Aiea Co. Creates New Way To Trap Kitchen Grease

Jessica Goolsby
Wednesday - January 20, 2010
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We all know that smell - the icky, decomposing stench of old food, grease and oil sitting stagnant in our kitchen sink drains after that big family dinner half a week ago.

Time to get out the rubber gloves and start digging it out of the drain again, right? Wrong!

Thanks to Island Shell LLC dba Environmental Manufacturing’s new product, WHOA! FAT, clogged sinks, plumbing backups and sewage spills (and the nasty smells that go with them) can be a thing of the past.

The Aiea-based company created this “made in Hawaii"product to help home cooks get rid of waste oil by making proper disposal easy.

“We’ve been making oil-change boxes for a long time for motor oil, and we were looking to expand the business into another arena,“said owner Bernie Boltz.“We came up with this idea because there’s been a big effort by the City and County to get people to not throw their fats, oils and grease down the drain, and anything that we can do to help out we just try to do.”

Each WHOA! FAT box is packed with absorbent material and designed to hold about three cups of waste oil. The coated box is leak-resistant with a metal handle - very much resembling a Chinese food takeout box - to make use simple. Just pour fat, oil and grease (FOG) into the box and store it in the refrigerator between uses until full. Once to capacity, just toss the box in the trash. H-POWER then converts the FOG, paper pulp and cellulose into energy.

“We actually grind up scrap paper to make the fiber, and primarily this year we’re using old phone books that weren’t being recycled until now,“Boltz said. “We’ve been playing with this idea for a few years now. The box design was my son Brian’s idea, and I came up with the name.We actually just finalized the design this past spring.”

With proper disposal,apartment renters and owners can reduce common-area maintenance charges, and homeowners can reduce clogs and trouble calls. The city and taxpayers can reduce sewage maintenance costs, and everyone can help the environment by preventing sewage spills.

“I think in the past my family’s been plagued by a clogged sink or two, but it was more of looking for an opportunity to match a need in the community that motivated it rather than a personal one,” Boltz said. “We just wanted to create something that would do good.”

Boltz said he hopes to have the cost range from $1.50 per box or less, and the company is currently looking for the right distributors. Once those are lined up, Boltz said it should be only a few weeks before folks can pick up their own WHOA! FAT in stores. For more information, call 330-2421 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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