In the wastewater treatment world, a fat free home is a happy home – in the pipes, anyway. Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) materials often enter your home’s sewer pipes in liquid form, usually in the kitchen sink. The FOG separates and floats on the water in the pipe, solidifying as it cools down. Those materials can coat the sewer pipe walls and build-up over time. By placing your cooled and solidified cooking fats (picture the pan full of drippings following your Sunday morning bacon bonanza, or that really rich shortening-based frosting) in a container instead of the drain, you protect your pipes and ultimately your home from a potentially damaging clog. This holds just as true for septic users as for those connected to the sewer. Clogs create sewage overflows and back-ups, threatening the health of your family and the environment. If you don’t already have one, grab a container and use it on your counter top as a handy grease receptacle. Discard solidified contents in your trash can.
Other greasy dilemmas at home include large amounts of waste cooking oils, like leftovers from deep frying. These wastes also do not belong down the drain, but they pose a more difficult disposal problem because they are liquid. Don’t place liquids in the trash, but instead use it again if appropriate; just strain and store in its original container for the next fry-fest, or consider passing it on to a recycler. Believe it or not, this liquid has value beyond your turkey fryer. Give your waste cooking oil a second chance to bring joy to this world by bringing it to WLSSD’s Household Hazardous Waste facility at 27th Avenue West and the waterfront for free disposal. Edible oil recyclers use this product, called “yellow grease”, to make products ranging from biofuels to pet and livestock feed additives. If you aren’t able to make it to the recycle bin, mix liquid edible oils with unscented kitty litter or sand to create a solid, and then place the mix in a plastic bag and put in your trash can.
Sewer overflows from FOG clogs are entirely preventable. Be part of the solution, and think before you put it in the sink!