Department of Environmental Protection and WM Collaborate to Turn Grease Trap Food Waste Into Renewable Energy

September 23, 2022

Pilot program will use properly captured fats, oils and grease to create renewable energy

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that it is collaborating with Waste Management of New York, LLC (WM) to develop a pilot program that is intended to identify the source, and quantify the energy value, of grease trap food waste—a major source of fats, oils and grease (FOG). The hope is that this innovative project, aptly titled “From Grease Traps to Green Energy,” will encourage restaurants and institutions to properly capture their FOG and have it turned into renewable energy.

“The fat, oil and grease created by the hospitality industry can be mined for clean, renewable energy and help us fight climate change,” said DEP Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “Knowing the source and volume of the fat, oil and grease is the first step in creating a circular economy and transforming what was waste, into a valuable asset.”

“WM and DEP are taking the next step in the development of a circular economy that could help to shrink the city’s carbon footprint,” said Chris Farley, WM’s Greater Mid-Atlantic Area Vice President.

“Restaurants are always seeking ways to implement environmentally conscious business practices, so we commend the Department of Environmental Protection and Waste Management for launching this pilot program to help them capture fats, oils and grease waste to create renewable energy.” Andrew Rigie, executive director, NYC Hospitality Alliance.

For the pilot program, WM intends to develop a system with DEP’s help that would identify generators of FOG and track how much grease trap food waste they produce. FOG would then be collected from participating generators, such as restaurants, and delivered to WM’s CORe® facility in Brooklyn, where it and other food waste will be processed into EBS®, an engineered bioslurry. The bioslurry will then be delivered to DEP’s Newtown Creek Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility where it will be added to the digester eggs along with wastewater and food scraps. In the future the biogas byproduct from the digesters will be purified into Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), which would then be injected into the local natural gas delivery system.

The pilot program is being done in collaboration with Veriflux, an EPA-funded technology platform that enables traceability across complex waste-to-energy supply chains.

“We are excited to join with WM and the City of New York on this groundbreaking project, which could serve as a model for how technology and data can empower sustainability and traceability across waste, recycling and renewable energy supply chains,” said Dani Charles, co-founder of Veriflux.

The WM Brooklyn CORe® facility accepts up to 250 tons of food waste each day from generators throughout New York City. Food is separated from trash and converted into EBS®, an engineered bioslurry utilized to feed the city’s wastewater digesters. This facility is one of four operated by WM in the U.S.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to nearly 10 million residents, including 8.8 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP also protects the health and safety of New Yorkers by enforcing the Air and Noise Codes and asbestos rules. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.