Disposing of Fats, Oils & Grease

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FOG, also known as fats, oils and grease, is the No. 1 cause of sewer backups and overflows.

FOG, a byproduct of food preparation and cooking, includes meats, vegetable oils, butter, margarine, soups, gravies, sauces, salad dressing, pastas and other fatty, greasy or oily products that are insoluble in water.

When poured down the drain or flushed down a toilet, FOG hardens into a clog, which leads to sewer backups into homes or businesses. FOG clogs sewer pipelines much like it does arteries.

FOG poured down the drain will eventually cause a nasty sewer backup in your home or backyard, someone else’s property or in the city’s main. Wherever a FOG clog may form, it will cause a great deal of hassle, headache and cost. Likewise, someone else’s FOG may form a clog near your property.

FOG in the City’s wastewater mains is also a costly and preventable repair. Find out how to report a water emergency and more about sewer backups here.

 Fogzie graphic

Put a lid on it

Remember the grease container that Grandma kept on the stove? She was one smart lady.

When you’ve got a bunch of grease, dump it in an empty vegetable or soup can and put a lid on it. Then put in the freezer. When it’s full, remove the lid and throw the can away. Start all over with another empty can. No mess, no worries. No plumbing problems.

More FOG disposal tips

  • Toss all food scraps in the trash instead of the sink
  • Wipe dishes and cookware off with a paper towel before putting them in the sink or dishwasher. Throw the paper towel in the trash.
  • Reuse small amounts of cooking oil as often as possible. Then pour it into a grease can or container and throw it in the trash (when it’s cool).
  • Reuse or recycle large amounts of cooking oil. Take it to a recycler or rendering company listed in the Yellow Pages.

FOG myths

  • Washing FOG down with dishwashing soap breaks it up. Wrong. This only passes the FOG down the line to cause problems elsewhere.
  • Running hot water dissolves the FOG. Wrong again. Hot water keeps FOG liquid temporarily. FOG cools and solidifies in the lines.
  • Using the garbage disposal eliminates FOG in the drain. Not true. The garbage disposal breaks up solid materials but the fats, oils and grease still cling to the pipes.

Additional resources

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