Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) come from meats, butters and margarine, lard, food scraps, sauces, salad dressings, dairy products, and cooking oil. When FOG goes down the drain, it hardens and causes sewer pipes to clog. This can lead to a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) where raw sewage actually backs up into your home, lawn, neighborhood, and streets. Not only does this nasty mess cause health issues, it also can run into a nearby stream or river, which affects our drinking water. If your pipes become clogged from putting FOG down the drain, it can be very expensive problem to fix. To avoid household and environmental damage as well as a costly bill, NEVER put FOG down the drain!
How to Properly Dispose of Fats, Oils, and Grease
When you have finished cooking, collect liquid grease and oils in a sealable container that you can take to your local drop-off location to be recycled. Many of these locations will provide you with a new container you can use. For the grease that cannot be poured into the container, you should wipe pans clean with a paper towel and put it in the trash. Food scraps should also go in the trash. Scrape off excess food from pots, pans, and plates before rinsing them in the sink with cold water.
Dispose of large quantities of cooking oil by contacting your community environmental coordinator or your nearest household hazardous waste collection station to find out if used cooking oil is accepted. Learn more about drop-off locations and city services at www.TimeToRecycle.com. You can also reuse fry oil by filtering and freezing it after it has cooled.
Small amounts of grease, such as meat drippings, can be soaked up with a paper towel and thrown into the trash. If you have a larger amount of grease, let it cool, then pour or scrape the solidifying grease into a sturdy closed-lid container, like a coffee can, and dispose of it in the trash. (Some cities also accept grease for recycling - contact your city for more information.)
- Do put oil and grease in covered collection containers.
- Do scrape food scraps from dishes into trash cans and garbage bags and dispose of properly. Avoid using the garbage disposal.
- Do remove oil and grease from dishes, pans, fryers, and griddles. Cool first before you skim, scrape, or wipe off excess grease.
- Do NOT pour oil and grease down the drain.
- Do NOT put food scraps down the drain.
- Do NOT rinse off oil and grease with hot water.