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NEA looking into gutter oil extraction incident at Toa Payoh Lorong 4

Three men came later to collect the equipment that had been left behind. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Three men came later to collect the equipment that had been left behind. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Staff from National Environment Agency-licensed general waste collector J.O.L Environmental at the manhole at Block 73A, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh at 2pm on Monday, after the two men who were seen extracting used cooking oil in the morning disappeared.
Staff from National Environment Agency-licensed general waste collector J.O.L Environmental at the manhole at Block 73A, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh at 2pm on Monday, after the two men who were seen extracting used cooking oil in the morning disappeared. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The National Environment Agency (NEA) is investigating a case involving two men who were seen extracting used cooking oil from a grease trap at Block 73A, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh on Monday.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, an NEA spokesman said that its investigations into earlier incidents in Jurong, where a couple had been seen pumping out the contents of grease traps serving eateries nearby, revealed that the waste oil collected was sent for processing into biodiesel.

Food establishments are required to provide grease traps and maintain them regularly by engaging licensed general waste collectors.

"There is a proper system in place for the collection and disposal of waste from grease traps. Such waste is collected by the licensed general waste collectors who are equipped with vacuum trucks, and the waste is disposed of at PUB's water reclamation plant," said the spokesman.

NEA will take action against any unauthorised waste collectors, or licensee who violates the conditions of licence or illegally disposes of the waste, he added. If convicted, offenders can be fined up to $2,000.

NEA will continue to carry out checks at food shops to make sure that ingredients used, including cooking oil, are from approved or licensed sources, and will take action against operators who flout the rules, he said.

Members of the public with any information on unauthorised collection of waste from grease traps should contact NEA on 1800-2255632 or Contact-NEA@nea.gov.sg.