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  • Publication
    Telling the story of sewer fatbergs using creative approaches
    The word ‘fatberg’ entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015 and is defined as ‘a very large mass of solid waste in a sewerage system, consisting especially of congealed fat and personal hygiene products that have been flushed down toilets’. While the occurrence of fatbergs is a global problem, it is particularly prevalent in the UK with about 300,000 sewer blockages every year, costing about £100 million. A key approach to addressing the issue is to raise awareness among the public and business community in order to reduce the amount of fat, oil and grease (FOG) and sanitary items such as wet wipes that are discharged into the sewer. Engagement by water utilities or companies such as SwiftComply typically takes place directly with food service establishments while public events are also organised. Fatbergs have been highlighted many times in the media, most notably the Whitechapel fatberg, which was found in London in 2017, weighing 130 tonnes (equivalent to 19 African elephants) and measuring 250 metres in length (as long as two football pitches). The research results from Barry Orr (a.k.a. Captain FOG) on so-called ‘flushable’ wet wipes gained widespread publicity and the “Your Turn” FOG cup is effective for residents. Creative approaches have also been used to get the message across. Nathan T. Wright created a ‘Fatberg’ character for an illustrated book ‘Adventures of Fatberg’; this highlighted how fatbergs could be converted into biofuels. Tom Curran (a.k.a. Dr. Fatberg) performed a stand-up comedy set at Bright Club Dublin, which is available on YouTube. More recently, Nathan T. Wright created a follow on comic book ‘Attack of the Fatbergs’ in collaboration with SwiftComply; it is a tale of time travel with ‘Fatberg’, ‘Captain FOG’, ‘Dr. Fatberg’ and ‘Dr. Sophie Quinn’ trying to save Christmas from the menace of fatbergs. There appears to be significant interest in all these initiatives.
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  • Publication
    International evolution of fat, oil and grease (FOG) waste management - A review
    In recent years, issues relating to fat, oil and grease (FOG) in sewer systems have intensified. In the media, sewer blockages caused by FOG waste deposits, commonly referred to as 'fatbergs', are becoming a reminder of the problems that FOG waste can cause when left untreated. These FOG blockages lead to sanitary sewer overflows, property flooding and contamination of water bodies with sewage. Despite these financial and environmentally detrimental effects, a homogenous FOG waste management method has not been developed internationally.  However, some successful enduring FOG management programmes have been established, such as in Dublin city and in Scandinavian countries. The aim of this paper is to carry out a review on existing FOG research and management approaches. FOG management involves comprehending: (1) FOG deposition factors in the sewer, (2) FOG prevention and awareness tactics undertaken internationally and (3) potential utilisation methods for FOG waste. This review will highlight that preventing FOG from entering the sewer is the most common approach, often through simple awareness campaigns. The diverted FOG is rarely valorised to bioenergy or biomaterials, despite its potential. Thus, all facets of the FOG waste lifecycle must be identified and managed. Advancements in processes and techniques must be assessed to best determine the future evolution of FOG waste management to assist in achieving a sustainable urban environment. 
      2709Scopus© Citations 125