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Fats, Oils, and Grease

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Pouring fats, oils, and grease (FOG) can clog the kitchen drain and sewer pipes. Such clogs may result in sewage back-ups, which pose serious environmental and health hazards in your community, while damaging property. Even seemingly small amounts of oil can contribute to a mass solid buildup later which can create blockages that are costly for the homeowner and/or city to remove.

FOG process

Imagine this, you are cooking bacon on the stove and once you are finished, you pour the remaining sizzling fat from your pan down the drain. As the bacon fat falls and cools down in the drain, it hardens and solidifies. This can lead to hazardous sewage back-ups for your home, business, or neighborhood!

FOG sources include:

  • Meat fats (i.e. bacon, sausage, beef, pork, chicken, lard)
  • Cooking oil
  • Butter and margarine
  • Food scraps
  • Baking products (i.e. shortening)
  • Dairy products  (i.e. cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt)
  • Cream based sauces
  • Salad dressings and mayonnaise

Don’t FOG up the drain. Here's how to properly dispose of FOG:

grease
  • Reuse a jar or waxed food container (such as a milk carton) to pour your liquid FOG into after cooking. Store this container under the sink and away from young children and pets. When full, dispose of the cooking oil in one of two ways:
    • Option 1 (recommended): Recycle the used cooking oil by dropping it off at the Shoreway Environmental Centerat 333 Shoreway Road, San Carlos, CA 94070. Go to the Public Recycling Center (Gate #1) and look for a sign that says "cooking oil."
    • Option 2: Discard used oil in a sealed container and place it in the trash bin.
  • NEVER pour FOG down the drain. If you’re not sure, dispose of it in the trash (even if it’s just a small amount).
  • Dry wipe dishes and other cooking utensils before dishwashing. Do this BEFORE you run the pot or other cooking utensil through the dishwasher or sink.
  • Minimize garbage disposal use. Food scraps that contain FOG also contribute to clogging. Use drain baskets to catch food scraps.

Remember, FOG is inevitable in home cooking and eating. However, FOG clogs are not inevitable if you practice simple clog prevention actions. Protect public health, the environment, and your wallet by NOT dumping FOG in your sink.