Baton Rouge, La. — November 29, 2021 — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority (EBRPHA) Chief Executive Officer J. Daniels announced today a partnership to educate residents on ways to help improve the local environment and sustain the East Baton Rouge Parish wastewater system.
The City-Parish Department of Environmental Services (DES) will hold educational seminars, training sessions and tutorials for EBRPHA staff and residents on how to most effectively dispose of waste, such as fats, oils and grease, that can significantly damage the parish wastewater system. DES staff are also distributing resources to all EBRPHA communities and residents to raise awareness of how to properly dispose of common household materials and cooking supplies.
“Through this partnership, our two agencies are taking on a far-reaching problem across our community and leading by example when it comes to changing mindsets and behaviors that can contribute to some of our most pressing environmental challenges,” said Mayor Broome. “We have made a significant investment in our parish’s wastewater system over the past several years, and it is on all of us — as residents of East Baton Rouge Parish — to protect this long-term investment by taking small steps each day that have a significant collective impact on our infrastructure and community.”
Each year, the city-parish spends more than $1 million in taxpayer funds on clearing clogged sewer pipes, responding to sewer overflows and fixing broken sewer pumps throughout East Baton Rouge Parish. City-Parish officials estimate clogged pipes contribute to about 30% of sewer overflows, creating costly and inconvenient problems for residents and adversely impacting the local environment.
“Our East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority communities and residents are committed to being part of the solution, while challenging others throughout Baton Rouge to take similar steps in protecting our infrastructure and preserving our environment,” said Daniels. “This partnership is truly a win-win for our community, one that will enhance our residents’ quality of life and has potential to grow from here.”
DES staff are distributing more than 1,000 funnels and “can the grease” lids to EBRPHA communities and residents, among other resources. The “can the grease” lids fit on any common soup can, where users can discard grease — offering a visible reminder to not discard cooking oil or grease down the sink.
Other resources include informational guides on the disposal of such materials. For example, while cleaning wipes or baby wipes are advertised as flushable, they accumulate with other debris, clogging sewer pipes, and should never flushed down a toilet.
These training workshops and resources are available at no cost to any East Baton Rouge Parish resident or multifamily housing complex. For more information and to request a free “can the grease” lid, visit whatsgood.brla.gov or call 225-389-4865.