Cambridgeshire Chinese restaurant in 2006, the year before a Wiltshire pub, an Indian Restaurant in Stevenage, and a school in Gloucestershire were fined £34,881, £15,000 and £7,616 respectively in 2007. The Act was also enforced to fine an Essex Chinese restaurant £9,660 in 2009 and to hand out another fine of £12,560 to a fast food joint in London in 2010.

    The point is that there is plenty of proof that water companies are adept at putting The UK Water Industry Act of 1991 to use in prosecuting food businesses who do not meet their standards – and those water companies have recently been putting that Act to work to ensure that all restaurants in their jurisdictions are on the right side of the fight against the FOG problem.

    If you want to avoid facing heavy financial penalties, the solution is simple: get on the right side of the fight.

    That’s why:

    A Good Grease Trap Will Save You Money In The Long Run

    Pink piggy bank behind three piles of coins

    A premium, long-lasting GRU will ensure that your business is never deemed responsible for any FOGs leaking into a sewer near you.

    You can’t get this kind of assurance from cheaper, less reliable traps and you certainly can’t go without and hope for the best – if the water company inspector comes knocking, they won’t be impressed if you can’t prove to them that you are doing all you can to help resolve the FOG problem.

    While quality comes with a bumped-up price-tag, that price is worth paying. 

    What Does A Premium GRU Look Like?

    Instead of the flimsy plastic which holds cheaper models together (and often needs replacing), premium GRU’s are fitted out with durable stainless steel.

    That’s true of the GreaseMaster GM50 automatic grease trap.

    GreaseMaster GM50 Automatic Grease Recovery Unit GreaseMaster GM50 Automatic Grease Recovery Unit

    Coming in at £2,600 including VAT, the GreaseMaster GM50 doesn’t just meet industry standards for grease management but exceeds them.

    With a 10-year warranty, it’s built to last and, functioning automatically, it’s built to ensure that, apart from giving its solid filter and FOG collection compartment a regular clean, you can keep working safe in the knowledge that your grease trap is doing what it does best while you aren’t looking.

    Another bonus: with an automatic trap like the Grease Master GM50, you won’t just be avoiding potential fines, you’ll be making real savings of £2-4,000 a year – the amount you would have to pay to professionally pump a passive trap every month or two.

    Save yourself from a hefty fine, and save the planet, in style. Invest in a quality grease trap, tailored to your needs, today.

  • FOG, Grease Traps and the Law


    The modernisation of the food industry has seen a lot of improvements and additions to a commercial kitchen. Every year, more of these commercial kitchens and food joints are opened, all offering different cooking practices and cuisines to an ever-ready clientele.

    With commercial kitchens producing more food than ever before, waste becomes a normal occurrence. Some of the waste finds itself in our environment. This is an unavoidable and sad reality, yet from it, you get to enjoy a well-prepared meal from your favourite restaurant.

    Governments, in an effort to ensure that commercial food establishments are responsible for managing the waste, have come up with laws that enforce responsibility and ensure that the environment is not harmed.

    One such law pertains to FOG and Grease Traps.

    A considerable amount of food preparation techniques require the usage of oil and fats. Most of these oils and fats end up as waste which is then discarded from the kitchen through various means. Improper disposal of these waste materials can result in the formation of grease build-ups which in turn cause harm to the environment.

    Some of the effects of improper disposal of FOG in the environment include the formation of fatbergs. These, in turn, accumulate in drainage and sewerage systems causing blockages and potential damage to the environment and wildlife.

    People working in a commercial kitchen

    Grease Management Systems

    Grease management systems work by preventing fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from getting into the drainage systems where they can accumulate. Businesses are urged to be more proactive than reactive when it comes to grease management. This, they can do by installing proper grease management systems such as:

    • Grease traps- Also known as grease interceptor and grease recovering device. It works by collecting FOG before entering drainage systems. They come in different sizes to meet different drainage requirements.
    • Grease removal systems (GRUs) or separators- They separate FOG from grey water and collects it to prevent clogging.
    • Biological dosing- This uses bacteria to act on the grease and breaks it down before it enters the drainage system. It is ideal in situations where grease traps would cause hygiene concerns. Dosing units are installed to periodically release the bacteria and nutrients which the acts on the FOG.

    Each grease management system is effective for what they were designed to do. However, the results are not always 100%. None can guarantee that all FOG will be kept out of the sewers. Some businesses choose to double up equipment to increase effectiveness.

    Laws and Legislation on Grease Management

    Currently, grease management systems are not compulsory by law. However, catering and foodservice establishments are legally responsible for any blockages in the sewers directly linked or traced back to their premises.

    There is a number of legislation surrounding grease management. They include:

    • The British Building Regulations (document, section 2.21) which requires new build commercial food establishments serving hot food to install grease traps or separators.
    • The water industry act 1999 indicates that it is a criminal offence to allow any matter to enter the drainage systems which may impend the natural flow of waste matter
    • Section 59 of the Building Act 1984 states that a local authority can require satisfactory drainage. This makes it possible for the relevant authorities to enforce grease management mechanisms.
    • The Food Safety Act 1990 stipulates that any build-up or blockage caused by FOG in drains fails to comply with food hygiene regulations. Businesses found to be in contravention of this law can suffer heavy repercussions.

    These are some of the many laws that govern the handling of grease in commercial food establishments.

    Water companies run routine checks on businesses dealing with hot food to ensure that there is proper installation and usage of grease traps. This is to ensure that businesses whose actions can lead to the introduction of FOG in drainage systems are compliant with the set standards. They can and will issue fines should a business owner neglect using the right grease management systems.Food being dipped in hot oil

    Grease Management Practices

    Normally, FOG is introduced into the drainage systems through various practices carried out in the kitchen. Practices such as dishwashing, cleaning of floors and sanitation practices might end up pushing some of the spilt FOG into these systems. It is why grease management is advised.

    Grease management doesn’t just have to be the equipment that you buy and install. While such equipment is important in ensuring that FOG does not end up in drainage systems, it is also important to note that you can take come counteractive measures to reduce that amount of FOG that lands in the grease traps.

    Remember, just because a business has installed a grease trap doesn’t make it immune from prosecution should a fatberg form. If the grease management system isn’t correctly installed or is neglected in terms of cleaning and maintenance it will be useless, allowing FOG to filter into public waterways. Businesses can still be prosecuted if it is proven that their ineffective grease trap has contributed.

    This is why it is important to incorporate these Best Management Practices in your business. It is also important to ensure that your staff is properly educated on these helpful practices. This also includes:

    • Using proper signage such as “NO GREASE” in front of sinks and dishwashers as a constant reminder. This acts as an ever-present reference for people working in the kitchen.
    • Educating your staff on how to handle old cooking oil. Practices such as ensuring that the collection barrels are covered and airtight at all times to prevent spillages and contamination.
    • A simple instruction to cooks and chefs on being conservative when using some of these cooking oils can also go a long way in reducing the amount of FOG finding itself in the drainage systems.
    • Viable and edible excess food can also be donated to prevent wastage. Some of the grease and oils used in preparing these foods will end up in drainage systems if the food is discarded.

    There are a number of in-house practices that can reduce/limit FOG entering the sewer. These include:

    Dry Clean-up

    This involves first wiping, scrapping, and sweeping of kitchen surfaces and equipment before introducing water. You can easily use a rubber scraper on cookware, utensils, serving ware, and chaffing dishes before washing them. Food grade paper absorbs oil in frying utensils thus reducing the amount of grease that may be discarded into the drainage systems.

    Use paper towels for surfaces to eliminate grease. Cloth towels might not be ideal for this kind of an operation because cleaning them will introduce FOG into the drainage system anyway.

    Do not pour any grease and oils down the drain.

    Dirty dishes

    Prevent Spills

    Spills are a common occurrence in busy commercial kitchens. These can be avoided by keeping the workplace clean and dry at all times. This prevents accidents.

    Cover food when cooking if possible and ensure that food transportation from one point to the other or from one utensil to the other is carried out using the right equipment to prevent spillages.

    Proper Management of Grease Management Equipment

    While grease traps and GRUs are ideal, there is little they can do if routine maintenance is not carried out. This also includes ensuring that they are properly fitted. Cleaning them regularly to prevent the stockpiling of trapped FOG will also raise the hygiene standards of your drainage system.


    It is possible and advisable to recycle waste cooking oil and use it for other purposes. In the UK, this practice is mainly carried out by the environment agency however other licensed contractors are available.

    Save for the reusing practices in many kitchens, old cooking oil is collected in containers and turned into other usable fuels.

    For example, vegetable oil can be turned into motor fuel through a process known as hydrocracking and hydrogenation. These processes aim at turning them into fuel such as diesel. It is usually referred to as renewable or green diesel. It can also be turned into oils used for heating processes.

    Cooking oil being poured into a bowl

    Use the Right Dishwashing Practices

    A 3 sink dishwasher system is ideal in this situation. It basically involves three steps of cleaning which ensure proper grease management. Utensils are first taken through Pre-wash, wash, and rinse stages.

    Every utensil should be wiped clean before being loaded into a dishwasher. This gives you the chance to collect all grease and oils into one place for proper disposal.

    For automatic dishwashers which use hot water, setting the right temperature is always advised. If the water is too hot then the grease will melt and slip through grease traps before cooling down on the other side, potentially bypassing any grease trap you have in place.

    Mind sewer drains

    This is applicable when cleaning equipment such as grease hoods and filters. While they should be cleaned to prevent eventualities such as kitchen fires caused by greasy surfaces, always ensure not to clean them near drainage systems where waste product and residue can accumulate.

    Proper Grease Management is good for you

    Installing a grease trap or a grease recovery unit (GRU) is not only important for your business, but it is also a show of responsibility for a business owner. Installation and appropriate grease management saves money, not only for the water companies who pay the bill for clearing fatbergs but also for the public and businesses who ultimately foot the bill when these additional costs are filtered through to the general public in an increase to water rates.

    You will, therefore, save more by installing a grease trap or GRU because then you will avoid heavy fines from water companies. Additionally, you have peace of mind that you’re doing your bit for the environment.




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